The beliefs underlying writer’s block
Writer’s block comes in many forms.
The most obvious form is the “total stop” kind of writer’s block where even if you wanted to write something, you just can’t.
Writer’s block also takes other, more subtle forms. Sometimes it is merely a palpable constriction in your motivation to write.
In this constricted space, ideas don’t come quickly, if they come at all. Words feel labored. Writing isn’t as fun as it could be.
The constricted type of writer’s block can be less obvious than the “total stop” style. It can be hard to label what you’re experiencing as a form of writer’s block.
By examining our underlying beliefs about how writing is supposed to look, we make it possible to root out what is causing any constriction in the flow of ideas and language.
For example, it is common for writers who feel constricted about their ability to flow with language to hold a deep limiting belief that the writing they do needs to be “correct.” However, this belief is part of the problem. Believing that there is somehow a way of “getting it right” is a surefire way of limiting the flow.
Debunking writer’s block
“I can only start writing once I know what I’m going to say.”
Untrue! It’s so so beneficial to start writing before you know what you’re going to say. Depth freewriting asks that you
- Write without stopping
- Stay in the moment; perceive, don’t judge
- Focus toward where you want to go
Focusing where you want to go means looking in the general direction. This is not a limiting factor! It can be as simple as feeling whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment. Without knowing what you’re going to write, you begin to write, and you feel what you’re feeling as you do this. A minute or two, maybe more, might pass like this. It does not matter what you’re writing! How it looks from the outside isn’t important at this stage. All that matters is what you feel right now and that you continue to write.
What happens most of the time is that things start to become clearer after awhile.
But I shouldn’t write until I know what I’m going to say. It makes a mess.
If the mess bothers you, then go back later and delete the mess.
It’s easier now than ever to do that.
Just let the mess be there for however long you choose to be in the writing phase.
Let the mess be a part of the process.
We fear incoherence. We fear looking unintelligent. We fear
Are you seeing a common theme there?
So let’s turn that on its head. Instead of letting the fear run the show, we can act anyway. We can Feel the Fear … and Do It Anyway
Miracles happen that way. Amazing transformation can happen by doing this. It doesn’t need to be complicated for the transformation to be hugely impactful.
You’re going to sit there anyway. Why not spend that time doing something that can at least even create the possibility of making something good happen?
If you don’t write, nothing will happen.
If you do write, you risk entering a state that you are afraid of. Maybe you will even write something that makes you even more afraid or angry or confused.
So just don’t hold onto the fear. Keep flowing with the process. Even if everything about the fear seems true, even if it gets worse for awhile, it will pass if you let it.
Focus where you want to go, not on the things you don’t want.
And be kind to yourself. You’re fighting a battle that is truly worth fighting.