Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Writer’s Block (Part 1 of 16)

Don’t accept writer’s block.

My definition of writer's block is the temporary or chronic inability to produce new work. It's common and it's not a passive condition. For some, it's a temporary problem and they soon move past it. For others, writer's block is extreme and they're unable to write for years and some abandon any attempts. They view their "new" writing as inferior, which may not be true.

Some brilliant person said that writer's block is a loud scream from the unconscious that tells us something is wrong. I often tell people that I once had writer's block and it was the most awful, terrible, horrible hour of my life. My point is that we don't have to suffer from writer's block. We can stop it.

Here's a question to ask ourselves:
What is going on inside me that prevents me from writing?


  1. At a writers conference several years ago, I heard a well known Romance writer who'd won several awards for her writing. She said she didn't believe in "writer's block." She thought it was simply a failure of the writer to know what each character was going to do next (i.e., no handle on the plot). At a different conference, I heard another award-winning author say that he thought the best way to avoid writer's block was to do a very detailed outline of the plot. I've written only one novel, but I have to agree with those assessments. For non-fiction writers, I would venture to say it's a failure to have a detailed outline (with an understanding) of the table of contents. I absolutely agree with you that writer's block can be stopped. And one of the best ways to stop it is to ask ourselves a simple question: What happens next?

  2. My most recent bout of writer's block was brought on by some harsh criticism from an extended family member. It hurt, wasn't constructive, and left me afraid to write anything else publicly. I'm trying though.

    I love that you've only had an hour of writer's block :).

  3. Thank you for addressing this writing malady. It has been most helpful and I am looking forward to any further remedies.

  4. In the past year, I've struggled with "writer's block"; prior to that time, I never thought it would be my portion. I've waged a war with breast cancer over the past year; through it all, I've been able to pen a few words here and there. But now, on the other side of treatment, there seems to be a huge block. I'm disciplined to write on a regular basis, but I often don't think that what is on the page matches the deep emotion of my heart. Does that make sense?

    Love receiving your insight, Cec.



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