“Writer’s Block” Is a Lie—And It’s Ruining Your Writing

by Guest Blogger | 40 comments

Today's guest post is by David H. Safford. David is the author of The Bean of Life, the story of a man who decides to save the world with coffee. Read a free preview before the September 20th launch. When he’s not worrying about his caffeine intake, David coaches writers and teaches his daughter how to be a hero by playing as many Legend of Zelda games as possible.

Let’s be honest.

There is no such thing as Writer’s Block.

Writer's Block is a Lie

This is a phrase that we use to describe the frustrating experience of wishing to write without being able to.

But there’s no such thing.

We say that we have this thing called “writer’s block” and it’s the reason why we’ll never achieve our dreams. As if it’s a contracted disease.

But it doesn’t exist.

What we are experiencing is the self-inflicted phenomenon of writers making choices that frequently lead to failure.

And knowing that writer’s block is a myth is exactly what you need to beat it.

Getting Stuck

There are two times when writers tend to get stuck:

  1. The Start of a Story
  2. The Middle of a Story

In order words, you’re most likely to experience a “block” either 1) when you have the inspiration to write a story, but can’t figure out where to start, or 2) when you’re knee-deep in a story but can’t figure out how to get your characters from the middle to the end.

The solution is to recognize that these different points in the story-telling journey (The Start and The Middle) require entirely different strategies to get unstuck and move forward.

Stuck at the Start

All stories begin with the very seedling of creativity: Inspiration.

It’s essential to understand that Inspiration is usually just a single element of a story. Here are some examples:

  • Meeting a single mother who works 3 jobs: This is ONLY a character with a goal and motivation, but not a Story.
  • Visiting the glistening beaches of Hawaii: This is ONLY a setting where a Story can take place.

Stories require goal-driven characters, settings that push back against the pursuit of those goals, and character choices with increasing stakes.

Inspiration can’t deliver all of that.

So when you are inspired by a situation, an observation, an overheard conversation, remember: This is not a Story.

It is just Inspiration.

And Inspiration—on its own—tends to get a writer blocked.

Unblocking the Start

Remember: There’s no such thing as “writer’s block.”

It’s the self-inflicted phenomenon of writers making choices that frequently lead to failure.

So what choices don’t lead to failure?

Strategic choices.

A good place to start is in the management of your Inspiration.

Track it. Keep a journal. Take notes of the emotions you feel in particular situations or around different people.

And then, when you do sit down to begin a story, go into it knowing that the Inspiration alone isn’t enough.

If you’ve been inspired by a setting, realize that you’re going to need characters and conflict. If you meet a person with a larger-than-life personality, plan on giving him some goals that he can’t achieve yet.

Writing isn’t a purely imaginative activity. It’s highly strategic from the start to the end.

Stuck in the Middle

“The Middle” of a project is an incredibly broad concept.

But we all know what it is. It’s the part that is well beyond the beginning where your characters are established, and it’s long before the ending that you’ve got cooking in your mind.

Now remember, Middles aren’t hard in and of themselves.

Middles are hard because we make them hard.

Since “writer’s block” is the self-inflicted phenomenon of writers making choices that frequently lead to failure, we need to make the successful choice:

To plan and follow through.  

Unblocking the Middle

The Middle of a story is essential for escalating the conflict. It’s where the characters do the most growing.

The Middle is a long sequence of agonizing choices with many consequences and rewards.

I know Endings are more fun. I truly do.

But you can’t earn an ending without a well-planned and maniacally rewritten Middle.

Pixar gets this. In Toy Story, Woody spends Act 1 wanting to get rid of Buzz Lightyear. And he does.

And that’s when the movie really begins. Choices. Pain. Suffering. Fighting.

Story.

So what do we do when we’re “stuck” in The Middle?

Here are 3 steps you need to take every single time you experience that “thing” known as “writer’s block” in the Middle of a project:

  1. Save a copy of the draft.
  2. Reflect on the choices you made.
  3. Make new, deliberate, unpredictable, and risky choices.

When you get “blocked” (and you will), stop and save a copy of the draft with a new title. I use a sequencing system: “TITLE 1.0,” “TITLE 1.1,” “TITLE 1.2,” and so on.

