Conquering Writer’s Block

Writer’s block can arrive at any time and feels impossible to push through. The fear of a blank page or stalling at some point in a manuscript brings up many insecurities: not being good enough, not having anything of value to say, feeling embarrassed about the fantasy of a finished project being more satisfying than the reality of weeks, months, or years passing without any new material. There is also the mental fog, the inability to focus, stress and perfectionism. The choices and combinations are limitless!

Write for the joy of writing. Suspend the deadline in your head. Just get those words on paper, now. No excuses or justifications. Don’t make it harder than it has to be. We all feel the sudden pull of our kitchen that demands cleaning or the long-avoided appointments that must be made as soon as we sit down to our creative work. We must recognize that this pull as a distraction and avoid letting it steal our time.

Automate the writing habit—one page a day, no matter what. One page with your coffee or at night before bed. If stuck for content, write about your dreams, your plans for the next day, anything that is spinning on a loop inside your head. The point here is to make a habit of getting in front of your computer or notebook and putting that one page down. Scheduling your time is best, as it kicks in a sense of obligation to show up. Just like going to the gym, don’t overthink it. Lacing up the shoes and showing up is all you need to get yourself to the next step.

Putting your ideas out where they can be reviewed and criticized can seem frightening, but that is usually a sign that you are thinking too far in the future. Bring yourself back to the present, where the work still needs to be written.

Overthinking won’t get you there. The more you think about feeling blocked, the more power you give this nebulous feeling. Write. Write garbage. Just write. Start somewhere, anywhere. Write a few lines, say anything and see what happens. And if you need to get out of a rut, movement is crucial: join a writing group, take a class, or change projects. Switching gears can often help you regenerate your momentum in writing.

If you are in the middle of a project and suddenly feel stuck—maybe you don’t know where to go, how to raise the stakes, what resolutions are needed, or perhaps you’ve fallen into a repetitive pattern that you recognize will lose the reader—we can help you find your footing and get back on track. Book a coaching session with us to get the professional perspective you need.

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