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Writing Advice From Warren Ellis

Illustration for article titled Writing Advice From Warren Ellis

So I read this piece of advice Brian K. Vaughan wrote and thought, "Hey, I know another comic book writer who gives great writing advice: Warren Ellis!"


I'm not kidding, Warren Ellis gives some great writing advice.

On Writer's Block:

Writer's block? I've heard of this. This is when a writer cannot write, yes? Then that person isn't a writer anymore. I'm sorry, but the job is getting up in the fucking morning and writing for a living.


On Giving Up:

Ellis was asked on his Tumblr here "what do you do when (if) you ever feel like giving up?"

There is no such goddamn thing. There is only getting up and doing it all over again, smarter and harder, until something ups and fucking kills you, because that's the only thing big enough to stop you.

This is The Great Work, and all you have to do is choose it, not look back and never fucking stop until you're in your box, under the dirt and flowers are growing between your teeth.

And that is why I'll never be asked to do motivational speaking. G'night.

On Breaking Through A Creativity Block:

Ellis was asked on his Tumblr here "Hi, do you have any advice on how to break through a creativity block?"

It may simply mean that the thing you're focused on working on isn't ready to be worked on yet. Do something else. Write some letters/emails and trick yourself into writing a tumblr post or something afterwards. Make a meal you've never made before. Make a mixtape or whatever your preferred digital version of that is. Go to http://www.oblicard.com/ and use the little reload button in the bottom left corner until you hit something that has meaning for you. Turn off the internet, read a book, listen to music, let yourself get bored and empty. Put away what you're working on right now and lock it in a drawer for two weeks. Invite your most brilliant friend over, kill them, find and eat their adrenal glands and then wear their skin as a shamanic cloak until the next full moon. Strap cats to every part of your body and tell everyone your new name is Pussy Fang Dervish. If you live in a city, go to nature. If you live in nature, go to a city. Buy a cheap notebook and write down every stupid idea you've ever had. And then write down the five most important things you want to achieve once the block is broken. And then stand up, remind yourself that your name is Pussy Fang Dervish and you can do anything, and then go and give it another try.

And good luck! This, too, will pass.

I may try that cat strapping advice, actually. Sounds fun.

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