Then, as you experiment, keep a novel journal to reflect on character motivations, flaws, choices, actions, and the like, and then make new choices that won’t lead you into the same narrative dead-end.

Also, create a “TITLE_EXTRAS” document to store all the chapters, scenes, and sentences that you choose to change, but can’t quite bring yourself to part with. I did, and it’s 60,000 words long.

Yeah.

I cut or changed 60,000 words from my novel, The Bean of Life.

And why did I keep all of it?

Because I don’t let my emotions carry me away when I get “stuck.” I make a plan and stick to it.

Because I believe that my dream of telling stories is worth it.

Will You Get Unblocked?

Is your dream worth a few strategic steps?

I believe it is.

So if “writer’s block” is the self-inflicted phenomenon of writers making choices that frequently lead to failure, remember: The choices are yours.

Time to make new ones.

I don’t believe in writer’s block.

I do believe in Writer’s Quit.

Because that’s all it is. We run into obstacles of our own making and blame it on the narrative boogey-man.

But you’re better than that.

Do you want to be a story-teller who never quits?

Where do you get stuck? How do you get unstuck? Let me know in the comments.

PRACTICE

Time to tackle the places where you're stuck. For the next fifteen minutes, do one of the following exercises:

If you're stuck at the beginning of a new story, write out your inspiration. What was that original nugget of an idea that made you want to start writing in the first place? Spend fifteen minutes brainstorming, fleshing it out from just a setting or just a character into an idea for a full story.

If you're stuck in the middle of your work-in-progress, experiment with a new narrative choice. Take a risk and point your story in an unexpected direction. For fifteen minutes, explore this choice, its consequences, and the ways your characters react to it.

When you're done, post your practice in the comments. Then, leave feedback for other writers. Can you think of any more unexpected twists and turns to help them get unblocked?

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40 Comments

  1. Beverly Ann

    Today’s prompt could not have been more relevant—dealing with writer’s block at the beginning of a new story. I am intrigued by today’s post. In particular, these sentences glaringly jumped out at me. There is no such thing as writer’s block. It’s the self-inflicted phenomenon of writers making choices that frequently lead to failure.” In reflection, I pondered my current writing situation. Let me frame it.
    So, I started working on another narrative nonfiction piece. This one takes place in a nearby national park. Earlier this year, I came up with the topic, a rough outline and then started collecting information and visiting the national park. Then for no apparent reason, the writing wheels stopped and although I’ve pondered the subject matter, I did not actually sit down to write. Realizing that this was not getting me anywhere, I decided to develop a game plan to help me refocus. Coincidentally, I spent time about an hour yesterday working with a coach brainstorming next steps and generate concrete steps.
    As I read today’s post and saw the suggestions made when stuck at the start, I could not help but smile. The very first step we agreed upon was to find a visual representation (picture or object) that would act as my inspiration. This would be prominently displayed in my writing spot to draw me into writing. Our discussion got me to focus on why I wanted to write this piece. Once that was decided, I revisited my graphic organizer to assist in fleshing out the flow of the piece. I feel I will be making steady headway on my new piece.
    I walk away from today’s post realizing that the quote that jumped out at me is so relevant. Writer’s block is a man-made tool toward failure only if you let it become so. Success does emerge out of hard work and having a game plan and dedication will keep you on track.

    Reply
    • Bruce Carroll

      A game plan — that’s exactly what I need as a writer! I’ve been fortunate as I work on my first novel to have found a friend who has rapidly become a fan. I’ve promised her the next three chapters by October first. My game plan is accountability!

      Find a game plan that works for you and implement it. Don’t feel you have to stick to that plan exclusively: if it isn’t working change the plan or get a new one.

    • Beverly Ann

      You nailed it Bruce. I like having a game plan but I recognize that it is not carved in stone. The plan must be flexible and adjust as the writing process casts obstacles in the story development.

    • David H. Safford

      This is awesome! My goal was to diagnose “writer’s block” as an action, rather than a feeling or lack of inspiration, and you’re taking bold actions that will lead to success.

