Friday, July 15, 2011

Writer’s Block (Part 12 of 16)

More on Writer's Resistance: Our Values

Writing against our values is the way I say it. Some people have laughed, but I'm convinced that we do that. Sometimes good writers take on a project because the publisher wants them to do it. I've almost gotten caught up in that. I felt flattered when the senior editor of a publishing house came to me with a writing project. "I know you can do it and do an excellent job."

I loved hearing those words and I agreed. But something didn't feel quite right. For the next two days I struggled over that decision. I finally called the editor, told him how much I wanted to work with him, but I couldn’t do the book. "It goes contrary to my values."

He wisely listened and said, "I understand."

By contrast, one of my friends received a large advance for a book that he couldn’t write. He finally broke the contract and his relationship with the publisher. He told me, "I was writing something I did not feel, did not believe, did not care about, and I avoided writing what I did care about."

When we try to write against our personal value system,
our wise inner critic tries to block us.


  1. I've experienced this, but couldn't identify exactly what was going on inside me. A friend suggested we do a book on a topic he believes in, but I don't. He had done most of the writing and I would edit and polish things. I couldn't bring myself to do it. Now I know why.


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