Read Time: 2+ minutes
I look like a rabid beast when I dance.
Legs twitch. Elbows fly. Hips don’t lie.
What’s crazy is that I feel the music — except that feeling translates into movement that could hurt somebody.
Also I look stupid dancing and I hate looking stupid. So I don’t dance much anymore.
But get this, my writing looks really stupid sometimes — except I could never give it up.
I’d miss it too much.
Because I love to craft plot twists, create characters and build worlds.
Maybe you love writing too?
If so… Why do you get blocked doing something you love?
Common Cures for Writer’s Block
A simple online search provided these suggestions:
- Find inspiration
- Eliminate distractions
- Outline so you know what to write
- Give yourself permission to draft imperfectly
It took seconds to gather that advice.
So again… if there are countless cures available, why do you still get writer’s block?
Maybe we should figure out exactly what we’re curing before applying any medicine.
The Underlying Cause of Writer’s Block
For most people, writer’s block blossoms from one obvious thing…
: an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger
“he is prey to the fear of rejection”
: to be afraid of : expect with alarm
“writers fear their work will not be good enough”
The creative process is a major head game.
Because doubt can easily lead you to lose confidence in your ability to produce meaningful artwork…
Thus you freeze… in fear.
Then you give the fear a fancy name like “writer’s block.”
Of course, the purpose of the fear is to keep you safe and protected.
And it often manifests through questions like these:
- What if I can’t translate my ideas onto the page?
- What if I write stuff but it looks like Dave’s dancing?
- What if people read my stuff and laugh? Or don’t care at all?
- What if my new stuff doesn’t live up to old stuff?
- What if I can never write as well as famous authors?
If you don’t even have faith in your own words… how will others?
How Do You Get Rid of the Fear?
Seth Godin says you should “dance with the fear?”
Even when the dancing makes you look dumb.
While writing this very issue, I stopped typing to ask:
- Does anyone really care about what I’m saying?
- Am I the only one who feels this way?
- Will this stance look silly?
I believe the fear is a confirmation you’re creating something worth caring about.
Because you know deep down you’re making your mark and your artwork may be exposed someday.
People may point at your creation, start name-calling it or laugh at it.
That’s scary stuff, storyteller.
But assuming you love to create like I do, there’s really no other choice.
So you must persevere.
Because your creations can be something special.
Something special you can use to build character and write a new chapter.
That’s worth dancing for.
Alas It Never Ends
Moving forward you know where to look when writer’s block haunts.
Don’t look for an internet free app or a better playlist.
Look inside the fear and commit to dancing with it.
Then go through the fire by writing and creating something—even if it looks stupid.
Just know that I won’t call it stupid.
Nope, not me.
Because even I’m dancing again.
Anytime writer’s block strikes, put on your protective dance gear & ask yourself these questions:
- Am I not writing because of a fear-based thought?
- Am I willing to dance with fear and let the fire refine me?
- Am I willing to create something today, even if it looks stupid?
P.S. I’m building an adaptive storytelling program where your choices and curiosities guide how you create your 3-act character-driven story outline.
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