      I love your coach’s tip to post a picture of your inspiration – this will hopefully “anchor” you to the foundation of your piece. And if you keep getting stuck in the middle of it, remember that character choices drive any narrative forward, not description, luck, or even dialogue. Choices. And always keep those characters moving forward with choices, even if the piece ends up straying a little from your nonfiction source. A good story usually trumps facts.

      Good luck!

  2. S.Ramalingam

    You are describing writer’s block in a different nomenclature, I mean as ‘a self-inflicted phenomenon’ that too in a different context,i.e when a writer was writing a story.But leave aside the story.When a person is not writing anything.But he simply wants to write something.But he cannot but he simply stares at the computer screen.Only after getting his mind diverted from writing, say going somewhere else, doing entirely something different etc, restore him as a writer.If a writer, even if he does not write anything particular gets stuck and unable to write anything is what we all call ‘writers Block.’

    Reply
    • David H. Safford

      I think this situation still applies. To simply sit and go, without any inspiration or plan, requires an enormous amount of luck (or insane brilliance). Usually we don’t just sit and go – we are inspired, plan in our minds or on paper, and make the attempt. And when the attempt doesn’t work, we need to apply strategies that help us plan to our idea out, or else it might never grow into anything we’re proud of.

    • S.Ramalingam

      I heard about a Nobel Prize winner from US, I cannot exactly recall his name, was afflicted with some kind of terrible mental block and he could not write anything after that momenous feet.How will you describe it ? So mental block is not as the guest blogger pointed out is cheating ourselves.It is a phenomenon which is something extraneous and of course mysterious and perhaps associated with our psychology.Again when your computer crashes all of a sudden or does not work for sometime, how will you describe it?

    • David H. Safford

      Perhaps you are referring to an actual mental condition or disability that would not be known as “writer’s block,” but something associated with memory or cognitive functioning. For writers, “writer’s block” isn’t actually a disease, but a feeling of being stuck. My intent is to reframe “writer’s block” as a series of choices that can be assessed and changed.

    • Tina

      Then, there is the opposite problem of wanting to write too much, and then getting down to writing and running off at the pen. It’s a condition, all right. Called hypergraphia or graphomania. I’ve got the less-desirable latter condition (in terms of being able to produce cogent content that is logical, stays on-task and makes a great deal of sense). But I think hypergraphia has a lot to do with also having seizures; and I’m not in a condition to want to have to deal with THAT problem ( 😉 )

    • Beverly Ann

      Good point, but, I think it still boils down to David’s premise about choice. Discovering this site and the 15 minute daily practice is a way to keep the writing flowing. If the words don’t flow I return to the different writing strategies I’ve acquired. Sometimes, I just sit and do free writing on an object lying around the house, or a topic from the newscast or just focusing on an interesting person I observed while people watching. The goal is to keep in the habit of writing on a regular basis. So, your idea of distracting yourself and then coming back works wonders as well.

  3. Bruce Carroll

    I never believed in writer’s block until I read the practice assignment above. I always thought “writer’s block” was a literary device invented by writers to use in stories ABOUT writers. But the instructions, “experiment with a new narrative choice. Take a risk and point your story in an unexpected direction” were about as helpful as sitting me in front of my laptop and saying, “write!” I spent a full hour and a half browsing the internet and wracking my brain for a “new narrative choice” or “an unexpected direction.” I did toy with the idea of something supernatural, but my WIP is so close to reality without being in it I felt this would be the wrong choice. Besides, what sort of supernatural event should I explore?

    After an hour and a half, I gave up on the assignment. I was stuck, but it seemed a little old-fashioned “keep going” would serve me better today. The results of 15 minutes using that approach (it may have been 20) are below.

    For those who have not been following my WIP, Akiko is a blind teenager who was rescued from a burning warehouse in San Francisco. She has no memory of her past. She was placed in a foster home, but her foster parents died in what Akiko believes was an attempt to kill her. She has fled San Francisco. We pick up in chapter three….

