Do You Allow Yourself Writer Embarrassment?

My favorite TV show is Castle.  I mean, what’s not to like?  A bestselling mystery writer following around a good-looking female homicide cop?  It doesn’t get any better, particularly if you’re a mystery novel geek like I am.

The interesting ‘twist’ from this show is that there are actual mystery novels being written under the name of the lead character, Rick Castle.  Recently a new Rick Castle website has been launched to promote the book series, including the upcoming release of the third book in the series, Heat Rises.

While the whole notion of fictional characters writing real books is appealing to me, what really caught my eye was a small section where Rick Castle answers questions and he’s asked:

What do you do when you have writer’s block?

Castle’s answer: “I don’t believe in writer’s block. I believe in writer’s embarrassment. That’s when you’re so embarrassed by the horrendous drivel you’re writing that you can’t bear to see it on the page. After all, you can always write something. I’ve discovered that giving yourself permission to write poorly is the gateway to writing well.”

Personally I’ve never believed in writer’s block, muses, and the rest of the mythology associated with writing.  And I think Rick Castle (whoever the actual author is) is right on the money.  If you realize that your delete key is a powerful tool, you can bypass all the writer’s block nonsense and get on with the writing.  Do you allow yourself writer’s embarrassment?

Cheers — Larry

3 thoughts on “Do You Allow Yourself Writer Embarrassment?

  1. I love “Castle” and needed to hear this insightful pep talk at this time.

  2. Hi Brenda,

    I’m glad you found my post on “Castle’s” comment useful. I find that many talented writers struggle with getting the words on the the page and I hope to write about some of the things I do to make it happen.

    Cheers — Larry

  3. You’re so right!!

    …I entered ‘writing embarrassment’ into a google search engine to see if anyone else felt the same way I do. Sometimes, I’m literally paralyzed with fear/embarrassment, so incapable of even REREADING old work. Though, I think my problem goes a lot deeper than mere embarrassment, the idea of ‘allowing yourself to write poorly,’ has eased my fear a little.


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