How to Avoid Writer's Block

May 8, 2020

 

Just as we all speak, we all write. Through life and seasons, some more than others. Writing is a common experience. We connect to one another more deeply because of it. Pulling out our insides for examination and exposure through our ability to express what we find there is decompression therapy. We experience human validation through the translation of our fragile souls into powerful words.

 

Putting it all together for mutual benefit is, to my mind, fragrant, like the sweet smoke of incense when combined with the prayers of God’s people—what penetrates the universe to reach the Creator’s heart.

 

We should all celebrate the ability to do it!

 

Even though my high school literature students don’t want to believe it, a large percentage of whom feel being forced to read books and then write about them is punishment inflicted. As if it has no use, when playing football or posting on Instagram is so much more preferable and priority is, well, a matter of priority.

 

As students we are required to write, whether we want to or not. As adults, this is also true, to one degree or another, whether it is our pleasure or frustration. Whatever our individual, customized writing experience looks like, whether it is endeavoring to write a book or just jot thoughts down, or to obligatorily communicate in written form, having a place to start, that is, an ability to do so, makes the process so much easier.

 

Inability is to forward writing momentum what an empty gas tank is to a vehicle when you need to get somewhere.

 

But is it truly inability?

 

In writing, this is what is known as the dreaded writer’s block. Because the desire to get what is on our minds out on paper, or on a screen, is often not enough. Powerlessness has ability. It can kill desire quickly. When writing is the subject of discussion, it is this very topic that will likely come up.

 

But what if there was a way to conquer writer’s block? What if there was a way to get off the block, so to speak?

 

I have found there is. You won’t hear this from other authors offering helpful advice on this topic. Most of them anyway. 

 

I am going to tell you the truth.

 

Are you ready for it?

 

My secret is prayer.

 

PRAYER can eliminate writer’s block.

 

Maybe you’ve now decided to stop reading this. Perhaps you wanted to hear a surefire, quickfix way to clear this particular obstacle. 

 

Hear me out.

 

What if you were to spend some time with God before writing? What if you were to soak in his presence and enjoy a cup of coffee with him? What if you were to talk with him and listen for what he has to say? To sit still and allow your mind vacancy to refresh.

 

For a moment.

 

I think you’d be amazed at the information that comes your way then. You might have so many thoughts, a mind so full and unblocked, you can’t possibly get what is brought to the surface out and down through keyboard or pen fast enough.

 

Have you even tried this approach?

 

I have and it’s amazing! And how precious are those times!

 

When I wrote my first book, I fought for the time to get it done. I seriously waged war to create space. I still do, each time I write. 

 

I was, and still am, amazed at how big a little bit of time can be when God enters it. 

 

I look forward to spending such moments alone with him and I thrill to what he shows me. It is always special and sacred. And so very exciting.

 

Interaction with God will always excite me.

 

Sometimes, I have no intention of writing when I sit down to spend time with God. On some occasions I just need comfort. When my sole desire is to bask in his love. Sometimes it is with no petition and little brainwave function. When I just want to love him back.

 

However, even on most of those occasions, I suddenly have ideas.

 

That don’t stop!

 

Those times I feel as though I have a need to reach for the keyboard and type away! When I have to hold myself back! And later, when I do begin to write, I don’t have the time to get all he gives me released. I have a life. He doesn't want me to stay chained to my desk!

 

I think he laughs about this. Heartily.

 

God is rarely silent. And when he is, it isn’t for long.

 

For example, have you ever gone to God to ask him to show you the ways you’ve messed up? Have you ever asked for forgiveness and instead of lumping all of your wrongs together in a generic bundle for easy dismissal, asked him to name EACH one?

 

Isn’t it interesting how all of those sins start coming back to you, freely, as if they were right there on the edge of your mind all along, in a place where digging and excavating had already taken place to reveal them as artifacts on display?

 

On those occasions, my head is never clearer. What a list!

 

Inspiration is like that. When you know to whom to go for it.

 

Oh, sure, there are times I am depleted and in need of rest, but when I’ve made time to delight in my Creator’s company, he gives me all sorts of material with which to work.

 

Maybe you should try praying away writer’s block and see what happens. 

 

It might encourage you to pursue eliminating other blocks the same way.

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Kansas City, Kansas l jm@jmhuxley.com

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