Tag: writer's block

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September 12, 2017 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby tagged as , ,

Face your Fear | Denise Colby | A Slice of Orange


What’s your biggest fear as a writer?  For some of you, it might be putting the ideas swirling in your mind into actual words on the paper.  For others, it might be pitching your manuscript or creating social media posts.  Whatever it is, we all have them.  And all that fear causes anxiety, worry, tension, panic, despair…you get the idea (we all write characters who struggle with these, right?). If you’re anything like me, my fears prevent me from accomplishing or completing some of my writing goals.


So, what do we do about this?  How do we over come these fears?


First, you must identify it.  Write it down.  What’s your biggest fear? Stare it straight in the face.  It’s not so scary once you look at it written out.


Second, define it a bit more.  Add another layer of thought to it.  What specifically about it makes you have fear.  Is it the entire thing or just a part or two.  And then ask yourself, why is it scary for you?


Third, debunk it.  Discover counter arguments to your fear.  Find out from other authors if they have experienced the same fear.  Soon you might realize this is a normal reaction to the process and you might even learn ideas to overcome your fear.


Fourth, push through it. Do one task which causes fear. Ask yourself —what’s the worst that can happen?  Find a writing partner who can encourage you and help challenge you to follow through. Note: You may have to do this part more than once.


My Greatest Fear


I decided to take a 4 x 6 index card and ask myself what my greatest fear was.  What I wrote surprised me.  In my mind, I had a general overall fear, but when I wrote it down I saw something more specific.


I don’t always sit my butt in the chair and on the surface I tell myself it’s because I don’t have time, but deep down I’m seeing now it might be because I’m afraid.  What if I sit down for an hour session and it isn’t any better than when I started?  What if I only edit through a 600 word block in that time?  I will never finish. And so on and so on….


So, for me, my fear is getting it wrong.  I want to hit the mark and soar with my writing.  I’ve entered a lot of contests and shown my work, and although I get encouraging feedback, I’m still missing the mark.  And I’m afraid it will always be that way.


So for step 2, I had to ask myself what specifically about getting it wrong meant.  Was it failure?  Afraid of what people think?


I don’t think I’m afraid of what people think so much (although I want people to like my work), as I am wondering if what I write will ever be ready to publish.  I have lots of ideas, but when I write them down, they don’t sound as great as I thought they were.  And I’m afraid no matter how much time I put in, I may never achieve my goal of getting published.


All this fear and doubt affects what I do day to day.  How I spend my time.  My mental state when I’m writing.  And I don’t want it to.


So, I need to go to Step #3 and fight back.  Who decides if it’s wrong anyway?  And how do they decide? Look at how many published authors sent in their manuscript numerous times before it was accepted.  It’s just part of the process.


See, by writing it down, I can find counter arguments to what my fear is telling me.  And it helps calm down the panic that wants to creep in. It keeps me from letting my fear stop me completely.


Step #4 says to do something to face your fear, so I need to take risks and not be so afraid of doing so.  Write a blog post even if it’s not perfect and post it.  Write a new scene and show someone. Get feedback and keep trying.  If I don’t do any of these things, I let the fear win.  There is always going to be more I can add, more to improve, so why am I waiting to hit send?  Waiting doesn’t do anything but feed my fear.


And fear keeps me from my goals. Something none of us wants.


For fun, I came up with this acronym.  As we know, fear is an emotional response.  We need to stop reacting to our fear and work on ways to work through it.  So, FACE your FEAR.  Fix And Change Every Fear from Emotional to an Analytical Response.


All so we can meet our goals.  We all have goals we want to achieve, right?


So take some time and write down what your fear is and then face it.  You just might work through that writer’s block you’ve been struggling with.


Hugs & Blessings,


Denise Colby |The Writing Journey


Although new to the writing fiction world, Denise Colby has over 20+ years experience in marketing, creating different forms of content and copy for promotional materials. Taking the lessons learned from creating her own author brand Denise M. Colby, Denise enjoys sharing her combined knowledge with other authors.

If you are interested in a marketing evaluation and would like help in developing a strategy for your author brand you can find out more here http://denisemcolby.com/marketing-for-authors/

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Writer’s Block By Bill Zeilinger

February 22, 2013 by in category Archives tagged as , ,

Bill Zeilinger, writing as Will Zeilinger and Victoria Becker, is the author of “The Naked Groom” – a romantic comedy; “Something’s Cooking at Dove Acres” – a YA novel; and “The Final Checkpoint” – a mystery. 
His blog is http://www.booksbywilzeilinger.blogspot.com

Bill is also a graphic designer/illustrator. He designed book covers as well. You can see his art work at http://www.thosedesigners.com

Follow Bill as William Zeilinger on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @BigMrBill

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e-maginings Book Review: The War of Art

June 23, 2008 by in category Archives tagged as , , , ,

Title: The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
Author: Steven Pressfield, author of The Legend of Bagger Vance
Author’s Website: http://www.stevenpressfield.com/
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing, 2002
ISBN: 0-446-69143-7
Available from Amazon.com.

I heard about this book in a blog post and decided it might be just what I needed. Lately I’ve been struggling to get the butt in the chair and actually write. I hate to use the dreaded words writer’s block, but getting through my previous WIP was like pulling teeth, one millimeter at a time. (Well, it wasn’t that painful, but you get the point.)

When I started to read, I was surprised to see that the Foreword was written by screen writing guru, Robert McKee, one of the last people I’d have expected to struggle with writer’s block. Somehow that alone was comforting to me.

The War of Art is divided into three sections. In the first he explores what keeps us from writing which he calls Resistance. Some of us think of it as the “little editor in our head”, that little voice that says, “Why bother? You’re not any good.” Or “You have better things to do.” Or it’s the impulse that compels us to clean out our closets before sitting down to write. Resistance is, according to Pressfield, both persistent and omnipresent. The only way to beat it is to become a Pro.

In part two, he talks about how to behave like a Pro. As our recent speaker, Bob Mayer, said , “apply the butt glue”. I know, easier said than done, but necessary nevertheless. Pressfield believes that the act of sitting down to work triggers progress:

“…one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would not otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance…”

In part three, he talks about inspiration and meditation and other tricks to help trigger your muse. I chuckled when he talked about all of the lucky charms he keeps in his work area. I don’t have any lucky objects, but I did copy the prayer to the muse he always recites before starting to work. It comes from the opening of T. E. Lawrence’s translation of Homer’s The Odyssey. I re-worded it a bit to:

“Divine Muse, goddess, daughter of Zeus, sustain for me this song of love.* Make this tale live for us in all its many dimensions, O Muse.”

* In this area you can add more specific information about your book, or if you’re not writing romance, change it to song of mystery or whatever genre you write in.

If you’re struggling with writer’s block or just looking for a little inspiration, I recommend this book to you. It helped me finish my story.

Linda Mac

Linda McLaughlin writes erotic romance for Amber Quill Press as Lyndi Lamont. Her next release will be Alliance: Cosmic Scandal, coming on June 29.

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