Writer’s Block is a Creepy Boogey Woman.

Happy Monday! Time to tackle Writer’s Block.

Mondays seem to be filled with the odds and ends from every catastrophe that didn’t happen to you the week before. It’s as if the day becomes filled with late arrivals from annoyances just as you are getting your week started. 

At least, this was true for me when I worked as a legal assistant and later in accounting. The weekends would act as a reset button to my routine. The moody Monday became that oddly comfortable visit from a huffy regular customer. 

Marking off due diligence items while simultaneously circulating correspondence on dozens of files kept my creative, migrating mind pinned down. The open schedule I have today freed the creative me, however, addressing the routine became an issue because not having one effected the way I approached my writing. Those days felt like a revival of summer break, until a resistance to writing arrived like an unwanted guest that you let in because she appears to be in so much distress it would be inhumane not to.

Fear Not.

Why had I not encountered her before? Oh yeah, because I had a million excuses not to write. That was the benefit of working full-time while finishing my undergrad. 

The fear, this unwanted guest, was Writer’s Block. She and I have become close friends. Turns out internal clocks die hard. (I was going to include a link to the movie Die Hard, but decided not to.) Writer’s Block is my new Monday huffy regular customer. She is the reset button to my new routine.

Happy Monday! It’s a new week and the possibilities of what I could achieve boggle me into fearing that I will not do it perfectly. I shouldn’t even try. I know this sounds crazy, but it’s just where my mind goes. So, how have she and I managed a weekly coffee date without obliterating one another? 

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Acknowledgement.

I give her a seat at the table, so to speak. Otherwise, I end up pretending I don’t have fears of being viewed as inept, of failure and success, and of something going wrong with everything that happens to be in my world at the moment. What’s worse – I end up fighting those fears instead of being myself and living the life that is going to be. 

In practice, acknowledgement for me is writing a gratitude list every day to place the fearful mindset on a higher path. This is also the acceptance that maybe writer’s block isn’t the boogey woman I thought she was. Additionally, two seemingly unrelated activities keep me writing – exercise and eating a cleaner diet. The ideas come out along with the sweat. Writing takes more than the than the shot of salt, fat, sugar, and preservatives that most processed foods offer.

Study Other Writers.

This may seem obvious, because it is. Getting an idea of others’ experience unleashes the power of the writing community. The urge to walk away from a story to go watch the next episode of #GBBO will subside to inspiration, which could be the impetus for your next week of writing.

There are thousands of articles and books on writing habits, overcoming writer’s block, including this one – but the value isn’t in finding the one perfect answer. It is in feeding yourself helpful ideas from several authors until something resonates with you. 

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Be True to Yourself.  

A recent interview of Tom Deady reinforces a simple truth. You don’t have to write every day. Having a routine of writing when you can is a routine that works – but you haveto write. If you wrote yesterday, and you finally have some down time without the kids and want to watch your favorite show without feeling guilty – go for it! But, if you’re like me, being true to myself in practice doesn’t look like watching the ending credits of #GBBO and then watching the entire series of Battlestar Gallactica. I try to avoid getting lost in my favorite shows. I have fallen for this temptress before only to realize Monday is here, and not only has my not so favorite boogey woman shown up at my door, but she has brought all her friends. The doom and gloom ensues.

Besides, the payoff for working with the resistance, writing through it, is exhilarating. It is like the power of having somehow kept up an exercise routine and feeling the need to get in a great workout. Imagine waking up on a Monday morning yearning for the release of words on a page, the sound of fingertips whisping across keys, and the acknowledgement from your more vulnerable self who realizes she has a lot to offer.

2 thoughts on “Writer’s Block is a Creepy Boogey Woman.

  1. I feel like I used to really struggle with writer’s block. However, after learning about some unconventional poetic forms while working on my bachelor’s, I discovered the cut-out and erasure forms to be great for overcoming writer’s block. They have really helped give me an outlet when I feel the urge to write and be creative but the words just will not form on the page.

    I also agree with Tom Deady, from your last post, that it puts too much pressure on myself to try and “write everyday.”

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