Weekend Reading: Writer’s Block

Ah, writer's block -- the writer's nemesis. I'll let you in on a little secret. I don't really believe in writer's block. It's not a "thing." It's an excuse. It's an excuse I've used, but that doesn't make it any more of a thing.

I'm never short on ideas. So when I claim to feel "blocked" it means something a bit different. Maybe I'm not feeling motivated. Perhaps I don't have the physical or mental energy to focus on my writing. Or maybe I'm preoccupied by other things, feeling sorry for myself for some reason, or feeling some other emotion that can be neatly tucked under the "writer's block" label so it's not about me or my failings in the moment. It's some "thing" weighing me down, smothering my creative muse. I can place blame.

"Oh, drat. I can't reach my writing targets today. I'm blocked. "

Silly me.

Here's the thing about excuses though. We can power through them. We can dismiss them, work to overcome them, and strip them of any supposed power they have over us or our writing. And that's what we're going to look at in this week's weekend reading collection -- tips and tools that can help us push past that good old "writer's block" excuse and get back to our writing.


Writer's Block? 50 Resources, Prompts & Creativity Boosters

By Mandy Boyle at NEPABlogCon.com

If you need a quick, practical kick in the pants to overcome a bout of writer's block, this post is for you. It features a simple list of 50 things you can do (or resources you can use) to help you re-focus on your writing.

Read the post.

20 Writers on Overcoming Writer's Block

At ShortList.com

This slideshow consists of a series of quotes from well-known authors (Stephen King, Ernest Hemingway, Maya Angelou, Dan Brown, Neil Gaiman, and others), sharing their thoughts, and occasionally tips, about writer's block.

Read the post.

Writing Apps to Help You Beat Writer's Block

By Christine Barcellona at SwoonReads.com

If you're more of a "tools person" than a "get up, walk around, and get some fresh air" kind of person when it comes to writer's block, these apps might be just what you need. They include plot generators, writing prompts, and more.

Read the post.

How often do you give in to the notion of writer's block? And what do you do to push past it? Share your tips or favorite tools in the comments.

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Profile image for Jennifer Mattern

Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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2 thoughts on “Weekend Reading: Writer’s Block”

  1. I’ve been using the term “writer’s block” but never thought of it as an excuse, as something I’m not responsible for.

    When I first started to write, I had no idea how to do it, what conditions were the best, what was the best time of the day, etc.
    I just sat and started to write in a word processor.
    But it didn’t work well for me. I experienced the writer’s block. However, I didn’t consider it as an excuse, only that what I was doing wasn’t optimized (and that’s normal since I was just starting).

    One thing that helped me a lot was to write in a notebook with a pen. Now, when I feel blocked while writing on my computer, I grab my notebook and get unstuck quickly.

    I don’t think that the writer’s block is an excuse, it’s just a symptom that you need to improve something.

    In the end, this is more about an approach to life. Are you responsible for your actions and your life or are telling yourself “That’s just who I am”?

    • I think the fact that you knew there were underlying issues is what really sets you apart. I see too many writers simply say they have “writer’s block” and use it as an excuse to stop trying for a while. They don’t realize that things like where, when, and how they write can make a huge difference. It’s an easy crutch to fall back on (and I’ve done it in the past myself). But it sounds like you have a better grasp on it than many, which is great. 🙂


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