Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Do you dread that first page in the morning?

Is its cold white stare creeping you out a bit, or worse —

giving you a certifiable case of tabula-rasa-phobia?

Well, suffer no more, Elbow-Benders!

Start your writing day the blackout way instead.

This method was developed by writer/artist Austin Kleon back when he was struggling with a pretty severe case of writer’s block.

At the time, one thought kept haunting him —

I don’t have any words.

But then he looked into his recycling bin and saw a big pile of newspapers.
Suddenly, a second thought popped into his head —

Right over there are millions of them!

So, Austin picked up a newspaper and pulled out one of his drawing markers. Then he began deleting words while leaving others to just float there on the page. He likens the process to those word search puzzles many of us enjoyed as kids.

So did it cure Austin’s writer’s block?

Let’s see…

Austin Kleon is now a New York Times bestselling author with three illustrated books in print: Newspaper Blackout, Steal Like An Artist, and Show Your Work!


I think he’s cured.

Step 1: Get yourself a newspaper — you know, one of those quaint periodicals that lets you read yesterday’s news on actual paper.
Step 2: Arm yourself with a black permanent marker.
Step 3: Cross out everything on the page that's not a poem.
Step 4: Submit your poem to and share it with the world! (The site publishes blackout poems from readers all over the planet and has over 125,000 visitors daily!)

Delete on!

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