Overcoming writer’s block in 556 words

For the last few days, I’ve been in a funk. Like a seriously funky funk. And if I’m to be perfectly honest, it has everything to do with this blog. I’ve been thinking about taking it in a new direction and it’s been stressing me out. Over the course of a few days, I went from confident, happy, cup-half-full blogger to petrified, cranky, cup-half-empty nay-sayer with writer’s block.

So, imagine my reaction earlier today when I came across an email from Melyssa Griffin that opened with these three questions:

  1. Have you ever felt like your negative emotions are ruining your life?
  2. That anxiety is holding you back from your true potential?
  3. Or are you scared to take action because you fear failure?

Heck, yes, heck, yes, and heck, yes.

And how the heck did Melyssa Griffin know about my writer’s block?

For the most part, I’m a believer that there are no coincidences in life, so I took Melyssa’s email on board and did what she was calling me to do. I listened to her podcast, “Why fear, anxiety, and negativity are necessary for a positive life.” In this episode, she interviews Mark Manson. Mark is the #1 New York Times Best-Selling Author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. While Melissa had me hooked at the opening question, I was all the more keen to follow-through as I happen to have read his book and believe him to be a giver of pretty sound advice.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

While the entire podcast was a worthwhile listen, my most valuable take-away came from the dialogue that followed this comment:

It’s easier to be an artist that no one’s heard of versus an artist that nobody likes.

As Mark explains, if you’re walking around with a great business idea in your head, you’re tapped into the potential of something exciting in the future, and that feels good — all the time. The minute  you start to execute it, however, it’s no longer in your head. You’re no longer in control, and you’re no longer the only critic. You may succeed. You may fail.

What are you longing to do but afraid to try, just in case you fail?

Running a marathon, speaking in public, starting a book club, opening a bakery — trying anything you’ve never done before is scary stuff. And being scared leaves you vulnerable, whatever the fear.

Right now, I’m scared. For years I’ve ‘joked’ that there’s nothing I’m particularly passionate about. In the last few months, however, I’ve discovered a true passion for writing. Not the kind of writing my clients have been paying me to write for the past 20 years, but the kind of writing that comes straight from my heart (versus a creative brief). The kind of writing that earns me zero dollars in compensation, thereby qualifying me to be a legitimate creative writer. I love it and I want it. Wanting it feels good. Going for it feels scary and that’s where I am today.

How long will this writer’s block last?

Who knows, but truth be told, I’m feeling pretty encouraged right now. You see, in this podcast Mark referenced a novelist’s strategy for overcoming writer’s block. He believed that if he forced himself to write just 200 crappy words a day, he’d be inspired and end up doing way better. I thought I’d give it ago. That’s what prompted me to sit down and write this post, without self-judgement. And here I am, 556 not-so-crappy words later.

By | 2017-08-13T20:10:54+00:00 July 26th, 2017|34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. Lori July 27, 2017 at 10:07 am - Reply

    Great advice – just keep writing! I needed this today. Thanks!

    • THE WORDY MOM July 27, 2017 at 10:35 am - Reply

      Go forth and conquer, Lori!

  2. Dinesh July 27, 2017 at 11:43 am - Reply

    Writing block is something we come across almost every other day… I refer to my own experiences as a parent to deal with the same

    • THE WORDY MOM July 27, 2017 at 12:41 pm - Reply

      Well then there’s definitely no shortage of content for you, Dinesh!

  3. The Salty Mamas July 27, 2017 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    I have that book in my Amazon wishlist right now! Looks like I’ll have to pick it up.

    • THE WORDY MOM July 27, 2017 at 1:27 pm - Reply

      Definitely. It’s a great read.

  4. prasna July 27, 2017 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing. It was like a pat on the back and a push coming across your article today. Truly gave me strength.

    • THE WORDY MOM July 27, 2017 at 2:09 pm - Reply

      I’m so pleased. One step at a time : )

  5. Ophira | Easy Mommy Life July 27, 2017 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    Mark Manson is one of my favorites too. I have to agree it’s difficult being creative all the time. You put out the struggles of creative writing very well here. Looking forward to hearing more from you😊

    • THE WORDY MOM July 27, 2017 at 5:46 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much. I hope you’ll hear more from me, too, as that’ll mean I’ve overcome my writer’s block ; )

  6. Rumaisa July 27, 2017 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Just what I needed to read as I am in a similar state of mind. Thanks for the insightful post!

    • THE WORDY MOM July 27, 2017 at 10:37 pm - Reply

      I feel your pain, sista! Glad you found it valuable.

  7. Erica July 27, 2017 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    Great read, thank you!

    • THE WORDY MOM July 27, 2017 at 10:37 pm - Reply

      Thanks for stopping by, Erica!

  8. Jessica July 27, 2017 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    Very inspirational! Writers block always comes at the most annoying times for me!

    • THE WORDY MOM July 27, 2017 at 10:36 pm - Reply

      Is there ever really a convenient time for writer’s block?!

  9. Jiya B July 27, 2017 at 11:58 pm - Reply

    I get this writing block every now and then and ideas become dry. I loved reading your post. Thanks for sharing.

    • THE WORDY MOM July 28, 2017 at 8:49 am - Reply

      Give the ‘200 crappy words’ a try. It might work!

  10. jhilmil July 28, 2017 at 6:28 am - Reply

    I need such posts so many times, it’s so motivational to us being bloggers and writers.

    • THE WORDY MOM July 28, 2017 at 8:51 am - Reply

      Yep. Writer’s block comes with the territory unfortunately.

  11. Shell July 28, 2017 at 8:30 am - Reply

    Great read and nice to know that I’m not the only one who feels this way sometimes 🙂

    • THE WORDY MOM July 28, 2017 at 8:50 am - Reply

      Goodness, no. You’re not alone!

  12. Neha July 28, 2017 at 9:17 am - Reply

    This is really motivating, thanks for sharing. I can relate to anxiety. But the best was that the moment your idea is being executed, it is no longer in your control.

    • THE WORDY MOM July 28, 2017 at 9:55 am - Reply

      I know. That’s such an important thing to recognize.

  13. Belle July 28, 2017 at 9:31 am - Reply

    Such great advice!

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

    • THE WORDY MOM July 28, 2017 at 9:54 am - Reply

      Seemed to work for me!

  14. Kanani Stone July 28, 2017 at 10:29 am - Reply

    Melyssa’s emails always get me thinking!

    • THE WORDY MOM July 28, 2017 at 10:46 am - Reply

      Yep. So glad I subscribed!

  15. Ayana July 28, 2017 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    I am just coming out of a ‘blogging block’ where I just had no desire to write anything. It feels good to come out of it but i’m feeling extra exhausted too lol.

    • THE WORDY MOM July 28, 2017 at 1:36 pm - Reply

      I can imagine. Just keep thinking “200 crappy words… just 200 crappy words”!

  16. Tasheena @ SimplyTasheena.com July 28, 2017 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    Very insightful post. I have writer’s block out of nowhere some days. I hate when it happens and I’m happy when it’s over.

    • THE WORDY MOM July 28, 2017 at 9:17 pm - Reply

      I just sat down to write. Got nothing!

  17. Jenni July 29, 2017 at 4:24 am - Reply

    This was great. I’ve had writers block once or twice and really struggled to overcome it.

    • THE WORDY MOM July 29, 2017 at 1:39 pm - Reply

      Only once or twice? I’d count yourself lucky!

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