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James Patterson’s Cure for Writer’s Block

October 15, 2018

(image via wikimedia)

It’s really too bad nobody got a video of this.

James Patterson was speaking on a panel with other famous authors such as Stephen King, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Malcolm Gladwell when a struggling writer in the audience asked a question about writer’s block.

“What is the best way to get rid of writer’s block?” the struggling writer asked the panel.

Stephen King spoke first.

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work,” he said, and everybody in the audience nodded at the profound statement.

But the struggling author was dissatisfied with the vague answer.

Next was famous author Malcolm Gladwell, who said: “I deal with writer’s block by lowering my expectations. I think the trouble starts when you sit down to write and imagine that you will achieve something magical and magnificent — and when you don’t, panic sets in. The solution is never to sit down and imagine that you will achieve something magical and magnificent.”

Again, the audience nodded at the profound answer, but the struggling writer was frustrated at the vagueness.

Famous author Elizabeth Gilbert said: “I don’t sit around waiting for passion to strike me. I keep working steadily, because I believe it is our privilege as humans to keep making things. Most of all, I keep working because I trust that creativity is always trying to find me, even when I have lost sight of it.”

And before everybody could nod in agreement, she added: “Writing is f*cking great!” and everybody laughed because Elizabeth Gilbert said “f*cking.”

The struggling author still felt dissatisfied.  Surely a famous author on the panel could offer concrete advice or specific techniques for beating writer’s block.

“What about James Patterson?” the struggling writer asked.  “What do you do when you get writer’s block?”

The audience listened intently for James Patterson’s response.  If anybody had a cure for writer’s block, it would be the author who published more than 10 novels a year.  What was his method for dealing with writer’s block?  Every member of the audience sat in silence as they waited for his answer.

“So, what is your cure for writer’s block?” the moderator of the panel finally asked again.

James Patterson cleared his throat.  “When I get writer’s block,” he said with gravitas, “I have my coauthor write it for me.”



I hate admitting this, but that might actually be the best way to beat writer’s block. Thank you, James Patterson!!

Like I said, though, it’s too bad nobody got a video of this.  As far as I’m concerned, if there’s no video, then it didn’t really happen.


What do you think?  Do you have a better cure for writer’s block than James Patterson’s?  If so, what is it?

  1. I don’t really understand how co-authoring works. Like, how do you decide who writes what? What if you don’t like what the other person writes?

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