Overcoming Writer’s Block

Ok this is one specifically for fellow writers and creators of all sorts.

As you may know I am writing my PhD dissertation at the moment. Just recently I experienced a phase of ‘writer’s block.’ I’ve gone through this many times before. This was special though, because I really wanted to learn from it. I wanted to understand what was generating powerful resistance within me.

It’s really impressive how resistance can manifest. My body would start to feel like a hunk of lead and I would get a headache when ever I sat down to work. Then I would start falling asleep. I knew something was up because when did something different I would feel fine again. At a deep level, what I was about to do was triggering a bunch of defensive behaviours. How can you work if you are asleep? Get the picture? I also noticed my speech and general decision-making had become defensive as well.

So my ego was being threatened by the idea of taking my work somewhere that was new and less ‘safe’. My amazing wife offered me some insights on perfectionism and this made a lot of sense. Over the next few days I gradually became aware of the beliefs that were paralysing me. I was telling myself that I did not have time to do another draft so this one had to be PERFECT. That’s a huge amount of pressure. Then I remembered back to all the creative projects I had gone through over the years and I realized that I only knew that a draft was actually the final one after I had done it, never before. It’s only after that we can see if everything has come together the way we want it.

So, next time you feel the block setting in just that everyone experiences this, you’re not alone and this happens regardless of ability, and remember that every draft is just another draft.

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