May 17, 2007

The Challenges of Writing

Valerie J. Steimle

I have been sitting here staring at a blank screen for the last two hours trying to write my blog entry. My children are around involved with several things: playing video games, watching Everafter and running the dogs in and out of the house. Still nothing. So I start to research what I might talk about: Politics, religion, health issues, children. Nothing strikes my fancy. I read through my “morning pages” and all I have been talking about is who is dating whom. No good. So I go to my writer’s notebook and low and behold there are some notes on writer’s block.
From Stephen Blake Mettee article on Banishing Writer’s Block, he suggests several ideas. If you think you have nothing to write about then think about this:
1. you have no plan
2. you don’t have enough information
3. you don’t change subjects enough.
4. you have a lack of passion

Having a plan is easily fixed with writing down your ideas in a notebook as I have done. Gathering information about a topic is also not difficult only time consuming. You can do it with a few hours of time. Changing the subjects in your writing isn’t that difficult either. Reading and researching takes time but it is worth it. And the last of them: passion. If you have no passion about anything, I don’t know what you can about that. You can’t just run out and buy some. Writer’s need to work on what gives them their opinions and ideas about certain subjects. The passion should soon develop. I’ve done all of that and still no ideas. What else am I to do.

Perfectionism is another idea Mr. Mettee wrote about with writer’s block. He says to allow yourself to write a flawed and mistake ridden draft and edit it later. Just get the ideas down on paper and never mind how they look. You can always rewrite it. You can’t rewrite a blank page. So I just start typing whatever is in my head.

Self-Doubt. Another challenge to overcome is the negative thoughts that drain your creativity and set you up for failure. Give yourself positive thoughts and just start writing. A pep talk to yourself so to speak. You can do it. You have done it so many times before.

So there you have it. How to overcome writer’s block. A challenge we all face from time to time that we must overcome.


  1. This is going to sound nuts but when I get stuck, I play around on the Internet. For example, I'm writing a story about a museum assistant who gets involved in a murder. Long story short, I was drawing a blank on why the detective was training. So I googled it and guess what, found a ton of stuff on how to go from patrol cop to detective, enough to give me a realist angle to my sidekick character.

  2. I take a long, recreational shower (my usual showers are early in the a.m. when I've slept in too long and seminary will start soon). I find that ideas come when I've got hot water pouring on my head.

  3. Those are great ideas too. Whatever works for you.


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