Thursday, December 19, 2013

Unblocking Writer's Block

A novelist friend of mind mentioned she had writer's block. So I thought it was time to once more explore how to overcome writer's block. Before I discuss the subject, I do want to say something about accepting the "blockage" versus battling the clog. I didn't write anything major for two years after suffering some major losses in my personal life. Writing is a creative, intellectual and mind-intensive process. If your emotional house has been emptied of the furniture, so to speak, maybe it's time for you to sit Zen-like in that house and accept it. I wanted to say this because writer's block due to a pure emotional depletion isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's your mind's way of saying, "Whoa! Wait sister or brother give me a vacation. I don't have anything left to give."

I just couldn't write anything major simply because I lacked heart and motivation. My distraction and life re-build took front and center. I was focused on getting acquainted with my new normal. I needed to keep 3L Publishing moving. I want to find out who I am now in my new life. The creative requirements to write seemed to be out of grasp. I would sit and think about ideas, and I had plenty of ideas; but I was just tired. Emotionally and physically exhausted. After 25 years of nonstop writing, I realized, "It's okay to stop." And it's okay to be blocked once in a while. Think of it like a sabbatical. You need to go away and recharge. If you really don't have the mental ease to put the thoughts on the page, accept it and allow the time to come back to writing on your own. Dear writers, I promise your heart, soul and body will return if you give it enough time, patience and healing.

But to jumpstart your battery when it's time to get back to the computer, here are some tips:

  • Sit down and just start writing something, anything. You will find that ideas may start to take shape. Maybe these ideas aren't the next project, but in the exercise of "doing" you will eventually get somewhere. 
  • If you still don't feel like you've got "the" idea then at least try "an" idea. Start work on it and see what happens. It might be a go-nowhere project, but then again, you've started something. The page isn't blank anymore.
  • Keep up this exercise for as long as you need to do it. Eventually something will flush out.
  • If nothing has materialized of value and marketability, then take another break for maybe a week or two and start over. 
  • If you at least commit to this type of "project" you will find your block has ended. It may not take a week or even a month, but somewhere in the middle of the writing exercise you will find you're back to normal.
Need a writing coach for accountability? Do you know what is a coach? Visit our website and look under book coaching for more information at or call 916-300-8012.

1 comment:

  1. Great blogflection and so true. I've had my blogging sabbaticals and have found I come back stronger. Bears hibernate, gym rats take time off to rest their hard worked body and writers must do the same too, but a real writer will eventually return and be better. Thanks for your insights.