Dealing with Writer’s Block

writers-block“The other day on Facebook, on of my friends (*ahem, Lisa Hendey*) suggested I recommend some tips for overcoming writer’s block. Being a Catholic editor and all, my first thought was to swipe the advice of St. Benedict: “Ora et labora” (pray and work).

Then I thought I’d do what I SAID I’d be doing here, which is to open it up to the wisdom of other writers. With that in mind, I’d like to connect you with this article from “Fire Your Mentor: Top 15 Tips to Overcome Writer’s Block.”

“Pressure, fear, stress, trauma, anxiety, the beginning or ending of a particular project….the list goes on, can cause that crippling feeling of frustration and fear,” writes Munmi Sarma. “Fortunately there are as many techniques to combat writer’s block as there are causes.” He goes on to list 15 of them, most of which can be divided into three categories:

* Environmental diversions. (electronics, other deadlines and demands, unattended bodily needs

* Internal distractions. (stress, negative self-talk, and lack of focus)

* Lack of inspiration.

It’s this third category, it seems, that most writers associate with “writer’s block,” though to be honest the first two are the most likely culprits. Writing is both an art and a discipline. And while writing exercises, “artist’s dates” (courtesy of Julia Cameron) and writer’s retreats are all wonderful in their time and place, for most of us writing is 20% inspiration and 80% perspiration!

I’ve heard more than one author compare writing a book to childbirth. I’d say it’s also like parenting: a lot of it is just showing up. Setting goals, and dividing them into manageable tasks. Priming the pump with solid source material. And just showing up at the appointed time, and not getting up until you’ve reached your goal.

What are some of the ways YOU have dealt with the empty page?

For more tips and information for Catholic writers, head on over to my NEW blog, “Ask a Catholic Editor.”

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