Writer's block is a favourite topic of writer's, and no wonder….nearly every writer suffers from it at some crucial point in their careers. Writer's block usually comes to visit at the most inopportune times, like during projects of tremendous importance where there's not a moment to waste, or when there are firm deadlines involved and a nasty boss waiting in the next room anticipating a brilliant end-product. Writer's block is such a prevalent problem that articles, essays, books, and entire websites have been dedicated to the topic.
How will you recognize writer's block?
It appears like a blank page or screen that doesn't change for hours or days. It feels like stress and pressure. It frustrates and angers you and causes you a great deal of anxiety. You may experience an overwhelming sense of desperation and panic. You can definitely be sure you are suffering a mild case of it if you catch yourself staring at your blank computer screen, hoping that, magically, the keys will start typing on their own, and words will appear, nicely organized into coherent paragraphs and sentences.
I think the worst case of writer's block I ever had was when I was writing my Masters thesis. It lasted for four complete years -- exactly as long as my last marriage. When the marriage ended, so did the block... funny how that worked.
How often we sacrifice our own creativity for the sake of someone else. We turn off that inner light and give control to the other person, effectively killing our creative selves along with whatever drew them to us in the first place. It wasn't the first time I'd done this, but for sure it will be the last.
I've made it a personal challenge to myself not to ever give away my power again! I will fight tooth and nail to hang on to every victory no matter how small, and to build on each victory until I see myself as the winner that I know I AM!
What does this rant have to do with curing writer's block?
It's the direct result of using a quotation to stimulate creative writing. I first learned this technique from reading Sarah Ban Breathnach's _Simple Abundance Companion_.
The idea is to take a random quote and write whatever thoughts come to mind as you contemplate it. The quote I chose to create the above piece was Henry Ford, "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right."
It's more apt to say that the quote chose me, rather than the other way around. I never know what I'm going to get when I reach into the box to pick a card. That way I'm not predisposed to sort through them until I find one I *want* to write about. The whole thing with writer's block is that the ideas aren't flowing the way you want them to. By picking a random quote and writing whatever comes to mind with what you get, you allow the words and the creative energy to flow in the direction it chooses.
It's also surprising how often the random quote ends up being a message that is needed right at that moment. In this instance, I was feeling the trepidation that always comes after finishing a book and putting it out there. What if no one likes it? What if no one buys it? By the time I finished the first draft of this article, it didn't matter any more. My writer's block was cured, and my self-confidence got a boost in the process thanks to Henry Ford's eleven words from long ago.
(c) Ruth Ritchie-Farmer
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Ruth Ritchie-Farmer is the managing editor of Ritchie Media, and the author of Perceptions of Success: A Collection of Quotations.
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