    ~ ~ ~

    El Estero Park,
    Monterey, CA
    The breeze was comforting as she sat on the wooden park bench. From the way sound reflected in front of her, she had deduced there was a lake here. She could hear people all around: young children playing as their parents gathered in chatty groups; skaters enjoying the skate park and letting the occasional swear word fly; people jogging and walking on what she took to be an exercise trail. She heard a splash in the lake as someone caught a fish. Further out on the lake was more splashing, gentle, but persistent. Probably a rowboat and not a swimmer, she decided. Birds both large and small chirped, cawed, and called throughout the park. She could smell the salty air blowing in from the sea.

    She unzipped her backpack and took her cell phone from the inner pocket where she always kept it. Feeling the buttons with her fingertips, she called Tommy.

    “Akiko?”

    “Hi, Tommy.” Her voice sounded strange to her. Haggard. She wondered if she were coming down with a cold.

    “Are you alright?”

    “I’m fine.”

    “Where are you?” He didn’t try to hide the concern in his voice.

    “I’m fine. I’m in a park, but I won’t say where. Just know I’m safe.”

    “How are you…getting by?”

    Akiko considered how much she should tell Tommy. If he knew where she had been staying – or could find out where she might stay in the future – whoever it was who was looking for her might find out. They might even force him to tell them. On the other hand, if she didn’t tell him anything, he would worry. He might even get his parents involved.

    “There are places for people like me,” she told him.

    “People like you?”

    “Homeless teens. Runaways. I had a hot meal, a shower, and a bed to sleep in last night. I’ll be fine. Just don’t go trying to figure out where I am.”

    “I may not have to,” he said. “You’re all over the news. Mr. and Mrs. Olsen…well, you were right about them. They’re dead. The police say the fire was suspicious. Some reports say people are concerned for your safety and others want for questioning. As a person of interest.”

    Reply
    • David H. Safford

      Think of an “unexpected choice” as a choice made by the character, not necessarily by the author. If you’re feeling stuck or blocked, one of the best ways to work your way out of it is to have your characters try things that scare them – or better yet, scare you. The key word here is “experiment” – it’s not magic; it’s hard, grueling labor that yields precious narrative fruit.

      Thanks for sharing your WIP!

    • Beth Schmelzer

      Your story is intriguing. What age is your audience? I ask because I write and enjoy children’s lit. from chapter books to YA. Great beginning ! Would like to read more .
      Beth

  4. Jon

    I’m ready to take things up another level. This idea of writer’s block will be no more. I’ll finish the novels that have given me grief. I’ll create stories, and finish them. No longer will I be a slave to this hallucination known as “writer’s block”. Today is the day when writer’s block will be blocked out of my life as a writer, forever.

    Reply
    • David H. Safford

      I certainly hope so. Good luck!

  5. George McNeese

    The myth of “Writer’s Block” makes a lot more sense when it’s broken down. And the reasons for said blocks make sense, too. I tend to get more stuck in the beginning. Sometimes, I don’t know how to get the story started. And from what I’ve read, it’s a matter of fully fleshing out characters, giving them purpose and creating conflicts from the very start. Particularly essential in short story writing. I get stuck in the middle, too, because I don’t have roadblocks strewn throughout the story. I think it may be a reason why I have trouble finishing stories; because I don’t have the key components.

    Reply
    • David H. Safford

      Amen! One of my favorite tools is a “bubble” map that visualizes each character, his/her goals, and how those desires affect the other characters. When I do this, scenes begin to explode in my mind!

    • Tina

      Is this “bubble” map what I think it is? Have you been doing mind-mapping (a.k.a. The Branch Method?) for the plot, too? I do mine for the plot only, because I am of the opinion that I cannot think straight to begin with …

    • David H. Safford

      Probably… that’s the English teacher in me talking! Basically, I put my protagonist in the middle of the map and then surround him/her with the 3-5 characters with the greatest impact on his/her goal. I connect those circles with lines, and on the lines I state what each character wants from the other. If they all agree, then my story needs serious adjustment. If they mostly disagree, then I’ve got some scenes to draft! (And I find that doing this for character feeds plotting, but that may just be me.)

    • Tina

      I hardly sacrifice the characters for the plot in the kind of story I’m writing; it’s just the opposite. It’s just that I have to be able to remember their motivations.

