Updated: Jul 10
According to Webster’s dictionary writer’s block is a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece. As a rocket runs out of fuel, so is writer’s block to a writer. We reach the top of our creative peak and come crashing down.
The thought of "a writer that hasn’t written” can send shivers down the spine of any writer. However, within that phrase there is a lesson that we must learn from writer’s block. Here is what I learned:
1. I will write!
Everything has an opposite. On the flip side of writer’s block is the ability to freely write.
Having the time to write is a privilege. Although, you can write from anywhere, there is nothing like sitting in your most comfortable spot and clicking away at the letters on your keyboard for hours on end. That time is rare, and when that time is spent with writer’s block it is discouraging.
But when we are stuck, we must believe that we can be “unstuck”. Outside of writing, we understand the importance of trying again when we do not succeed. Why do we forget about this while writing?
Writer's block is a temporal state, and often necessary. You will write again, and when you do it will have more meaning.
2. My ideas matter!
Writing is mostly mental, a game between imagination and realism. When creativity is involved, what we desire is not concrete. Since it is not concrete we equate our ideas to unimportance. We begin to doubt.
Your ideas are important and worth fighting for. If you bring them to fruition you can find the best idea(s) that you need. WRITE ALL OF THEM DOWN.
Writer’s block gives you the opportunity to write the best ideas and find success. Sometimes we only believe in a good idea and sacrifice the greatest idea because we do not take the time to see them clearly.
For best effect, I have learned to start this process before I begin to type or pick up a pen. For those of us who see a vision and begin to write organically, we will write with less pauses when we give all of our ideas a chance to see daylight.
3. Greater the challenge, greater the reward
The challenge signifies the weight of the reward. The bigger the writer’s block the better the offspring.
The last time I had writer’s block it lasted for three days. I had been working on a script that takes root from a personal experience. I finished the first draft (so thrilling!!!), but I knew that was not the story I wanted to share my experience with. I had to start over, and I was wary of finding a new concept to write about. Maybe because of my wariness my writer's block returned, but looking back, I’m happy that it did.
It taught me how to fight for what was better, even though what I had was good.
4 . I control my mind
I found new insight on what it meant to control your mind. Controlling your mind does not mean forcing yourself to produce ideas. It is harnessing the power of your mind to create. Your mind is like a car. Technically, you are not responsible for making the car go, the engine is. When the engine is no longer in service the car stops. No matter how much you step on the gas it’s not going anywhere. But when the engine works, you are able to move forward or reverse in the direction you want it to go. It is the same with your mind. The gas is meditation.
Mediation is the essence of mindfulness. I like how Joyce Meyer says “Where the mind goes the man follows”. No matter what we do, we are always meditating on something. What are we following when we have writer’s block? Are we focusing on what is wrong or relishing in what is right about our story or paper. Are we looking for opportunities or are we settling for excuses?
During those three days I meditated on the concept of my script. I thought about it in almost everything I did. It was always on my mind. I thought of the ways in how my story could work. I watched short films, I read helpful tips, I did a mind map-I signaled to my mind that I was not giving up and that we were going to move forward. Eventually, like a burst of water, the story I wanted to write gushed out of me.
Communicate to your mind where you want it to go and the words will follow.
5. What I think about writer’s block will determine how I write.
Every job has its challenges. For writers, writer's block is one of them. Instead of being surprised every time it rears its head, let’s be prepared.
We can write, our ideas matter, our challenges will certainly have a reward and we can control our mind for the best outcome.
All of our journeys are different, and the way you travel to writing again is up to you.
Let writer’s block be a stepping stone, not a blockage.