When it comes to writing, the most feared and dreaded malady an author can come down with is “writer’s block.” This affliction will inevitably come up in conversation when writer’s gather to discuss, followed by knowing nods and head shaking cringes. If a writer happens to be on a roll they likely avoid any talk of the term for fear that they might catch it like a case of the mumps or the black plague.
I have experienced dry spells in my writing, but as one person once put it, “Writer’s block is not the problem, not writing is the problem.” To overcome the temptation to avoid writing and label it writer’s block, here are some practical things that I do to get my thoughts out there for the world to read.
- I remind myself that perspiration leads to inspiration. If I waited to write until I was inspired, I wouldn’t be writing this blog (nor almost anything else I write). So I write ugly and then I edit later. The most important thing is to write. That’s what writers do. Don’t worry if it is inspired or not. Often as I write I will stumble upon an idea that takes me in the right direction.
- I write on a schedule. Each day I set a time to write, and a place that is suitable and comfortable for writing. Right now it happens to be at my desk in my basement at 6:00am. It is quiet and there are few distractions. The key is consistency and comfort. You won’t write in a place you don’t like. It may be in your home, at a coffee shop or at the library. Wherever it is, just make it happen rather than making excuses.
- I begin with prayer. It is no secret that my relationship with God is core to who I am. I believe that “All wisdom comes from the Lord” (Proverbs 2:6), so naturally, in order to write my best I want God to illuminate my thoughts. This doesn’t guarantee a miracle writing session, but it does serve as a reminder of the One I am trying to honor with my writing. This has transformed my writing.
This is Part one of two. In Part two I will share some practical tools and tips that I use to send my writing into overdrive. Stay tuned!