Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is defined as the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing. Writer’s block may have several causes. Some are creative problems that originate within an author’s work itself. I have fifty-seven pages of an unfinished screenplay sitting on the hard drive of my laptop. Although I have not experienced an overall loss of creativity, I am stuck regarding my script. Writer’s block may also be related to running out of inspiration. Sometimes we are distracted by events in our life.

Regarding writer’s block, I want to mention several things that do not help you to get unstuck. You cannot overcome writer’s block by deciding not to write until you feel inspired. I’ve heard fellow writers say, “I’m waiting on my muse.” Mary Jaksch, the Chief Editor of the blog Write to Done, wrote “You don’t have to wait for inspiration to strike in order to be inspired. When you start writing regularly, without inspiration or even an idea, inspiration gradually finds you.” She said, “It’s time to stop waiting for the creative genius to hit, and to simply start doing. To prove (if to no one else but ourselves) that we are, in fact, writers. Because like it or not, the truth is that it’s not really fair to call ourselves writers unless we are, in fact, writing.”

I recently assumed responsibility of running a group for artists and writers at the public library where I work part-time. We will be launching a twelve-week workshop aimed at discovering and recovering our creative self. We are using Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. Each participant will be bringing a project to the workshop that he or she has not been able to move toward completion. (I will be bringing my stalled movie script.) You can find Julia Cameron on her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/juliacameronlive.

If you find yourself blocked creatively, start somewhere. Anywhere. Write a few lines. Don’t think about it too much. Just write and see what happens. It doesn’t need to be eloquent or presentable. It just needs to be written. Write for the sheer joy of it. For me, it’s not possible to not write. Get some words on paper. No excuses. No justification. You can write. Don’t make it harder than it has to be. Just type a few words.  It doesn’t have to feel good. Remember, all first drafts suck. That’s why we don’t show them to anyone. We save tweaking for the revision stage.

For now, just write.


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