I sit at my computer, fingers at the ready, a cup of mojo – liquid fuel – beside me, and the glow of a computer screen shining back at me. There are words in my head. Words in my heart. And the screen in front of me is blank, just waiting for the click, click, click of the keyboard to fill an empty screen with something beautiful, like brush strokes on an empty canvas.
But sometimes words fail.
And it is in those moments of quiet – quiet wrestling for the right words, quiet wondering why I can’t find the right words, quiet frustration over the wrestling and the wondering – I find myself wondering how to overcome writer’s block.
After three days of worrying, wading through frustration and a little bit of anxiety, I finally decided to be proactive in finding a way to overcome writer’s block.
1. Step away from writing.
I am learning to embrace those days when words don’t come. As a blogger, I feel a deep self-imposed pressure to post every day, which often results in wondering how in the world I’m going to come up with enough content to share with you. When the words don’t come, and I’m facing that question of how to overcome writer’s block, stepping away from writing and allowing myself to be distracted helps me refocus and think about something besides writing. And in those moments that seem so separate from writing, my mind comes alive with inspiration for another day. Words and topics and dreams to share with you…someday.
2. Read past favorites.
Reading some of my favorite blog posts helps me refocus. When I look back and read my posts about Connections NOT Numbers, I remember that it’s not about pageviews and retweets. It’s about being authentic so that you will want to be a part of the Royal Daughter community.
Reading my posts about Winning and Losing and How to GrowYour Blog I remember that I’d rather be committed to posting quality content instead of giving into the temptation to post “fluff” posts just so I can check something off of my to-do list.
When I read my thoughts On My Space or when I first shared My Story about infertility I realize that ultimately I am writing a unique, grace-filled story that only I can write. So when words don’t come, that’s okay because the story is being written.
3. Create something.
I’m really not a creative. I’m not an artist. I’m the type of person that creates something with blood, sweat, and tears. And I don’t mean happy tears. Growing up I’d have never guessed that I’d find a sweet solace in creating in the kitchen. Quite honestly a year ago I’d have never guessed that I’d enjoy creating in the kitchen. But now that we’re immersed in a gluten-free diet, I often enjoy the challenge of recreating our favorite meals with a gluten-free spin.
Allowing my creative juices to flow outside of writing somehow recharges me so that the next time I sit down at the computer I feel a renewed sense of creative vitality.
I spent most of Saturday, Sunday, and Monday unplugged from the internet. Sure, I checked facebook and twitter every now and then. But for the most part I insulated myself from social media + blogging. I was intentional not to read other blog posts. Why? Because I did not want to be tempted to feel the “pressure to perform” by comparing myself (i.e. lack of blogging) to all of the other beautifully written blog posts that I knew would be shared via social media.
Being unplugged from social media also allowed me to simply live. To enjoy the beautiful weather we’re having. To cuddle my husband (and enjoy a very spontaneous date night), to keep my house relatively clean. To be present and intentional in my fellowship with the Lord. It wasn’t a completely internet-free weekend, but it was refreshing.
5. Revisit your passions.
Over the past few days I spent several hours thinking about and planning for the future of A Royal Daughter. I spent time writing out a handful of topics about which I am very passionate, then I narrowed those down into themes and planned out how I can share those in an inspiring, life-giving way here on my blog. Revisiting my passions helped me narrow my focus so that I am able to filter out those topic ideas which do not fit with my blog’s vision or the direction in which my blog is headed.
I also spent time praying for my blog, asking for wisdom and direction and blessing for A Royal Daughter.
What do you do when you’re faced with the challenge of how to overcome writer’s block? Some of you chimed in on facebook with great ideas and sweet encouragement. What about you? Do you feel the pressure to perform as a blogger? How do you overcome it? How do you overcome writer’s block?