Does this look like you when starting a writing project or in the middle of the project?  There are things you can do to prevent the ominous “writer’s block.”   The source for this horrible condition comes from the expectations we place on ourselves.  Here are a few tips that might help.

  • If feeling pressured, get up and move.  Take a walk.  Go shopping.  Meet with a friend.  Have a glass of wine and put your writing aside.  Move your body by doing something.  The stress you feel remains in your body until you work it out, which could be preventing your mind from relaxing.
  • Believe it or not, you are a beautiful human being.  When you relax, your writing flows freely.  This shows your reader, who you are.  However, if you strain, you will not give your reader a true representation of you.  Let your big beautiful self shine by relaxing enough to allow it.
  • All writers share the same insecurities.  We are all in the same boat.  Your fears are no different than the big hitters.  Ralph Keyes in The Courage to Write states that “writers play for the highest stakes; namely, pride, reputation, love, commitment. . . Authors always feel in danger of being abandoned by their loved ones.”   The best thing you can do for yourself is to write for yourself and no one else initially.  Get your story out.  Enjoy the journey you’re on exploring and discovering your shadow parts.  There is a time for thinking about your reader’s response, but it is not when you begin your story.
  • Join some reputable writers’ groups.  Having constructive feedback from others will help to boost your confidence level immensely.  I do not recommend friends or family for this process.  I used to hate taking part in writers’ groups.  However, more recently, I am starting to embrace them for the power they hold.
  • Read books that are written by authors who understand the writing process.  Most authors who have been published by a publishing house know how to move through this sometimes painful process.
  • Try using different writing materials.  Use the computer or switch to a pen and pad.  Try different pens.  Check out your environment.  If you’re distracted, you won’t be able to write.  I can’t remember which author this was, but he ended up writing in his basement with a bag over his head to prevent his eyes from seeing anything other than his work in front of him.
  • If you are in the middle of your story and find yourself feeling highly emotional, you may want to consider seeking professional help to move through your difficult experiences.  Writing memoir is not for the weak hearted.  Sometimes, we end up in a place through our writing that is extremely difficult to process, which can prevent us from moving forward.