Writer’s Block: What it is and How to Overcome It For Real

My Writer’s Block

My first experience with Writer’s Block came when my Mom went into the hospital to live out her final weeks. That week my writing changed. I no longer journaled to process feelings, and felt like I could not write another single non-fiction thing. Real life was just to awful to record. Months later, I began writing short stories. Fiction, it seemed, was the way for my subconscious to break through and process what I could not consciously face.

What Is Writer’s Block?

Writer’s Block is generally described as a state of being unable to write. According to Webster’s dictionary, it’s “a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece.” How that manifests however, will be different writer to writer. For some it looks like eternal procrastination. For others, an irresistible pull toward distraction. Some sit wordlessly in front of a blank page, unable to summon a single good idea (even though the ideas seem to flow freely during commutes or weeding the garden). Others get lost in a flurry of good ideas and end up starting thirteen stories before finishing a single one.

Causes of Writer’s Block

Theories abound about the cause of Writer’s Block, even in the minds of writers themselves. Some think it’s a core issue of laziness, or maybe depression. Or maybe that whatever good ideas they had were all used up and their well of creativity simply dried up.

How to Overcome It

The most common advice one comes across in the big old internet is that if one is experiencing a blockage in writing, “go for a walk” or “read” or “read inspirational quotes”. These may work for some who are perhaps in more of a lull than a full blown blockage, but these suggestions do little for many of us deep in the trenches of a writing crisis.

Reviving the Creative Process

One critical step in overcoming Writer’s Block was for writers to realize that creativity is not a linear process. Psychologist Kaufman, author of “The Psychology of Creative Writing” said, “I think one must trust the writing process. Understand that creativity requires nonlinearity and unique associative combinations,” he says. “Creative people do a lot of trial and error and rarely know where they are going exactly until they get there.”

Dream Diary

Write down your dreams — not for anyone else to read, but just for you. By writing down one’s dreams in a way and place which you know will never be read, you’re free to reacquaint yourself with your subconscious where creativity has perhaps been hiding.

Practice Visualizing Colorful Mental Images

One successful exercise that researchers implemented was having writers sit in a quiet place and visualize according to a series of prompts given. “They might, for example, “visualize” a piece of music, or a specific setting in nature. Afterward, they would visualize something from their current projects, and then generate a “dreamlike experience” based on that project.”

Where Can I Get Help with Writer’s Block?

Reading articles, watching videos, and buying pre-recorded courses on the subject may be helpful, but all require us to DIY the thing. Sometimes we need someone with experience and compassion to take our hand and walk with us through it. Fortunately, there are ways to get that kind of personal guidance — and it doesn’t have to be expensive, either.

Here are some ways I can help:

Inside the My Writing Mentor community

you’ll benefit from free workshops and hear from me about the writing journey. Check it out here. (This is the free option)

Writing Mentorship

In these biweekly group coaching sessions, you will be met where you’re at on your writing journey and I will guide you like a wise and gentle sherpa.
As low as $20/month here.

Writing Coaching

In these one-on-one coaching sessions, I will meet you where you’re at on your writing journey and be your sherpa, but unlike in the group setting, you will have my personal and undivided attention.
As low as $125/month here.

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