Writing Crisis? 8 Reasons Why & How to Conquer Them: Part 2 of 2

Note:

This is the second part of a post series. Did you miss part one? Read it here.

What happens when writers are at a loss for words? *shudder!* Here are the top 8 reasons writers are not writing--and writing exercises to conquer them!

 

Reason 5

I don’t want to sound stupid or uninformed.

I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged․‥I had poems which were re-written so many times I suspect it was just a way of avoiding sending them out.Erica Jong

To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.Aristotle

When I was in grade school, a veterinarian visited our class. He brought a litter of puppies with him.

A parent filmed the presentation. The camera was just behind me and I could hear it humming while the vet spoke.

After the vet finished his speech, he answered questions.

I, being brilliant and naive, asked how you told the difference between the boy dogs and the girl dogs.

The vet stumbled for words and blushed. The other kids howled. The parents laughed until they cried.

The videographer almost dropped the camera.

I wanted to a) die on the spot, b) chew off my tongue, and c) crawl under the desk. To this day, I blush a bit when I think about it.

To further my humiliation, the next day the video was shown to other classes in our grade and I had the pleasure of reliving the moment again.

This, without comparison, is my moment of shame. Nothing. No-thing can make me feel as horrid as I did that day.

Nothing I write or do or say can ever bring that level of embarrassment to me.

It doesn’t matter if I’m the hero or the zero after the next post I write; I’ll still write another. And another. And another.

Writing is more important to me than the response after.

Yes, I love to be loved. But I still need-to, have-to write. Over and over again.

And, before you ask, I do know how to tell the difference between boys and girls.

I’m just not telling.

Remember, it's better to create something and be criticised than to create nothing and criticise others.Ricky Gervais @rickygervais

Step One: realize that creative folks who produce content regularly don’t necessarily think their work is brilliant and immune to criticism — they just don’t care anymore if it happens to be perceived as “stupid,” “bad,” or “pointless.”
 
How do you stop caring? That’s Step Two: you must have confidence in your work and accept that it will take on a life of its own after you present it to the world.
 
I always say there should be people who hate your writing. When everyone likes your writing, you haven’t made enough impact.
 
For instance, there should be someone who thinks it’s really dumb that you wrote about the serendipitous way you discovered your favorite recipe for an organic, non-toxic bathroom cleaner.
 
Because for every person who thinks it’s dumb, there is another person who is delighted you shared your recipe; it’s exactly what he was looking for — and he feels a connection with you because your story is his story.
 
Since you contributed a personal anecdote rather than just listing the ingredients in the recipe, you’ve helped a reader get to know you. Now, he values you as a resource․‥
 

So, don’t aim to please.
 
Aim to connect.Stephanie Flaxman

When you succumb to judgement (sic) you’re saying that the judge’s opinion of you has more value than who you are as an individual.Liz, A Life on Your Terms

 

Reason 5 Focus Questions:

Write down your answers
If you did make a mistake, what is the worst thing someone could say? Why do you care?

 

Writing Exercise 5

Write about your most embarrassing moment. Don’t leave out a single excruciating detail.

Post it on your blog, email it to your friends, enter it into a contest.

Shout it loud and proud—this is my humiliation, hear me roar.

Now go out with your friends and have a good laugh.

Come home—tipsy or sober—and write about all the embarrassing moments your friends shared with you.

Posting on your blog is optional.

 

Learn more about conquering fear of judgment

The Powerful Resource You’ve Always Wanted When Presented with Creative Challenges
How To Get Over The Fear of Being Judged By Others
How to Free Yourself From Fear of Judgement (sic)
Creativity Tips from Martha

 

    Continue Reading

  1. For me, writing has become a burden rather than a joy.
  2. I have nothing to say.
  3. I don’t want to write/post/publish if it isn’t perfect.
  4. I’m not sure where to start.
  5. I don’t want to sound stupid or uninformed.
  6. I don’t have time to write.
  7. What is the point? Why does it matter if I write?
  8. I have too much drama/stress/change in my life to write.


