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Writer’s Block – A Misnomer

January 23, 2014

writer's blockI’ve sometimes considered sharing my thoughts on “writer’s block” here at sublime days. But I suspect that everything that can be said about it has been. In the last year or two, I’ve seen posts with tips for overcoming writer’s block, as if all opinion has been exhausted and now it’s time to get on with solutions.

But after my post yesterday, I thought that maybe it’s time for me to address this topic, if only briefly.

My experience is that this thing that somehow took on the negative connotation of a “block” has become way bigger than it needs to be in the minds of writers and others.

To me, it’s a necessary stillness that a story needs for ripening, for aging, for evolving. All a writer needs to do is to keep busy till a quickening signals you that it’s ready again to grow through you.

Be alert to the signs and you’ll know when to proceed and how to proceed. And during the stillness be confident that your story is steeping into something more bold than anything you can force out of yourself.

While you wait, hone your writing skills through forms of writing that you don’t typically use. Exercise your writing by write longer (or shorter) sentences than you normally write. This waiting time is also a good time to work on your marketing. It’s also a good time to expose yourself to other forms of art. As I wrote yesterday, visual art inspires my writing process.

Also, do housework or yard work. I’ve had the continuation of a story strike when I least expect it and as I was doing a menial task – as if by distracting my mind with minutia, the creative energy was freed to continue.

Just don’t wander too far from pencil, paper or computer.

Most of all, be open to any thoughts that come to you about the story you are waiting on. Snippets of creativity will drift along before you – when you’re awake and when you’re asleep. Be alert to them, dwell on them, jot them down. Soon enough you will again have hold of the reins and you’ll be off on another wild ride of writing.

The key is to trust the stillness, which means trusting yourself, the writer.

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