To Write or Not to Write: Overcoming Writer’s Block

I’m just going to come out and say it. Writer’s block can be a b*tch. Whenever I want to write, for my blog or working on my novel, I hit a wall. It’s even worse when I need to write, for an article or blog at work, that’s when I hit a wall. Full throttle. Face first.

A Burden Not a Blessing

Sometimes writing can see more like a burden than a blessing. It’s so easy to lose confidence in your ability. It can feel impossible to find motivation or keep momentum. Guidance seems to be to just write. To just sit down and just put some words down on the page. And sometimes, it works. Other times I find myself staring at a blank page. I’m revving the engine but not moving forward. The harder I try the more I feel myself fail. The incline of creativity gets steeper and steeper.

And then the thoughts rush in. Not the creative thoughts that bloom into ideas and metaphors. The harmful thoughts which make you question yourself. They remind you of your lack of success and of those moments when your writing missed the mark. They point the finger at spelling and grammar errors. Suddenly it seems like the easiest thing is to let to. Stop. Don’t write. What’s the point anyway? You tell yourself no-one will read it. There are a billion blogs or stories out there. Many are successful which means yours probably won’t be. You can call it humility. You can also call it losing confidence in your abilities.

 

Your Unique Voice

As an esteemed colleague and writer said to me “almost every story has already been told. But not in your voice”. Our voices deserve to be heard. Mine does and so does yours. Everyone has their own unique perspective and angle. There’s no one size fits all when it comes to writing. Your slant on an idea or opinion may be just what someone else is looking for. It only takes moments, or a few words, to inspire someone. To give them a boost, to make them smile or laugh or to help them feel less alone. We have no idea where writing can take our audience.

We also have ourselves to consider. Think back to that first time you wrote. I remember the first poem I ever created. I was maybe ten/eleven years old. The words seemed to flow out of me and onto the paper. When I read it back I couldn’t quite believe that I’d written it. There was a supreme sense of achievement and ownership. I had brought something into being. I had created. It was no masterpiece but it was mine. It was no work of genius but for the first time I felt good at something.

 

Tapping Into My Writing

Writing has always been a kind of haven for me. My biggest fear of recovering from depression was that I’d lose my creativity. I’ve always been a writer even when I’ve not written. It’s within me always. Sometimes I’ve left it untapped for too long. But when I pick up that pen or put fingertips to keyboard I can feel it. Even when there’s no ideas emerging. Even when I have to pull it out of me instead of it blossoming forth.

I need to write for my sanity. It’s part of my identity. Maybe you feel the same way. Maybe you write for a completely different reason. But you do write. There’s a drive there. Remind yourself what that is. Let it shield you from the negative thoughts. Wrap yourself in it so they can never take it from you. And, if you want, share it with us in the comments below. Why do you write and how do you fight that writer’s block?

 

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4 thoughts on “To Write or Not to Write: Overcoming Writer’s Block

  1. I’m happy to say that I haven’t had to deal with writer’s block in a long time. Now, my problem is finding the time to write. It’s a good problem to have. I think writing longer pieces, having more life experience to draw from, and writing in multiple genres helps to keep the ideas flowing.

  2. Writing this comment the first that came to mind is that am not a writer but then I realized everyone is a writer and there are times I do have writer block I think it okay to take a step back and prioritize.
    It was really interesting reading your thought

  3. I really like that “almost every story has already been told. But not in your voice” bit. I’ve actually written it down in my journal. I think it’s the exact kind of motivational thing that would pull me out of a writers block. I’m a new writer, so I haven’t had to deal with it yet, I seem to have loads of things to say, but I know that won’t last. But thanks to you and your colleague, maybe I never will have a complete block.

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