You have been writing away every night for two hours, inspiration is flowing and you are in the zone. Suddenly, for no reason, you come to a full stop (and I don’t mean the grammatical kind!).
Even experienced authors can suffer from writer’s block, so take heart. There may be many reasons why your creativity has deserted you and once you identify what it is, you can put pen to paper once more.
A common problem is lack of self-belief and the fear that you are not good enough. When you write, you are inevitably opening yourself up to criticism from others, but you may find that your own inner critic is the worst culprit.
If this is the case, simply notice what it says, where you feel it in your body and even who it sounds like (e.g. your old English teacher?!). You can then say something such as “I see you and I accept you” or think about transforming it into a more positive source of helpful feedback.
As the old saying goes, the only way out is through. Try to stay present with your writing process and keep going without judgment. Furthermore, like anything you do, writing improves with practise and the more you do the better you’ll get.
Alternatively you may feel that your inspiration has flown out the window. The word inspiration really means to be ‘in spirit’, which is the source of all creativity. Replenishing this inner wellspring of ideas can help to overcome writer’s block and there are various ways to do this.
Changing the scenery may help. Consider going somewhere new to engage your sense of wonder. Or maybe you may have a favourite place that always lifts your spirits. For example, the author Wayne Dyer regularly writes on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
Sometimes it may be simple case of overwork. If so, try spending time in nature, as this can really feed your soul and the outer stillness helps to quiet the inner dialogue. As the mind calms down, you get a new perspective on things and the ideas start to flow.
Moving your body is another great way to clear your mind. It allows you to empty yourself and surrender completely to a higher consciousness. Someone once told me that this is why the Sufis whirl and spin for hours on end.
When I first started blogging, I was shocked to discover how much time had elapsed since my first blog post. I put this down to:
“Procrastination: A hardening of the oughteries.” Anon
A great word, I thought, and it sounded a lot better than indolence!
Joking apart, even an apparent case of laziness, can indicate that you need to rethink your original idea or go in a different direction. It may be as simple as restructuring your book or you may want to write about something else completely. This is perfectly acceptable and you are allowed to change your mind.
Furthermore, many writers say that their writing takes on a life of its own, leading them down paths they would not have envisaged at the outset. Don’t be afraid to explore them.
Like everything writing has its ups and downs. Sometimes you may take a short cut or the long way round, but try to lighten up and enjoy the journey for that ultimately is the destination.
Photo credit: Miss Pupik