Writer’s Block and How To Move Forward
by Micah Maddox
Writer’s block is a real thing. I’ve been there, looking at a blank screen, watching the blinking cursor, and wondering if I will ever come up with words that are worth writing or worth reading. It goes something like this. Type words. Delete those words. Type new words. Delete. Delete. Delete.
What follows is usually a mental game of “am I even a writer?” Writer’s block can take even the most accomplished writers to a place of mental and emotional defeat.
There are a few things I have learned that take me from feeling defeated and depleted of words to inspired and ready to write.
- Get fresh air. There is nothing more inspiring than stepping outside, taking a deep breath, and looking around at God’s creation. You might have a view of a neighbor’s home, a cow pasture, sky scrapers, mountains, farmlands, green grass or the desert. No matter what your view, you can find beauty and inspiration if you look for it. It might take a few minutes or a few days, but keep breathing and keep looking for something to spark your mind.
- Get moving. Take a walk, a bike ride, a car ride or do something to move your body from where you are right now to a new location. On the way, keep your eyes and mind open. Don’t look for something to write about; just soak in what you see, hear and feel.
- Get lunch with a friend. Sometimes as writers, we coop ourselves up behind our computers so much that we forget to make time for social interaction. Text a friend and set up a coffee or lunch date and talk about life. Choose topics other than writing. Take time to ask questions and listen intentionally to what your friend is saying. Don’t listen to get something to write about, but rather listen as a friend.
- Get praying. You may wonder why this one wasn’t first on the list. If these tips were in order, from most important to least important, this one would make number one. But it’s here in our list because sometimes you have to get your body moving before your heart will follow. It’s hard to just snap out of writer’s block and get your heart in the right place. It often takes living life. Letting time pass. Letting life happen before we are ready to put words to prayers and before we are ready to put words on paper. While we know the Spirit intercedes for us, when it comes to writer’s block, sometimes God gives us seasons when we are slower to speak. It’s not a curse; it’s for a cause. God is working in and through you to make your message deeper. While you wait, pray. Ask God to cultivate words in your heart that will be compelling and life-changing for your reader.
- Get writing. Don’t expect to sit down and write a novel in one sitting. Write one word if that is all you have. Then try one sentence. The next goal is one paragraph. Once you complete your paragraph, if more words are flowing, go for it. If not, step away from your computer and come back later and try again.
Writer’s block is sure to hit at some point. You are not alone if you seem to hit a wall and can’t get over it. Take one or two of these ideas and see how it goes. You are a writer! Words will come again. Give yourself grace and a little time.
Love and blessings,
Has writer’s block ever hit you? Share about your experience in the comments, and share your biggest takeaway from the blog post.
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I’ve been here before and am living this moment again. Right now I feel stuck. But I trust that the Lord is preparing me to be “deep” in what I am going to write.