How to Overcome Writer’s Block

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.

how-to-overcome-writers-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.

4. Unplug.

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?

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Amanda
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Comments

  1. Tara says:

    Hi Amanda, a really timely post for me, thank you :) I have been struggling to find what my passion is and to refocus so that I can bring glory to God through my blog, which I love. Have a blessed day. Thank you for your continued inspiration. Tara (The Proverbs 31 Sanctuary)

  2. Sarah Yoder says:

    This is a great post, Amanda! I don’t often struggle with having enough to say (I’m kind of a big-mouth) but instead wondering if what I say really matters or is really touching anyone! Maybe two sides of the same coin, who knows! I really like your suggestion about “unplugging” – I need to have one of those weekends! :)

  3. Loved this post! I have always loved writing, and had it on my heart to start a blog a while ago to really share what God was laying on my heart. Through busy seasons and not making writing a priority I would go through phases. But this year I really wanted to make it a priority, and I have been pressured on how do I write every day? Do I need to write every day? Am I writing and reaching no one? Does that even matter? It’s encouraging to know that I am not the only one. And a great reminder to remember why we’re writing and what we’re passionate about in the first place. Really good advice to tuck away!

  4. Jessi says:

    Unplugging is KEY for me! And taking a break from writing itself, which usually happens by way of revisiting my passions – enter the impromptu living room 90s dance party! :) Good post and great reminders, thank you!
    xoxo J

  5. Jaci says:

    Needed this today. Thank you!

  6. Samantha says:

    Wonderful thoughts – definitely something to PUSH me in that direction!

  7. Kristen says:

    Great thoughts Amanda! I’ve done the exact same things you mentioned, even though I have still felt pressure to post on a certain time or schedule. Most weekends I only check email, but stay off of social media and blogging. Like you, I am also recharged by spending time in the kitchen – it fuels a different creative side than blogging. I’ve recently reevaluated my blog’s direction and re-done some stuff. I’m also trying to have a planned out editorial schedule with post topics planned and I’m trying to work ahead on that. Thank you for putting this together! Wonderful resource!

  8. Priscila says:

    Great, great tips!

  9. Chelsea says:

    Now my question is… what do you do when you have a million and ten ideas for your blog, but no time to complete them all? No, but this was a great post! Thank you so much for sharing such great tips!

  10. Great post! I needed this, this morning BEFORE I started writing, haha. But actually I did end up going through old posts and found something great. Thanks for the great ideas. I should never be blocked again! ;)

  11. I think my number 1 writer’s block strategy is the same as your number one. Just stepping away… it really gives you perspective, and like you said, time to live so that you can then come up with new writing ideas.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Having a case of writer’s blog? I thought this article was quite [...]

  2. [...] Tuesday – At the recommendation of my sweet friend Rebecca at She Shares, I wrote about writer’s block and shared Five Tips for Overcoming Writer’s Block. [...]

  3. [...] if it is worth it to you. It is okay to not write when you don’t have anything to contribute. It is okay to have writer’s block, to be too busy with your job, family, or friends, and to be burned out by [...]

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