Chandler didn't bill it as a cure for writer's block, exactly. Think of it as a sort of work-around--
1. Set aside four hours every day.
2. During this time, you don't have to write.
3. On the other hand, you can't do anything else.
See Tierney, "This Was Supposed to Be My Column for New Year’s Day," New York Times, 1/14/13.
I'll thank my mother for the link. She sent it to me this morning, apparently thinking I suffer from writer's block.
As regular readers of this blog know, I don't believe in writer's block.
Well, not really.
I think it was in my post "Advice to Young Lawyer's #13" that I first began to examine the concept of writer's block. I concluded that "the cause of writer’s block is always the same: a mistaken notion of self-entitlement, a touch of self-pity, and perhaps a lack of sleep."
To cure writer's block, I proposed this solution: "Simply take your head and bang it on your desk until you either lose consciousness or come to grips with the fact that you, and you alone, must write the next sentence. Continue in this fashion, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, page by page, until your memorandum is complete."
In later posts, I proposed other cures, having concluded that the bang-your-head solution wouldn't necessarily work for everyone.
In "Cure for Writer's Block #177 (illustrated)," I advised a cure that was very similar to a common hiccup remedy.
In "Cure for Writer's Block #57 (illustrated)," I radically suggested that those who suffer from writer's block are morons.
It's possible that in the past, I've been too harsh and dogmatic when it comes to writer's block. I might as well think about this for a little while. I'm stuck here in this room, after all, for another three hours, twenty minutes. And I really don't feel like banging my head on my desk.
A final warning. Please don't go looking for writing-block cures 1-56 and 58-177 on this blog--I haven't published them yet.
Maybe I will soon. In the meantime, happy writing!
P.S. Of the three posts I linked to above, only one of them is compiled in my book How to Feed a Lawyer (and Other Irreverent Observations from the Legal Underground). To find out which one, you'll have to buy the book--or at least examine the Table of Contents in the "look inside" feature at Amazon. Please note that if you should happen to purchase and read this book, I would VERY MUCH APPRECIATE a review at Amazon. Why? Because I recently had a five-star literary agent tell me that the lack of Amazon reviews for How to Feed a Lawyer might make it impossible for me to ever interest a publisher in anything I write ever again!!! Lacking additional Amazon reviews, in other words, my writing career is pretty much finished. And that's bad news for a guy who rarely suffers from writer's block!
Publication note: First published 7/9/13.