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Writer’s Block

I just ready Cathy Stucker’s blog on Writer’s block and she brought up a good point about fear being a common cause of writer’s block. And, of course, the thing to do to get rid of fear is to do it anyway.

Opening up to nature can transform writer's block.
Opening up to nature can transform writer’s block.

However, As a writer and writing coach, I find that stress and depletion are two very big reasons that my writing clients and students experience writer’s block. When you come to your writing refreshed and in an open frame of mind, the writing can often flow with ease. But if you’re still breathing shallowly, thinking of the 10,000 things on your to-do list, you’re not very present.

Writing is about being present. When you’re present, you make your writing come alive for your reader. You paint a picture. You make it real. Which, oh-my-gosh, I’m not actually doing right now. I’m generalizing, pontificating, but I’m not showing (I’m telling). So I might not be blocked, but I’m not knocking your socks off, either.

Truth is, I just finished packing for a trip to my parent’s house in Sag Harbor early tomorrow morning. My husband loaded the boys into his Toyota Corolla for a quick trip to Home Depot. We’re due to go to a party in about a half our and I need a shower, a wardrobe adjustment, and time to turn my hair into something other than Medusa on a bad day. So I think I fell into category two–not blocked but not much fun either.

By now, I hope I’ve painted a picture and that brings me to some of the cures for writer’s block due to stress or fatigue.

1.  Take a walk in nature and allow the autumn smells and cool, crisp air to replenish you. Breathe deeply.

2.  Listen to your favorite music. You can lie down and take it in, dance or sing out loud–whatever it takes to energize you.

3. Bust through it by sheer will–write a bunch of blah until it turns into something else.

4. Do a few yoga postures, chi gong or even jumping jacks.

5. Meditate for a few minutes. You can even close your eyes and just picture yourself as the stress melts away. Then picture yourself writing with ease and feeling the exhilaration of inspired writing.

The challenge with my third suggestion is that sometimes it doesn’t turn into something else. In that case, those rejuvenating exercises are a whole lot better. Have fun with my suggestions and see if they get rid of writer’s block. I bet they will.

I also have a visualization I often take my writing coaching clients and students through. At my clients’ request, I’ve made a free recording of the guided visualization–so you never have to suffer from writer’s block again.

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

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