How I Beat Writer’s Block – This Time

As you can tell from the lack of posts here recently, I’ve been in a writing funk. It’s affected not only my blogging, but also my journaling. Worst of all, it was hindering me from getting out a proposal for my book.

In the past, painting has helped me get back in writing mode, but it wasn’t working this time. I tried other things that have worked before. I did some reading, went to a few of my favorite outdoor writing spots, and even watched movies I thought might inspire me. All that to no avail. So, there I stayed – for weeks – stuck.

Then, an interesting thing happened. I was scheduled to make a presentation to some college students on boundaries. I love public speaking. And I especially enjoy presenting on boundaries because it’s such an important topic. As I was driving home from the presentation, I was invigorated. I thought, “Yeah, that’s my sweet spot.”

I didn’t do the presentation to spark my writing. I did it because I had it on my schedule. But when I got home, I immediately started working on a post for LinkedIn. I had been thinking of doing the post for a few days, but … well, I had writer’s block. After completing the post, I went on to another writing project and have been back in the zone since. I even got the book proposal done and sent out!

My take-away from this experience? When you find yourself unable to write, do something else you love to do. Something that refreshes you. Something that builds your confidence because you know you do it well, even if it’s seemingly unrelated to writing.

Looking back now, I realize I had been feeling defeated because several things in my life had not gone as planned. By doing something that made me feel accomplished I regained my “I can do this” attitude.

Advertisements

No Time for Writer’s Block: Why I Must Finish Writing this Story NOW!

With a story as intriquing and inspiring as the one I’m writing (see details here), I never imagined how much trouble I’d have with writer’s block when I first started on the project. Yes, I know, that was the naiveté of a beginner. Still, when writing about a friend who is living under an assumed name provided by the Federal Government because his testimony was key to bringing down a crime syndicate … well, lack of good material is certainly not the problem. So, what is?

As Tony S. put it in a recent blog post on writer’s block, I’m a PROcrastinator. He gave physical, mental/emotional and spiritual reasons for combating that tendency. I found those to be helpful for me, but more importantly, it got me to thinking about the physical, mental/emotional and spiritual impact the delay is having on my friend.

My friend needs to have this book finished. Living in anticipation of his former identity being revealed brings with it a roller coaster of emotions. Will the friendships and professional relationships he’s come to know in this new life be jeopardized once people know the details of his past? Will the demons he left behind come back to harm him once they know where to find him? He’s willing to take on whatever may come, but needs to get on with it. Dealing with “what is” would be a welcome relief from pondering “what might be.”

He also needs his life to be unified instead of fragmented. There are many things he’s set out to accomplish, but the process is hindered by having to guard his secret. He is a pastor, the founder of an outreach ministry to help those who come from a background similar to his own, and a mentor to urban youth. Each of these roles requires a certain amount of transparency he is currently unable to offer.

My friend and I are both excited about the greater impact he will have once he can freely communicate the fullness of his own transformation to people who need to believe transformation is possible. His is a story that will bring hope to many. We both feel God brought us together to collaborate on this book.

Remembering these reasons for taking on the project in the first place now has my creative energies flowing. I’m tempted to elaborate on this newfound method of fighting my writer’s block. Instead, though, I think I’ll get back to the book. Stay tuned for an excerpt.

(To see all posts about my book, click here.)