DEAR READERS: As a writer myself, I found many of your responses to a recent question about writer's block compelling enough to run some of your suggestions on how to push past this challenging moment. Here is your collective wisdom:
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have to take partial exception to your answer to "Writer's Block." While your ideas regarding improving skills are great ones, you left out entirely the idea of collaborating with a professional to get started. Someone with "a million and one ideas" may not have all the time required to work through the course of study you suggest prior to getting those ideas on the page.
I am a self-employed language services provider, and I happily work with people in WB's situation all the time, providing a range of services from copy editing to coaching/encouragement to full-on ghost writing. Immersion in language building via study is a great way to move forward, but it certainly can be augmented with actual production if a professional is involved. -- English Language Expert, Chicago
DEAR ENGLISH LANGUAGE EXPERT: That's a great point that I didn't consider. Indeed, a whole industry exists to support people who want to tell their stories but who aren't actually writers. Help is near for those who want a ghost writer or who simply need assistance in developing their writing skills.
DEAR HARRIETTE: If "Writer's Block" is hesitant about classes, I suggest finding a copy of "English 3200." It is self-paced, although as a high school freshman I had only the first semester to complete the book. -- By the Book, Shreveport, La.
DEAR BY THE BOOK: There are many books that can help new writers, including the one you recommend. There also are online options. I believe your voice adds inspiration, because it proves that even at your young age, fear can set in, but you don't have to succumb to it!
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a slightly different response to "Writer's Block," who was concerned about putting her "million and one" ideas on paper because of potential grammatical errors. The single best way to overcome a phobia of writing is to simply write. A trick that I use is to write or type as fast as possible, without reading what goes down on the screen or the page. Then I put the pages aside to cool -- no reading them until four or five days have passed.
If "Writer's Block" will try this for a few days, she will discover that the power of a million and one ideas trumps any grammatical errors every time. There is plenty of time for correcting and editing, and lots of tools to help once something is on the page. -- Just Do It, Salt Lake City
DEAR JUST DO IT: I love your idea. I often "just write" when I know there's something in me that needs to come out but I can't express it in the form I would like. A good editor can help with grammar. Everyone should learn grammar, in my book, but a great start is to write.