A dialog with Dan Simmons

I am not afraid to admit that one of the many inspirational authors for me over the years has been Dan Simmons.  We don’t always share the same general interests beyond writing, but I have no problem remarking that his writing demonstrates a scary level of mastery of the craft.  Well today I posted on one of his web page’s forum threads on the topic of writers block, and I was pleasantly surprised when he graciously took the time to respond to my post.  (The posts can be read here: http://forum.dansimmons.com )

Personally I’ve never really viewed writers block as the same kind of a problem as a lot of writers seem to.  Certainly I’ve had periods of more productive writing, and less productive writing like most authors tend to have over time.  Some people have various “tricks” to conquer writers block.

My personal solution is pretty counter intuitive.  If you can’t think of anything to write, then writing is the wrong thing to be doing.  Do something else until writing becomes the right thing to be doing.  If it never becomes the right thing to do, then you simply aren’t meant to be a writer.  Frankly I write my best when inspiration, initiative, and interest all reach a perfect storm in my mind.  The words simply seem to flow out effortlessly.  The moment the words start to feel forced, then I know it’s time to put it down until that moment of clarity strikes again.

I’ll also take it as a great kindness that Dan Simmons mentioned my web site in his forum (I didn’t initially list it in my post being afraid to self advertise on his site.)  I’ll not take that as any kind of “recommendation” of my works by Dan Simmons, but it was a very generous gesture for him to take the time to do that anyway.  I’ve frequently recommended his works to other readers in the past, and will do so again to anyone here who may be a fan of very well written Science Fiction, Horror, Historical Fiction, Thriller, and Pulp Fiction.

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