“Be who you are, and say what you feel. Because those who matter don’t mind, and those that mind don’t matter. ” – Dr. Seuss
Sometimes Writer’s Block is a sign of fear, the fear of writing. A part of the process is holding you back because you fear to do it. When you can identify that fear, you may be able to take action to overcome this fear.
I’ve heard how some writers fear the editing process. I really don’t mind editing. This is the time I take to read my work to see what I’ve written.
So what is fear anyways?
We have internal fear, external fear, and subconscious fear. The inner fear revolves around how we appear in our own eyes. How do we measure up to the values and standards we were taught as a child or the difference between right and wrong. Sometimes we may believe we are always wrong or not good enough, but cause that is what we were taught to think.
External fear comes from external sources, like spiders, snakes, clowns, and the dark. These are things outside our control. Some can mean danger from poisonous bites, Others like the clowns, are from misunderstanding odd behavior.
Subconscious fear is based on not feeling deserving. It is out of your area of expertise so you should naturally fail at it. An example would be your job that you’ve had for most of your life. It has been blue collar, working in a mill. Therefore, you feel you don’t have the intellect to be anything more than a factory worker for the rest of your life.
Any of these fears can stop you dead in your tracks. Even as a writer. It is hard to continue to write when the only one who believes in you is you. That’s where Dr. Seuss tackles writer’s block with his quote about those who matter and those who don’t.
When you can overcome your fears and be who you are and forget about what people may think of what you write about and how you do it, then all the blocks fall away. It is so hard to shut off the internal editor to write what your subconscious wants you to write. External fears shouldn’t matter. Do you fear the fact that the story won’t sell? Should that matter in the end? If you don’t write it, it won’t sell that way either.
So the only way to overcome your writer’s block is to WRITE! Move past those fears and hit the keyboard running. Don’t think about how the story sounds, or what it’s about. If the character is stalking the other character, don’t fret about it. Just make something happen so they too can overcome their own fears and get the story moving. Sometimes an external factor is all it takes to motivate the heroine into action. You just need to keep trying to find that motivation. When it shows its face, you know it and the story will flow onto the page like a river.
Now get out there and Write!