Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Don Draper Matt Weiner cures your writer's block

Conversation on a day when all I've done is read, take notes, think, and write? I got nothing.

But Matt Weiner can solve your problems. From Los Angeles Magazine (broken into bits for easy reading):
“I don’t get writers block. I really don’t. I’m not trying to be obnoxious about it. What I have is an idea I have not worked my way through. I’ve learned to have confidence in the fact that if I’m having trouble writing it, it’s not good and it’s not done and I need to do something else and loosen the machinery.

And I don’t care if it’s gambling or drinking or just talking a walk, which is probably what you’re supposed to do, but you need to change your state.

And I talk to people. I tell the story over, and over, and over again. . . . And you know, I bang my head against the wall and you can bang your head against the wall and do fine, but it’s the advice Don gave to Peggy: Think about it intensely and then do something else and it will be right in front of you. You can’t force it.

I also work well with a gun against my head. I’m not trying to invite writers block, but usually what writers block is, is imaging all the possibilities of a blank page.

And the other thing I do—oh my god, I can’t believe I’m about to say this—I have an amazing way to get over this, which is that I do not sit down at a typewriter and write or a computer. I dictate.

Now even if I’m on the phone and doing all the procrastinating things, when I’m dictating Don comes in, he sits at the typewriter…It works just like that. I get into the scene and at the end of the day I can write an entire draft in a day. It might be garbage, but I can rewrite it."


Ink said...

Hmmmm. Don has a secretary to type up his dictation. And I bet Matt does too. Where can we get one?

undine said...

Ink, I'll bet he does, too, although if I try this, I'm going to try the dictation feature in Word (if there is one).