11.29.12 Career & Finances

Beating Writer’s Block

Beating Writer’s Block

BY From Our Readers

If you have a burning desire to become a writer and an inability to get anything meaningful onto the page, I can relate. That’s called writer’s block. My writer’s block lasted almost ten years. I guess you could say I wasn’t completely blocked, as I could journal with the best of them. I wrote my first diary entry in elementary school and I continued journaling straight through to adulthood. My journals served more as a place for emotional release, however, than as a work of art to be published.

It didn’t dawn on me that I wanted to write professionally until I was in my twenties, but once it hit me, it was all I could think about. I was busy with other things such as getting married, buying and fixing up my first home, working in a corporate career and then having babies, but at the back of my mind was always the yearning, “I need to write a book! I need to write a book!”

It weighed on me incessantly.

Over the years, I feigned attempts at writing a wedding book, a parenting book, and a spiritual self-help book, but they were utterly amiss, and I quit each in chapter one. I continued my journaling, hoping that someday my book would simply appear within the pages of my notebooks, but… it didn’t. Then along came an angel (in the form of a life coach) who told me some surprising and enlightening news: “The root cause of your writer’s block is fear.”

Let me explain.

I have now become a life coach myself and a spiritual self-help author, and what I learned about and wrote in my first book (!) is that fear underlies just about every single problem we human beings have. A blocked writer might have fears such as this: What will my parents think if they read this? What will others think of me if they find out who I really am and what goes on in my head? What will happen to my family if I become successful? Will this hurt my partner or create havoc in my life? Will people hate me or, worse, hurt me when they read what I’ve written? What if I publish my work and nobody reads it? That would be so humiliating. What if my work sucks? I don’t really know what I’m doing anyway.

These were the kinds of quiet thoughts that ran through my head every time I stared at a blank document on my computer screen, only the thoughts were so quiet that I didn’t even hear myself thinking them. They did keep me from writing anything, though. It took consciousness, awareness and a whole lot of self-examination in order to figure out what it was that I was so afraid of, and then it took some serious courage to be able face my fears. Fear is actually an opportunity for us to be courageous — courage is being afraid and doing it anyway. We can’t be courageous unless we’re fearful, so people who have a lot of fear are the ones who have the potential to be the most courageous.

What I do with my fear now is reframe it as catalytic. Most of the things I’m afraid of are unfounded, and usually the thing that I’m the most afraid of is the thing that I need to do the most. I believe this is true for all of us. Facing our fears (unless they have to do with physical danger) is an important part of our soul’s journey, and it brings with it expansive growth and fulfillment. Writing can be scary; it often involves sharing yourself and your beliefs, and I recommend breaking into it with small steps. I started with a blog that led to a book, but another person might start with simply posting something intimate on Facebook just to find out that it’s safe to share.

Anyone who feels a longing to write can be certain that the desire is there for a reason. The things we long for are the things we are being called to do. Publishing my written work still makes me nervous sometimes, but what’s life without a little risk-taking, right? After all, as they say, the greater the risk, the greater the reward.

Try it out now! Practice your self expression by leaving a comment below. I would really love to hear what you think!

Kim Patron is a Writer, a Life Coach and a Soul Mission Astrologer. She writes a free weekly coaching blog on her website that centers around her unique approach of helping her clients develop and maintain a relationship with their Souls. This powerful connection enables her readers to more easily live their life’s purpose. To read Kim’s blog, submit questions for her free advice column, or find out your Soul Mission, visit her website.

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Comments

  • Devon Moore

    I love this: Fear is actually an opportunity for us to be courageous. Nice, Kim!

  • I believe in signs, and I was meant to read *this* article *this* morning. I had just opened a new blank document with the intention of addressing my fears. I came over to The Conversation, as I often do, for a jolt of self confidence and found not only that, but my thoughts addressed plainly. Thank you for sharing.

  • “people who have a lot of fear are the ones who have the potential to be the most courageous.” That was a really powerful line for me!

  • Jenny Louise

    What a brilliant article. It struck a cord as I am currently waiting to be writer; hoping that at some point it will just happen. For you see I won’t even comment on my friends’ Facebook updates. When I tweet I only do so directly to people I know. I would never even consider publicly expressing an actual thought in my head. It is ironic that the current guest editor for January is Dawn O’Porter as I follow her religiously on Twitter and I often think, ‘I’d really like to wade into this conversation’ only to then become paralysed at the keyboard. But now I find myself writing in this comment section because the above words have encouraged me to be brave. So here is my first attempt at bravery…and consequently my first attempt at being a writer. Thank you.

  • Laura V

    Thank you for writing this article. I actually started acting to help me with my writer’s block since I felt acting was much scarier than writing. I ended up being wrong – I’m still scared to write, scared to become attached to my own work, to cry and struggle through it, even though I have no trouble with the struggle I face now in other areas of my life. It must be because I want writing the most that I’ve attached the most fear to it. I have to learn that no one can physically take writing away from me – only I can prevent myself from doing it.

  • Jean

    So true, so relatable. Fear of what others’ will say/think and our fear of failure can be major obstacles in a person’s life. Especially when a person has grown up around discouraging voices and ways of thinking, like “better to be safe than sorry.” I would love to find a way to work on my fears a little bit each day. Because knowing we need to overcome fear is quite a different story than actually overcoming it. You’ve touched upon the “what” — now the question is “how”?

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