Writer’s Block

A business colleague and friend asked me today how to get over writer’s block.  It’s a good question — especially since writing takes so many forms.  With the advent of the computer, many people who may never have had strength in writing are now writing business plans, marketing plans, writing technical manuals…and that is aside from all the people who are literary writers — novelists, poets, screenwriters, and on and on.

No matter what type of a writer you are, as with any creative pursuit, you’ll hit the wall from time to time.  Sometimes the block can be a moment, sometimes it can last years without any relief.  After writing a blog for over 5 (almost 6) years, I’ve had many days, and sometimes weeks, where I can barely muster the energy to put together a sentence, let alone a blog post.  And so I liked the question. 

My mother has been a creative all her life.  She was a child radio star and moved into theater and film, becoming quite well known in Canada.  Later on she started writing and unleashed great depth with her poetry, winning awards along the way.  As a mature women, a published writer and along the way developed a significant writing business that flourished for many years.  When she was working on her wonderful bilingual book of poems (“Etreinte/Embrace”) she suffered writer’s block.  Her mentor encouraged her along and gave her a technique for overcoming blockage.  The idea is not to walk away and hope that the creative juices would flow on their own.  Rather, her technique was to overwhelm the senses with creativity and beauty and that surge of positive beauty would jump-start the creative process again.

And that was the process my mother (and now, I) use to get past the hump.  My mom would go to art galleries, movies, live theater, museums, and read other writers’ works in order to become re-inspired.  I tend more towards the beauty of nature to fill my senses and bump me forward.  My favorite place to write is at my dining room table, looking out at my beautiful, flowering garden, catching glimpses of hummingbirds, and always, lots of roses.  Just taking a quiet moment and gazing on nature’s beauty always seems to do it for me.

Just wanted to share a reminder to those of you who may have experienced a bit of writer’s block from time to time, to take the time to breathe in creativity wherever you may find it.

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