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When The Writer's Block Is Real

How to unstick yourself from the places in your mind that like to prevent you from getting stuff done

Cartoon by Calvin Innes

Blocks happen to everyone and prevent people from accomplishing almost anything. They seem to spring up at the worst times when you know you should be getting things done, but find yourself struggling to motivate. More often than not, they prevent you from accomplishing much of anything beyond the point of comprehension.


I hate getting stuck in a block. I can't express how much I wish things would just flow and I could crank out a few thousand words a day.


That would be so nice.


Ironically, I've noticed my blocks tend to come on in times when I know—or at least am aware of the possibility—of change.


Currently, I have been stuck in a block for a couple months now. Granted, there have been a myriad of things cropping up that have thrown me off and made my life feel pretty unsteady, but I know that I could do a little more to work through it and haven't.


I think the biggest thing about writer's block is really just motivating yourself into doing just one thing that moves you in the direction of your goals and desired accomplishments.


I can say that I have been writing. It's been the same three pages or so over and over and over again, but it's something.


The sticky loop of restarting again and again is a huge problem for me.


I know many people struggle with many different types of blocks. There are the people would don't make any move at all and wait stagnantly until something breaks through or they completely give up. There are the people like me who start something but can't seem to get past a certain point in the work. The people who finish something but then can't bring themselves to put it out there, even for feedback (I like to call these people the creative hoarders). And there are people who plan everything out and get everything they need before getting another idea and acting upon "the next big thing" forever and never finishing anything ever.


There might be more forms of blocking, but those are the biggest ones and the ones that I think pretty much everyone suffers from. And it's not just creative types, either.


For instance, I have a dear friend who is one PowerPoint presentation away from getting his PhD. His defense is less than two weeks away and he has to make one PowerPoint and present it and he's stuck in a block of doing literally anything else besides his presentation.


I initially thought he was self-sabotaging, even though I know he will eventually do it (even if he has to pull all-nighters at the 11th hour), but I believe it's actually more than that, and probably a good lesson for all of us trying to do something that we know will completely change our lives.


For my friend, this is currently the end of a long education. When he gets his doctorate, he knows that he will have to make moves towards his career, life in a new city, and enormous life changes.


If I'm being honest, I can remember being in that space when I finished my degree. It was terrifying. How could it not be?


And I think that's the same with writing a book or creating a masterpiece (or anything even remotely creative that others can judge you for). You know that it is a "Success or Failure" moment and you are about to either make or break your hopes and dreams.


That is BIG!


As today is the third anniversary of the release of Carnal Knowledge and the real beginning of my authoring journey, it took a lot for me to even release the book into the world. I was scared. I didn't know what people would think. Even still, it's way easier for me to talk about my friends' works than it is to speak about my own.


But it's also all a practice. I won't tell you that it gets easier the more you do it, because I am not an example of that. What I can say is that when you are faced with scary and hard decisions that will ultimately impact your life, here's what's helped me: count to six, then do the thing.


Six Seconds of Insane Courage is good for this one thing at least.


 

For more quick writing tips, follow Lexi on Instagram! We are also hosting interview opportunities for published and aspiring authors on Courage's Instagram. If you're interested in chatting with Lexi about your work, please send us a message!

 

Lexi Mohney is a human being working on bettering her life and the lives of other human beings, too. There is no better time than the present to make a connection or two and share in what it means to be a part of this global community and foster hope in every way we can. Here's to a more united future for us all. On professional terms, Lexi is an award-winning author, a book coach who has taken her clients to the bestseller list, and a publisher. You can find her work in the shop or on Amazon.com. Please reach out to her with any questions you have about writing or the publishing world. She would love to hear from you!

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