I have been contemplating a lot lately about my own personal and professional writing or non-writing and asking myself what occurs within us as writers and authors which triggers the writing process…or in the alternative, presents some sort of invisible, intangible resistance called “writer’s block”. I have come to some conclusions.
What is it which fuels the fire of the writer within us to put pen to paper? Is it an insatiable inner passion or burning desire in our heart to use our voice for the good of humanity in general or to help our readers by motivating or inspiring them to do something, feel something or BE something- to just give hope? Is it for cathartic reasons which are personal to us but which may affect a particular audience who identifies with something we’ve said in a healing way as well? Or is it mainly to purely entertain?
There are literally hundreds of reasons for writing.
I propose, many times it could be that writing is merely a love for the writing process itself for the writer alone. We all need an outlet, a place for emotions to go which makes us feel better about some situation which we are facing. Writing for ourselves there is a privacy we can maintain to vent our feelings and get them out. To express them in a safe place which is for our eyes only. Once the words and emotions are out there is an overall sensation of ahhhhh, relief! We feel better, more clear, more focused to take on the day’s tasks.
Whatever our reasons for writing are, it really doesn’t matter. Writing gives one a positive feeling or sense of accomplishment and well-being, of contribution to something bigger than ourselves.
Many times I have felt a strong desire to write within me in the moment and for some reason or another, got distracted or questioned the importance of the subject matter and set aside the pen. Other times the fire merely dwindled as quickly as it came up. The passion just wasn’t alive inside me, albeit temporarily. It is frustrating when this has happened. Some are quick to blame this on “writers’ block” as I did.
Merriam-Webster defines writer’s block as: a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece.
Even worse, is when I have questioned my own ability as a writer, comparing my writing to other more celebrated, popular writers. Or feeling not qualified enough to write on a specific subject. These are crippling situations when they occur and damper our initiative.
How do you perceive yourself as a writer? Are you confident that no matter what you write, your readers will love it and encourage you even further and as a result, you write more? Or, do you fall into a more critically destructive category and judge every word you write, making it impossible to get anything out? It does happen, it’s real, it’s happened to me. After all, we as writers do have a genuine desire to communicate effective ideas which will help our audience in some profound way.
Writers as we consider ourselves to be and have been told we are, more often than not sadly do have writer’s block, imposter syndrome, and other such creativity killers from time to time. All too often we judge ourselves for every word, syntax, subject, etc. When in reality we by far are our own worst critics and judge, by overthinking what we are writing.
I have fallen into this trap far too many times and for way too long and finally decided to stop 🛑 rally and just write. There are those who need and want to hear our messages, our stories, our thoughts, our failures as well as our successes…no matter how well our form, style, or grammatical prowess. These are the ones we write for, even if “they” might be only “one”.
If only one person “likes,” identifies with, or even reads my writing and gets some nugget of hope, inspiration, or encouragement out of it then I have completed my purpose successfully. And for that reason I will continue, never to give up writing with the intent of bettering individuals, humanitarian interests, and life in general for someone.
Writing from my heart is the only way I know how to write, even if it’s for the purpose of legal writing to convince a judge or jury that justice must prevail. These are just and moral causes that must not fail. And if truly written from the heart, cannot fail.
If we let our heart lead the way in our writing and everything else we do in our life without self-judgment, we’re virtually guaranteed a life of feeling like we have done everything we could do to uplift others and affect lives in some small, or big positive way. And for that, we can feel thankful and good about ourself.
When you’ve made a difference in someone else’s life, what could possibly be better than that? When we embrace our readers with learned wisdom from our life experiences, observations, and life lessons, these are inevitably important to someone and they appreciate us, even though they might never be able to tell us that.
I encourage you to keep writing my friends, you never know whose life you might touch or even change with your heartfelt words. Even if it’s only one person and that person is you.
Ten Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block:
- Meditate – quiet your mind;
- Clear a mental pathway for your thoughts to flow easily;
- Journal daily;
- Write, just write anything;
- Don’t overthink it;
- Never compare your writing to others;
- Give up the need to be perfect;
- Write from your heart;
- Don’t judge your writing skills or for that matter yourself;
- Think about one person your writing could help – even if it’s you.