Overcoming Writers Block

Overcoming Writers Block

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(Image: Michael Chen)


“I’m too tired for this.”


The thought plays like a broken record in my head as I stare at an empty Word document. For the millionth time in the past week, I’ve tried to work on re-writes for my novel.  Nothing comes.


Are my characters giving me the silent treatment? Maybe they’re on vacation.  Or, what if they’ve abandoned me to go whisper in someone else’s ear?  Maybe that other person tells their story better?


That would be infuriating.  Like getting dumped.  By my whole cast.   Ouch.


A lot of people, especially artists, talk about tapping into “The Flow” when working.  It’s a little like when a runner experiences a “runners high.”


Sometimes, I really feel connected with this flow.


Then, there are times I get depressed or concerned… Times when what writers call “Writers Block,” occurs.


A nasty, creeping, infestation of nothingness.  My brain literally feels empty of anything important.  Those are the times I remember all the chores that should be done, but aren’t.  And, believe me, it’s pretty tempting to go do them.  Instead I sit there. Picking my nails. Waiting for some profound thought to float by.


I hate to admit how often this happens to me.  It’s hard to wonder if something is wrong up there.  Do other writers experience this?  Or is this a unique malady that’s decided to infect me?


Truth is, I’ve never been the kind of artist that just flowed a steady stream of amazing words.   Even now, it feels weird and choppy the way the thoughts are coming out… Like the way I think.


Not fluid.


The other day, as I was pondering this unfortunate predicament, I realized something.


Think about the Runners High.


There is the struggle in the beginning.  Then moment where you wonder whether you should just cut your looses and go home, but once you push through that… The adrenaline courses through you.


Almost as if you had a reserve tank of energy inside that was waiting for the right moment to be unlocked.


It’s the same for a writer.


In the beginning, there is the blank page.  Then, the first word.  And once you get going, it’s hard to stop.   A seed of creativity starts growing inside and once you’re done a tree has started to sprout on the page.


As it gets bigger, you start trimming up some of the branches, shaping it to the way you want it to look.


That’s when you know you’ve unlocked Writers High.  It’s The Flow that you’ve created all on your own.


The Flow comes from inside you.  Waiting for you to unlock.  So stop waiting, stop delaying, and start creating.  


Creating your flow isn’t easy.  It’s messy, there are depressing moments, times you want to give up, call it quits, move on, close the case.  But that won’t do.


Those characters will come back, they won’t be able to stop tormenting you until that story is completed.  They will not leave you.  You just have to keep the relationship going.


~Devani Anjali Alderson
Writer, Photographer, Marketer, Globe Trotter.

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