Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Get Rid of Your Writer's Block

Copyright © 2012 Joan Y. Edwards and her licensors
Writer's Block

Get rid of your writer's block. Destroy it. It seems real, however, writer’s block is only imagined. It’s emotion that’s built this block and it’s emotion that’s keeping it able to exist as though it was real. However, writers can make the lowest of creatures and the greatest of heroes come to life. Writers have the power to make this block real. Is yours made with cardboard, plastic, metal, or wood?

Paint your block. Decorate it with stickers. The more you talk about this block, the more real it becomes. The more you talk about this block to yourself or other people, the bigger it grows. The more it stands out. The more powerful it is.  It becomes so real you can pick-it-up and toss it around. You can even sit on it, day after day, night after night.
Copyright © 2012 Joan Y. Edwards and her licensors
Choose Your Writer's Block. Decorate it.

What other excuses can you put inside this block to make it grow to a huge monster size: Your job, your family, your friends. They are all worthy excuses, but they don’t really want to keep you from your dream. You are the only one who can keep you from achieving your dream. But, you say, “You don’t know me. My situation is different. My job really does keep me from writing. My family demands all of my time.” That may be true.

However, what would you tell a character in your novel if she was saying those very words. Would you tell her, ”Stick up for what you believe in.” What would you tell your daughter or son if they were talking about their dreams? Would you tell them to give up? Would you tell them it's impossible to achieve their dreams? No. I don't think you would.

You must believe in yourself. You will be better willing and able to do things for others, when you take a few minutes each day to do something for yourself. Remember the airline stewardess who says, “Put your own oxygen mask on first, before you help someone else.” Your dream is your oxygen mask. It gives you life. Go for it. Take time for you. I’m not saying to neglect your duties. I’m saying embrace the belief that you can do them both. You can make time for you to write and take care of your responsibilities. You have to believe you can make time to write and make it come true. You have to take action. You have to take action to destroy this block.

By taking action, you can destroy the writing block. How? Delve into the middle of it with your mind. Go ahead. Get your vehicle of choice: Race car, Armored car, Convertible, or Limousine. Take action. Drive right into the middle of your writer’s  block.  POW!

Red Covertible

What? There’s no crash. No explosion. Why? You dissolved it.  Your writer’s block was only real in your mind. It never truly existed. It was not real.

In my opinion, writer’s block is a situation that stops a writer from writing. It could be from a fear of success or a fear of failure. It could be a fear that you are not good enough. A fear that if your words will have no meaning to those who read it. It will not be accepted by others, as you wish it would. It is difficult at times to put the feelings you have experienced into the characters you describe on the written page. However, millions of people did it in the past. Millions of people do it today. Join them. Why not let it be you that writes?  If you die with your story untold, you leave a huge chunk missing out of our human database needed for future survival. Write. You can do it.

No person is indispensable. The world needs you and your opinions. Everyone’s opinions are important. Even if we disagree with them, it is good to have those opposite opinions. They help verify what you truly believe. Your writing doesn’t have to be the best writing of any person in the whole universe. It only has to be the best writing you can do at this very moment with the feelings, experiences, and skills you have right now.  If 5 minutes is all you can give right now, give 5 minutes. Know the reasons why you are writing. What is it you are trying to say about life? If you think life ends up badly no matter how hard you try, write a story about it. Prove that’s true. Create characters who will point out this truth and write it.

If telling a sad tale is all you can write now, write the saddest tale you can write. People will read your story and cry with you. Write.

If telling a funny story is what you want to do, tell the funniest story ever written and people will laugh along with you. It’ll give them new hope. It’ll give them healing. Write.

If you believe that good triumphs over evil, write about it, prove it. Write the whole story from beginning to end. You can always change the words after you get them written. Worry about revising later.

Get up 30 minutes earlier and write.

Get a timer. Set it for 30 minutes. Just write. Write your name. Write the date. Write how it feels to write. Write what you want to prove to others by your writing. Write what you want to prove to yourself by your writing. Write whatever comes to your mind. Don’t worry about punctuation except for who said what. When you are writing, always put in your dialogue tags, such as: Jane said. In my opinion from my personal experience, it's very difficult and takes endless hours to go back and put them in later. Periods, quotation marks, commas, etc. You can put them in now or later. If you remember, put them in. If you get going really fast on an idea, go with it. Don’t fret, you can put your punctuation and check your grammar later. (If you’re using Microsoft Word, you can use the Review Check Spelling & Grammar. It’ll show you the errors in your writing and suggestions for fixing them.)

What I’m trying to tell you is that this block is an illusion. It is imagined. It is an image in your mind. You put it there by saying it was there. You can take it out, by saying it is not there. Say the words, “Seconds ago, I had a block. The block is gone. I am free to write. I find ways and time to write. I am a writer. A writer writes, therefore, I write. I allow myself to write. I write often and well. I am courageous in writing. I allow myself to be a successful writer. I allow myself to be a failure at writing. I will continue writing against all odds. I accept myself as I am. I am a writer. I write.”


  1. Joan,
    This was a fun look at writer's block. Thanks for sharing and keep writing.

  2. Dear Linda,
    Thanks for saying it was a fun look at writer's block. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Writing is fun, healing, and a mystery that unfolds as you go.
    Never Give Up
    Joan Y. Edwards

  3. I did an entire program at the 2012 Oklahoma Writer's Federation last May on techniques to break your writer's block. I agree with much of what you said1 Thanks fro a fun article.

  4. Dear Wayne,
    Thank you for writing. I'm glad you thought this was a fun article. I had fun writing it. I am also happy to discover that you agree with much of what I said. Do something to celebrate the magic of your wizardry in writing.

    Joan Y. Edwards