I often get asked questions about writer’s block, and I always have the same answer: I don’t believe in it. I believe in being so emotionally overwhelmed due to circumstances in life where it is too hard to suspend reality and focus on fictional characters and events (try writing romance while you’re going through a divorce. It can be tough). I believe in being so physically, mentally or emotionally drained that creativity is sparse or non-existent and every word feels like it’s being dragged out of you with rusty pliers. I believe in not wanting to put in the work because it feels too hard. I believe in letting writing come in last on the priority list. I believe that there are many reasons for not writing, but I don’t believe in writer’s block because it’s too vague of a concept to be useful. 

If you cannot bring yourself to sit down in front of a computer or a notebook and put words on the page, there is always a reason you feel that way. To get beyond this phase in your journey, you have to figure out what that reason is and deal with it so you can get back to work. Maybe you’re paralyzed by the fear of what other people will think. Maybe you have a family that demands every waking moment of your attention and thinking about writing your book seems like a pipe dream. Maybe you have a spouse that’s not supportive of your dream. Maybe you don’t know how to write a book or you’re afraid your book is stupid. There are a million different reasons not to write, and in general, they can each be overcome with time, effort, and desire. Get specific with your reason for not writing. If you leave it as something as vague as “writer’s block”, it may seem so insurmountable that you don’t even try to overcome it. Don’t let that happen. If you want to write and finish a book, prepare to work your ass off. It’s not easy. It never will be easy. But you’ll be a hell of a lot further along if you dig into your reasons for avoiding your story, deal with them (and this could take months or even longer, depending on the complexity of the emotions, events, or issues you’re dealing with in your life), and get back to business.  But don’t blame it on writer’s block.

Previous questions:

  1. The most popular question I’m ever asked: How do you come up with ideas for your books? What inspi