  6. Tina

    This is why the story cannot get started. It had been something I felt about a kind of greeting card that I really liked. A subtle one full of digs. Then comes inspiration from a blogger that made a big splash over the Internet over something controversial. And memories of all sorts of small business bosses I’d had in many sectors: the non-profit, for profit and for-benefit sectors … not one of them high-tech, but I’ll worry about that pesky little detail later. Then, I’m throwing in readings and personal experience with educators in the New York City public schools.

    The project is getting me away from politics in the U.S., which has proven to be a major distraction to its progress into its beginning. Maybe that would be considered a saving grace.
    Of course, I am throwing in that I am certainly writing-against-type as I am affected greatly by drinking – even before it had become medically contraindicated for me. My protagonist (and this romance cannot have co-protagonists per se, as it is supposed to be this acerbic, snide, ironic take on the whole darn thing) has a hollow leg with booze, BUT …

    As a parenthetical, I am not sure that caffeinated coffee helps my writing at all, at least not with conjuring ideas. I’ve recently cut down from quite a large amount (!) but then retrogressed a little; it is costly, as I’d rather drink plenty of decaf than no coffee at all. This cutting down made me pretty hard-to-take among people. However, I realize that maybe I do not understand your project, if it is to be about caffeinated coffee and/or teas.
    When something is all over the place, it starts in fits and starts; bogged down as it is by research in things I do not yet know.

    Reply
    • Tina

      One of the magic but real coffees in The Bean reads an awful lot like guayusa tea to me, which does exist in reality “as I know it”. Well, I respond to that tea that way … yep, it makes me sound suspicious and off-the-wall …

    • David H. Safford

      Thanks for sharing your project, Tina! I’m glad it’s distracting you from our current political turmoil. It also sounds like you’re bringing a lot of inspiration together. Sometimes we can’t stuff every detail we’d like to into a story, and we have to make sacrifices. Perhaps consider what your heart is really longing to say, and focus on the 1-2 most inspirational details and build them into a story with characters (who can’t get their goals), a setting (that won’t let them get their goals easily), and conflict (between those characters).

      And by the way, I’ve had to cut down my own caffeine consumption as well. It does horrors for my anxiety. And while The Bean is certainly about the power of coffee, I’d say it’s really about the people who depend on it to solve their problems. Thanks for commenting!

    • Tina

      Basically it’s then about an unmarried couple who banters; and they travel; and she’s a customer service manager and stress is turning her into a caricature. I have to emphasize it’s neither drunk nor pathetic but a very well serving psychological defense. And this guy, no prize except he’s got a way with gifted kids and has a touch of business genius.
      I already gave some excerpts (and there are not many much more) on this blog.

      Way to get me away from the election, right? Even if I sound like an eleven year old when distilling it.

  7. Ariel Benjamin

    This is the most liberating berating I’ve ever received. (And I mean that with all gratitude.) *clap emoji*

    Reply
    • David H. Safford

      Trust me, I wrote this to exercise my own demons! Thanks for the comment!

  8. Sheila B

    I’m not sure if I am stuck in the beginning or the middle.
    My inspiration is multi-fold: a memory of wanting to kill a lover to whom I was addicted, and having read a very popular who-done-it that I didn’t like, and the possibility of actually having the narrator be the killer , and taking the plunge to write in the genre of mystery, which I’ve never done.

    I think the idea of having the narrator be the “un-sub” as the Criminal Minds characters refer to the suspect(s), is a new direction, but I haven’t read that much of the genre either. However, I have watched a lot of mystery on TV. I want to leave hints throughout the writing but at same time have the reveal surprise the reader, not as a gimmick, but as a journey in self-discovery.

    So, I have the lead in, I have the discovery of the body, I have back-story of the relationship between the victim and the narrator, some of the victims friends and the narrator, a law enforcement office and the narrator leading to the policeman being a suspect, family members of the victim, some personal history of the narrator, and am not sure where to go next.

    Typically I just start or keep writing and let the characters lead me. I think I’m afraid of my lack of experience in this genre and the research it will require, the time it will consume, also of course the usual fear of failure.

    What now comes to mind is having the narrator decide she’s certain of who the killer is, and following that belief down a rabbit hole, where she discovers things about the victim that she didn’t know and that surprise and scare her and then lead her to think it’s someone else. Or is that just the standard for the genre?

