In today’s episode I want to talk to you about writer’s block. Specifically, the 5 stages of writer’s block, inspired by the Kübler-Ross stages of grief.
If you’ve ever experienced writer’s block, you know that you have to get through all these stages to be able to get back to writing. Writer’s block is painful, but not writing is even more painful.
Listen to the episode below for details about the five stages and how to overcome them.
Stage 1: Denial
“I don’t have writer’s block. I’m just really busy.”
If you’re going to get past a block, you have to acknowledge that it is there and that any excuses you have for not being able to write are just a way of avoiding writing.
Stage 2: Anger
“I never have time to write. It’s not fair!”
Anger is a defense mechanism. It masks the truth that you’re not writing by shifting the blame to someone or something else. The cure is simple. Just start writing. Use your anger to fuel your creativity.
Stage 3: Bargaining
“If I don’t write today but I write twice as much tomorrow, it will even out, right?”
Bargaining is just a fancy word for denial. Don’t let the cycle of procrastination pick up momentum. Sit down and write, even if it’s only for 15 minutes.
Stage 4: Depression
“Why bother? Everything I write is lousy.”
Up until now, the focus of your inability to write has been external, but now it is internal. This phase happens when you let your frustrations about writer’s block become personal. It’s important to remember that this is just a temporary phase. The best way to work through it is to sit down and write something. It doesn’t have to be good. Failure is ok. Mistakes are what teach us so that we can do better next time.
Stage 5: Acceptance
“Maybe I have writer’s block, but it’s ok. I can still sit down and write through it.”
All it takes is one small step at a time to get back on track. Just sit down and write. When we carry our stories in our head, it’s like we’re carrying all of this excess baggage in our brains. We need to dump it onto the page so that we can clear our minds and so that we can make it into something beautiful.
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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome.