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Writevotional: The Myth of Writer’s Block

Photo Courtesy: Billy Alexander

If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. – Prov 24: 10

See that little 250 words challenge a day button on the right side of my blog?

I have failed.

I haven’t been faithful in keeping the commitment to keep the challenge up.

Y’know, there is this disease that we as writers say we have: “Writer’s Block.”

Yeah, this is what I have.

Writer’s Block.

I have tried to massage and jump-start my WIP. Nothing.

I placed the electric pads to pump life into this story. Nope. No dice.

The story stared at me. The characters have become restless. The fantasy world where the story dwelled has started to boil over with anger, rebellion, and threats of a ‘Jasmine’ revolution.

When will you write us into existence?” They bristled while carrying pitchforks, torches, and aluminum baseball bats.

I have writer’s block!” I shouted with nervousness, “I don’t where to begin!”

The characters looked at me, rolled their eyes then faded with the heaviness of discouragement into the corners of my pitiful mind.

Once they left, I smirked with devilish glee, “Fooled them again. They will buy anything. Chumps.”

I was tempted to use the “My dog ate the manuscript” excuse but they are too crafty for that. The writer’s block excuse was the ace in the hole. No comebacks with that one.

I was contented with my lukewarm answer and flimsy excuse. I mean I worked a full-time job. I am a full-time hubby. I am a full-time Dad. Don’t I deserve a break?

In fact, I just need to quit this sugar-plum dream tomfoolery. I’m no Bill Myers or Frank Peretti. God gave them the talent to write. They have the inside scoop to success. Maybe they are part of a secret society and they have the hook-ups.

I better just go back to Cubicle Wonderland and be contented with where I’m at – working in Customer Service Land. Besides, who would want to read superhero stories from a Christian Speculative point of view anyway? Bah. Foolishness.

Suddenly, there was a knock on the door on my mind. I went to answer while grumbling about being interrupted in my pity party. I opened the door to see a book standing there. The title flashed in the sunlight, “Writing for the Soul” by Jerry B. Jenkins.

Oh, no. Not another convicting moment. I started to whine and whimper.

Blast you, Jerry!

The book turned to Jerry’s comments and a paraphrasing of what Jerry wrote assaulted me:

The biggest excuse that writers have is writer’s block. C’mon. This is a joke. What is writer’s block anyway? Nothing but an excuse. Imagine if you did the same thing with your full-time job? If you told the boss, ‘Sorry, I can’t work today because I have worker’s block and just can’t function today.’”

Sigh.

I’m busted. There is really no excuse for writer’s block.

The remedy is not to faint when the “writer’s block” washes over me yet to pray, ask for help, and go ahead write.

No formula. No wishing. No hoping.

Place my butt in seat. Begin writing. Simple.

This is the greatest sweet surrendering to the process of writing and to sludge through the swamp of adversity to mountain top of writer’s victory.

How about you?

Are you experiencing writer’s block? What do you do to overcome it?

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8 thoughts on “Writevotional: The Myth of Writer’s Block

  1. I have life block right now. After a battle with the bank (and the evil investor Freddie Mac), no I’m dealing with moving. The kids are stressed. The wife is stressed. I’m stressed.

    So no writing for the last three weeks. Barely any blogging.

    I think sometimes, you have to cut yourself a little slack. Life happens.

  2. Lol, I never tire of reading your blog, EJ. It’s always so full of your personality!

    Anyhow, when I experience writer’s block I don’t think of it as an excuse not to write. There is a reason I can’t get beyond a certain scene or write from a certain character’s viewpoint. Usually it’s because I don’t understand what I’m trying to write.

    I’ll find that I haven’t properly thought out the layout of a setting or haven’t thoroughly explored certain plot points or character motivations. When I start asking myself some basic questions, it usually leads to even deeper questions. I start making connections between things I hadn’t linked before and suddenly things start making sense. During this process I journal my answers to my questions, always finding ways to tie them back into the story.

    Usually this works for me and I can go back to writing the scene, but not all story problems I encounter can be solved in one sitting/day. Sometimes I just have to skip stuff and come back to it later on until I get that “light bulb moment.”

    • Thanks, Yoyo. I couldn’t imagine having a blog without someone like you and the rest of the Elite (Theresa, Stephen, and Jay). I truly appreciate each time you all take the time to read and spend time here. 🙂

      Thanks also for the advice! I may look into this!

  3. I told this story a long time ago on my blog, but when I was in High School I discovered I don’t believe in writer’s block… (it’s a longish story, I’ll let the link to my blog tell it). Basically, writer’s block is an internal, possibly unconscious response to you not wanting to write, for whatever reason. The cure is to do it anyway (though sometimes that means writing something other than what you’re supposed to write).

  4. Hehe I’m a writer for my day job so ‘writer’s block’ is something I have no luxury for. When I do feel writers block, it’s usually a case of either fear or burnout. If it’s fear I can write through it. I just have to start. Other times it’s my mind telling me that I need to step back and take a break. Breaks are important too 🙂

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