    I don’t know why I think that on this my first venture, I need to be unique, other than the killer being the narrator but not knowing it until late in the game, and I don’t know know if that even is all that unique. I did a quick search of that turn but found only True Crimes, actual crimes narrated by the actual perps, and those are few, the most famous being MONSTER: My True Story, by A.Wuornos. I doubt she leaves any question at the beginning of her book as to her identity as the perpetrator of crimes. But maybe I should read it and see and let it also inform my writing.

    I love letting my reading and true life experience mold my writing. Reading this post, “Writer’s Block Is a Lie — and It’s Ruining Your Writing” and doing this exercise has informed my writing, opened me up and taken me beyond my fears and self limitations. Thank you, David H. Safford!

    Reply
    • David H. Safford

      You’re so welcome!

      This idea reminds me of Donald Kaufman’s “The Three” in the film “Adaptation” – if you haven’t seen it, it’s the perfect movie for a frustrated writer – where the killer, detective, AND victim are all the same person.

      Anyway, it seems as though your story hinges on the narrator’s knowledge of whether or not he/she is the killer. If he does, then you have a deliberately unreliable narrator, deceiving the reader and the characters simultaneously. If he doesn’t, then you have a brain-damaged psychopath, like Tyler Durden from “Fight Club.”

      The choice, honestly, is yours – but within this premise (of the detective also being the killer) you’re largely blazing your own trail. You’ll need a constant regimen of experimental drafts followed by reflecting/planning. I can say, though, that if you’re longing to write a mystery, then your narrator probably has to be brain-damaged (or something like it), so that he/she is horrified WITH the reader at the revelation of what he/she’s done. If you want the narrator to be fully aware, however, then you’re delving into the realm of psychological thriller, something along the lines of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado.”

      Thank you for sharing such an intriguing idea, and best of luck to you!

  9. TerriblyTerrific

    A nice replacement for the “Writer’s Block.” That phrase always makes me nervous. Thanks!

    Reply
    • David H. Safford

      My goal was to redefine it as a choice, not a condition. Big attitude shift!

    • TerriblyTerrific

      Absolutely!

  10. LilianGardner

    I agree that Writer’s Block is a lie and an excuse for laziness and procrastinating, at least, it is for me.
    What I’m stuck with is the full revision of my novel. I’m going over it mentally, making changes, deleting and adding, and, I hope, improving it.
    I keep saying, ‘tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow’.
    Now that i have more time, I MUST get down to the job.
    Wish me well, everyone, please.

    Reply
    • David H. Safford

      Good luck with your revision – it’s a huge task, but it’s SO worth it!

      And while writer’s block can be an excuse for laziness and procrastinating, it’s also the result of planning and choices that simply don’t work. We take the characters and story in a certain direction, only to find that the result doesn’t meet our vision or expectations. The thing to do, then, is backtrack and see where your characters’ choices lead to a story that isn’t working.

      What new choices can they make? What new risks can raise the stakes? How can the setting be a less hospitable place? Should a new character appear to test the protagonist – or is an existing character pulling away from the protagonist’s pursuit of his/her goal? (I axed a major character halfway through my novel because he had nothing to do with the main pursuit – it was tough, but 100% the right thing to do.)

      Each story element is like a dial that you can turn up or down, getting the “mix” that you want. You just have to identify the spaces in the story where the narrative gets away from you and focus your new direction from there.

      Good luck!

    • LilianGardner

      Thanks, David. I like your suggestions.

  11. Lola Palooza

    I got as far as ‘Middles are hard because we make them hard,’ and something started to happen. I thought about where a story I’m currently working on should go (I always have at least a dozen poems and bits-of-stories saved in Word on my phone), and as I carried on reading your article, the middle-to-end just pushed its way though like a baby crowning in a heaven full of angels.
    Picture that one if you dare.
    But yes, now I have my full story. It’s not bad either and pretty funny stuff. So thank you very much for helping to lift the veil on the thing that has tortured me for far too long.
    This is a very important article – I think writers sometimes need to hear it (or read it) from someone else to establish objectivity, which is strange when you think about it.
    My hat is off to you.

