Overcoming Writer’s Block

Typewriter.Some of my favourite, most highly respected writer friends don’t believe in writer’s block. “Just sit down and write!” they say.

I don’t believe that, because I’ve been battling writer’s block for six years.

Writing is my passion. For many years my journal was my best friend, because I find it hard to talk about my struggles, but writing about them always helped me sort things through. Then, six years ago, a number of things came together in just such a way that I could NOT write any more. I clammed up. Something died within me, and the words would not come. I’ve been struggling ever since. It wasn’t a conscious decision to stop writing, and it’s no simple thing to start writing now. How do I know? Because I can’t count the number of times I’ve determined to start writing again, only to fizzle out after a day or two.

It isn’t because I don’t think I can write. I’ve had more validation from more sources than any ordinary woman could hope for, that I can and should write. For publication.

That IS my dream, and has been for as long as I can remember. And it’s never been easier than it is today, to get published. Only trouble is, it still ain’t happenin’. The blank screen is just as daunting, and just as blank as it has been just about every day for the past six years. I need help!!

Enter Sark e-Media’s 30 Day Blogging Challenge.

The post is great for someone who has doubts about his or her ability to write. That’s not a problem for me. But see that sign-up form at the top of the blog post? I’ve signed up for lots of things before, and not followed through on them. This time I won’t get away with it, because I’ve also joined the Facebook group that goes along with the challenge. Which means I’m going to post a link to my blog post each day. Which means if I DON’T do it, someone will notice. Which means a certain amount of accountability.

It’s scary going in, but if I can pull this off, it will be wonderful, and I will feel wonderful about myself! Maybe I’ll even find out there is no such thing as writer’s block, and all I have to do is “Just sit down and write!”

© Willena Flewelling

Comments

  1. Welcome to the challenge! From a graduate. 🙂

    That’s pretty much it… Just sit down and write. I did that myself last night. Started on a post thinking I wasn’t in the mood, and a while later found I’d written about 450 words. Still got to do a bit more, but the foundations are there.

    Sarah’s emails will give you guidance and inspiration and the FB group is there to assist you too – just ask if you need help.
    Claire Brotherton recently posted…A useful new undo button for WordPress themes and pluginsMy Profile

  2. I am posting day 4 today as I just started, good luck to you also! Having the forum and accountability is great..
    Flavio Medeiros recently posted…Wedding First Dance Songs (Early 2015)My Profile

  3. Hello Willena, You Go Girl Friend! Congrats on taking on this challenge, I have to admit, I did sign up for it a while back but could not or should I just say I BLEW IT! I guess I should have written a blog post like this one, perhaps it would have kept me accountable for following through.

    Thanks for sharing! Have A Great Holiday Weekend Ahead..
    Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted…Max Out Your Purpose In Life – Part 2My Profile

  4. Willena,

    I have experienced both. “Just sit down and write” happens often, especially when I have just read several magazines or a good book or I am currently focused on a certain are of life such as health and nutrition, exercise, aging, healing, spirituality, men, women, love. So there are many times when the writing is so easy, just flows, and I think that ease will never end.

    And then there are those times when I just can’t get started or I start and stop and put the paper or computer page aside. I have many, many started and unfinished writing projects and courses. I have created great outlines of books that never got written.

    For me, one of the keys is to be part of a group – the accountability factor – and to have a serious deadline. When I have a deadline, I usually rise to the occasion and manage to complete the task. Without a deadline, I can easily get distracted and lost.

    I look forward to hearing about your blogging challenge and whether this was a the key to unlock your creative urges.

    Warmly,

    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted…What are the Benefits of a Long-Term Business Relationship?My Profile

    • Erica, you and I are so much alike! I have many unfinished writing projects lying around on my computer too. Writing a blog post every day is certainly helping to get me into writing mode again, but I still need to get back to work on my novel.
      Willena Flewelling recently posted…Character DevelopmentMy Profile

  5. Actually, Willena, I’m of the “just write” school.

    I’ve been a professional writer for years and I’ve often done it because I had to. Meet a deadline, upcoming meeting with an editor, and so forth. When writing is a business, it happens. You’re not always happy with it, it could always be better, but it gets done.

    Now, that could well be a different thing than “creative writing” which requires more imagination and inspiration. I still think, though, that continued writing is the key. Set a time, like 9 to 12 each morning, for writing. Let nothing deter you, even if you end up doing stream of consciousness writing. If creativity is blocked, read a dry encyclopedia article, like the history of Argentina. Re-write it in your own words, even if you’re trying your best to write exactly what you just read. It’s amazing how writing happens when you don’t give yourself the option of not writing.

    Writers block is always a fascinating topic (to writers, anyway) and I appreciate your perspective on it, Willena. Thanks.
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  6. David, I have another friend named David who for years had two columns in an Ottawa newspaper. I remember telling him one time that if I took a job as a columnist, I would fail miserably because of my difficulty in writing on command. But the opposite never works — even a creative writer can’t sit around waiting for inspiration to come. When it does, it’s wonderful! But most of the time, “just write” is the way to go.

    Thank you for the suggestion of setting a certain time each day as my writing time. It’s the only way I will get serious about writing regularly. And in that way, it’s no different from any home business, is it?
    Willena Flewelling recently posted…Lost and FoundMy Profile

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