by Kerry Kerr McAvoy
Writers often complain about overcoming writer’s block. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure what they mean–the reasons can be varied. Is it the fear of the blank page? Does the white computer screen with the blinking cursor terrorize them?
Or have they hit an insolvable plot conundrum?
Maybe they are worried their work will meet with rejection and ridicule, or worse yet, rave reviews or accolades?
I worry the most about running out of ideas. What if my creative well runs dry, and I wake up one morning only to find all my great thoughts have vacated, leaving my head one big empty vacuum of space? Pretty descriptive, huh? Yeah, that’s how much it worries me.
Ashley has an excellent solution to this problem. It is something she uses to combat a lack of inspiration. Each day, she creates a list of ten ideas about any subject that could become possible blog topics. She once used her kids’ favorite meal of macaroni and cheese for inspiration.
Another prominent source of my writer’s block is the fear of hurting those I love. As a memoirist, I use my life stories as a source. I must write my truth, but this can become tricky when it involves others.
We all know that good writing is vulnerable writing. It requires us to mind our hearts, minds, and souls. We can’t do this if we are afraid. For the longest time, I used to post a sticky note on my computer as a reminder to “write what I dare not say.” At the beginning of each day, I’d ask myself, “what was it I didn’t feel the freedom to say aloud?” and I would start there.
Your block will be unique to you.
Before you can address whatever it is, you must first understand its exact nature. Try to check in with yourself so you can understand the underlying driving motivations. Listen to what’s impeding your work. Give it words.
This part can be uncomfortable, but it is critical to overcoming whatever obstacles block you.
Often identifying the problem leads to an obvious solution. It can be over half the problem. So, start there and see if that gets you on your way towards overcoming writer’s block.
Another essential part is immersing yourself in good works. Are you reading regularly? Are you watching movies or TV shows? Be sure to turn on your writer’s eye. Pay attention to the dialogue, change of plot pace, and descriptions. What works and why? And what doesn’t? You may find the answer you’ve been looking for in one of these mediums.
Consider joining our Writer’s Community or attend a Writer’s Retreat. Ok, this is a shameless plug. It’s hard to go wrong for $5/month, which includes full access to a private writer’s online community, a weekly worksheet to help you grow as a writer and a brand influencer, and a monthly live webinar where you can ask Ashley and myself any writing questions. If you’d like to learn more, visit our Patreon page.
You might go on a five-day retreat to the gorgeous Caribbean coastline of Riviera Maya, where you will have daily writing time on the beach, nutritious meals with a small group of writers, and Q & A time with Ashley and me. Our first trip is October 2021! Sign up now since space is limited.
For more help to overcome Writer’s Block, check out this worksheet with practical help and tips!
Weekly Worksheet: Overcoming Writer’s Block (available to Patreon’s Sponsors.)