    Reply
    • David H. Safford

      And mine to you! And yes, I dared to picture your image and LOLed…

      I hope that the folks reading this article also understand that overcoming “writer’s block” doesn’t happen overnight. It takes TIME. And sometimes our hearts/brains/souls aren’t in the right place to discover the best mix of elements to make the story work, and we need some maturation, or an outside influence, to finally understand what we’re trying to say. That’s why having a community of writers is so important! Thanks for commenting!

  12. Vince Sandig

    I have a lot of Ideas, but the problem that I am experiencing now is lacking of energy… I wanted to write but my energy and my brain feels sleepy and lack of energy..

    How I can stop this?? I wasted a lot of my time for not able to write even though I really want to, but my brain feels sleepy and lack of mind/Brain energy..

    Reply
    • Sheila B

      what are you doing with yourself instead of writing?

    • Vince Sandig

      I watched some behind the scene of fantasy movies or trailers sometimes movies…

      Do you know how to avoid it or prevent from having this kind of problem??
      I really don’t know why, because even the part of my story is very interesting but my brain is lack of energy to do it and I feels sleepy that’s why I can’t write even my mind wanted to write but my brain’s energy couldn’t.
      I am writing fantasy Story about enchantment and I love it, but because of that I can’t do it.

  13. Jesse Leigh Brackstone

    I’ve never experienced writer’s block – procrastination occasionally – but never a ‘can’t do it’ element, but then I never plan a story, they all appear unbidden, and I am driven until I write them down. Procrastination only comes into play in rewrites, which I don’t always enjoy as much as the first draft.
    I find beginnings delicious and love writing that first paragraph, which pours out of my pen as if it were liquid gold.
    By the time I’m in the middle of a story, my characters all seem to know, far better than I, where they are taking me.
    Whether writing a novel, song, or poem, I always feel more akin to a conduit than the proverbial man at the helm.

    Reply

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  1. Monday Must-Reads [09.12.16] - […] “Writer’s Block” Is a Lie—And It’s Ruining Your Writing […]
  2. cure writer's block - […] discussion concerning “writer’s block”. And there is a little bit of controversy. Is writer’s block real or not? Author…
  3. If I Could Write Stories Like I Do Poems – The Forty-first Day - […] dawned on me as I read David H. Safford’s piece on Writers Block on thewritepractice.com that perhaps the reason I…
  4. Writing Links Round Up 9/12-9/17 – B. Shaun Smith - […] “Writer’s Block” Is a Lie—And It’s Ruining Your Writing […]
  5. Writer’s Block: the Myth – TheRightofWriting - […] dawned on me as I read David H. Safford’s piece on Writers Block on thewritepractice.com that perhaps the reason I…
  6. 2 Ways to Beat Writing Procrastination and Finish Your WIP - The Write Practice - […] The other huge reason why I was putting off my writing was because I was stuck in a mental…
  7. How You'll Recover From Writer's Block - The Write Practice - […] I’ve struggled with writer’s block many, many, many times. I know the fear it causes (I’ll never write again, I…
  8. Middle of the Story: 5 Gripping Ways to Revive Your Story's Messy Middle - […] year back, I wrote a post arguing that Writer’s Block is just a myth, and that what really afflicts…
  9. Middle of the Story: 5 Gripping Ways to Revive Your Story’s Messy Middle – Art of Conversation - […] year back, I wrote a post arguing that Writer’s Block is just a myth, and that what really afflicts…
  10. Rules of Writing: How to Create Your Own Rules | Creative Writing - […] it anyway. I do that because my own personal weakness is to let fear and doubt, exhaustion and writer’s…
  11. Writing Prompts: 7 Inspirational Ideas to Spark Your Creative Writing - […] This is a great starter for folks with “writer’s block.” Don’t let the pressure to be “good enough” stop…
  12. Healing From Shame: How to Overcome the Insidious Cause of Writer's Block - […] may declare that we have a case of writer’s block, particularly if we’ve wrestled with the vexation for weeks…
  13. When I don’t feel like writing ✍ – 12 Months of Stories - […] Some suggest, like I hinted at earlier, that writer’s block isn’t real. It’s just a construct. I think my…

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