Whenever I look at a screen or piece of paper and think oh man I cannot write, which isn’t often, I am reminded to look beneath the affliction commonly known as writer’s block. I look at my excuses and ask what is really going on? I consider my vulnerability and resistance.
I ask myself ‘why are you procrastinating?’ I like a bit of tough talk.
Generally I find that whatever I am writing simply does not resonate. For example I was trying to write something yesterday that I thought I ought to write. I wrote it in fits and starts and then put it away. It will get published when it feels right.
My ability to get something written goes in fits and starts. I am just like you. I write, I stop, I write again. There is always stuff going on, I have learned to go deeper and consider more about who I am and why I feel the way that I do. Journaling and walking remain my best friends, and with them, I can traverse the realms of writing and what holds me back.
Let’s explore your excuses for not writing and writer’s block
Nothing will work unless you do.Maya Angelou
There are many reasons people feel that they have writer’s block. We will explore a few, and you may find more things come up for you, my advice is to:-
- Feel into them and explore
- Dig deeper (it’s usually about what lies beneath)
- Write and reflect
- Have fun discovering you
What kind of excuses can you think of:
- The dog ate my ideas
- The dog kept putting her paws on my keyboard
- The dog wanted a walk/biscuit/stroke/kiss
- I’m tired (from kissing the dog)
- It’s too noisy (the dogs are barking)
Ok, I’m being silly. But you know there is a half-truth in some of these, at least for me. Angel dog does put her paws on my keyboard when I am writing, and it is distracting. However, I take it as a sign to stop, go for a walk and get some well-earned reflection time.
Let’s take a look at some common excuses for writer’s block, and in each, I’m going to ask you to consider one thing and invite you to explore what each excuse means to you in your life right now.
- Remember how you do anything is how you do everything and this will support your writing process
- To look at what else is going on in your life and understand what is distracting you
- What is your writing process – this is key
Four common excuses for writer’s block
1. There is too much going on
- Writing a book seems overwhelming
- Writing a book is not important
- Before I finish one thing there is another thing that needs doing
- There are too many deadlines
- I’m being spread too thin
- If one more person tells me that their work should take priority
- People keep interrupting me
Look at the environment in which you are living and working, is it conducive to you being a writer? By environment, I don’t just mean the bricks and mortar of your home or office I mean all aspects of everything that is in it.
2. I don’t have the time for this right now
- I’m always rushing
- I just don’t have time for this; there are too many other things that need doing first
- Other people hold me up by not delivering on time
- I wish people would stop wasting my time
I’m not a time management expert and if time is your thief then look at a good (even great) time management expert. Here’s what I do. I get up to write for an hour and then get on with my day. In fact, I look at my diary and prioritise ‘stuff’, if it’s not essential, I let it go.
3. No one will be interested in what I have to say
- People usually ignore what I say, why would they be interested in my book?
- My life seems normal, why would anyone want to hear what I have to say about mine?
- My writing is worthless
- Why would anyone be interested in me, I’m nobody.
There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.Terry Pratchett
Everyone I meet has an incredible story. What is often missing is the confidence to tell it. You do not have to write to publish; you may want to write to get ‘stuff’ out of your system.
Do a skills audit and see where you have amazing skills and how you could use them on this project. I bet you are pretty talented and resourceful.
4. No idea or too many ideas
- Everyone tells me to write a book, but I have no idea what to write
- I’ve got so many ideas I don’t know where to start
- I can’t focus on which approach
- How am I supposed to find the Idea?
Books are written for a number of reasons, find the why, and the idea will come to you. I call it Writing the Right Book for Right Now.
Think carefully about what this book will give you. Align it with the core message of your brand and align the book, brand and business together.
Make a list of ten questions you get asked all the time. Explore each one and see which one wants to be written.
Explore these writer’s block excuses
When you read these what comes up for you? Tell yourself the truth. Where do you feel resistance?
Make a list of 10 silly excuses and then look at the deeper meaning. There’s many a true word said in jest. Grab a journal, write, reflect and decide to do one thing to move you from where you are to where you want to be as a writer. And then tackle the next thing.
I often find that there are two stages to getting the story out and that is to first get deeply connected to what your muse wants you to share and to then formulate those stories into the story and inspirational message you have come to share.
Planning and writing a book with a proven system also helps. Ready to make an impact? Book in a call and let’s explore how you can create an impact with your book (or blog).