What to Do with a Writer’s Block?

Caught in the Fence

Today’s NaBloPoMo prompt is this: Have you had an extended writer’s block? How long did it last? What did you do to break out of it, and do you have tips for other bloggers?

Some months ago I wrote a post about my search for inspiration, as I had spent some time without writing, for an absolute lack of will or inspiration.

So…yes, I didn’t write anything for 1,5 month and when I did, it was because I rationally decided to give it a try. But let me tell you why, what and how it happened. 

Why? 

I started blogging in February this year at Blogger. My editorial calendar was as shallow as one post every two weeks. The sure thing was my decision to only post meaningful and inspirational experiences, otherwise nobody would want to read them.

All went well until mid April, and after eight posts, I temporarily closed my ‘blogshop’ for lack of ingredients. I didn’t make a big deal about it, as by then my only audience was my Facebook’s friends and family.

The regular readers started asking me to write again, and I then realized that once I had gone public, I either should close the ‘blogshop’ and tell every one of my bankruptcy and failed attempt as a blogger, or return to the keyboard.

I decided to move forward, with or without inspiration. One, because I realized that once I exposed and shared my ideas, I was creating a reputation, which I should care for. Even if only for friends and family. Most importantly, I realized that I owed that to them for their interest, encouragement, support and loyalty, by reading and commenting every time I published a post. And they enjoyed it, to my surprise. That was an inspiration…

What

I understood first that in my quest for being authentic, I shouldn’t have translated that into being inspired nor inspiring. I would write what I had to say, and that could be only what would come up in my mind, no matter what. I took away the pressure and the expectation for high performance.

I spent way too many years working as a corporate executive; I confess that I needed a ‘rehab’ to get rid of this conditional and ingrained way of thinking that became so natural to me; always setting goals, crafting a business plan and a performance management system, etc. and from there driving my actions. The business woman was no blogger.

I had also to let go the high level of expectations I had set before, and the search for perfection. I had to allow myself to try again and again. I had to accept to fail and be vulnerable. In public.

How

What works for me until now is this: if I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night with an idea I want to write about, or if an idea was not naturally born at daylight, without much effort, I relax, as something will pop up in my mind anyways. Why? Because I write about things that I see or get from people; get insights from a movie; from reading a book; talking to strangers; or simply about what crosses freely my mind while looking at my preferred nature’s wonder, the sunset…

Let me tell you though that there is no magic formula to ‘cure’ a writer’s block. I tried several options, which you can read on my old post “In Search For Inspiration”, but almost intuitively I found my solution on a very personal way.

We all have a reason to write, which only us can define and explain. We write about different things. We have different styles. We are different from each other in every single way, that makes us unique. Let’s keep like that otherwise the world, and reading, becomes boring.

I believe though that we all have something in common; we love what we do. And just like in any love-relationship, we don’t think much, we feel it, and express it with our most genuine gestures.

If I dare to give only one piece of advice, that would be the one:  Be authentic and keep writing.

17 thoughts on “What to Do with a Writer’s Block?

  1. I like the image of the typewriter stuck in the wire fence. I have felt the same way as you describe. Thinking that I have set high expectations for myself and then I see other relax and just post simple blogs some days during this daily blogging.

  2. I used to have writer’s block when I did creative/fiction writing. I didn’t know where to go or what to do, and eventually I gave up on writing altogether.
    I only got back into writing by realizing that there are other styles that are also valuable. Now I write expository pieces on my blog & for my campus magazine and I find I rarely have writer’s block–there’s just so much to say about the world and my experiences/opinions.

    • You brought a very interesting perspective that i haven’t thought about. If people make the analysis you made, they may find out what they really like and never again feel that they haven’t much to write. Thanks much, Sabina. Very valuable insight.

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