 

Reason 6

I don’t have time to write.

To think, I used to complain about having no time to write.
 
Then I had kids.
 
Ha. Ha ha ha. Hahahahahahaha.
 
#amwriting #youfindthetimeKathryn Hore @kahmelb

I like people. Sort of.

My friends are great. The family is pretty handy to have around. But I need “me” time.

I crave quiet for my thoughts and modes of creative expression. Writing and quilting and photography all fill my artistic well and keep the imagination humming.

Without this time to write and create, I get grumpy—mama-bear-protecting-her-young kind of grumpy.

Give me space. Or heads will roll.

(Pretty sure I mean that as an illustration, but there are moments, I wouldn’t mind some rolling.)

For me, it isn’t about finding the time, it is about the necessity of it.

I grab every opportunity to have my quiet and be creative.

Which makes everyone around me happier.

Sort of.

You know how you might insist on having a lunch break every day?․‥I treat writing a book as seriously as having lunchPip Lincolne

Too many writers use lack of time as an excuse not to write. When you say you don’t have the time, what you are really saying is, something else is more important right now than writing.Victoria Lynn Schmidt Ph.D

Figure out when you can write and then try to make that time sacred. Professional writers do this. Amateur writers don’t.Randy Ingermanson

 

Reason 6 Focus Question:

Write down your answer
Where does writing fit into your list of priorities?

 

Writing Exercise 6

Acquire a This-is-my-official-writing notebook.

The next time you watch television, take the notebook with you. During every commercial break, write in the notebook.

Before you go to sleep at night, write for five minutes in your notebook.

When you get up in the morning, write for five minutes in your notebook.

Set the alarm thirty minutes early and write for thirty minutes.

When you play Candy Crush, play one round of the game, then write for two minutes. Play another round of the game, write for ten minutes. Delete the stupid game off your phone and write for thirty minutes.

Lock the bathroom door and take a bubble bath (or as my niece once called it, “Daddy soup”). Write until the water cools and your toes are all wrinkled.

Repeat the steps as necessary. Every. Single. Day.

 

Learn more about time management

Writing When You Have No Time To Write
Writing a book: Where do you find the time to write?
6 Ways to Stay Creative as a Writer (When You’re a Parent)
How She Does it: Blogger Pip Lincolne Talks Finding Time to Write Books
6 Habits to Help You Write When You Don’t Have the Time

 

    Continue Reading

  1. For me, writing has become a burden rather than a joy.
  2. I have nothing to say.
  3. I don’t want to write/post/publish if it isn’t perfect.
  4. I’m not sure where to start.
  5. I don’t want to sound stupid or uninformed.
  6. I don’t have time to write.
  7. What is the point? Why does it matter if I write?
  8. I have too much drama/stress/change in my life to write.


 

Reason 7

What is the point? Why does it matter if I write?

“No one’s going to read it. And certainly no one is going to *do* it. What’s the point?” all while I’m typing and working (2) #amwritingJihan @jin_crow

As writers, we often forget writing doesn’t have to be big to make an impact. A few simple words can turn into priceless treasure.

My dear friend Valerie died in March 2014. She was happy and healthy and vital. Her death was a shock—a festering wound, still bringing me pain at the most unexpected of times.

A note she wrote me is framed and sits on my desk.

I see her handwriting every single day; it turns that pain into more of an ache and serves as a sweet reminder of the joy she brought my life.

I wouldn’t trade her note—or the memories it provides—for anything.

All forms of expression are valuable․‥Entertainment, art, anything that provides pure pleasure is 100% of value․‥
 
․‥the world needs the special gift that only you have.
Marie Forleo

Repeat after me: “I write stories that matter.”Bryan Hutchinson

Writing is about writing. Remember this. Everything else is bonus. JM Tohline

 

Reason 7 Focus Questions:

Write down your answers
What role does writing play in your life? How would you feel if you could never write again?

 

Writing Exercise 7

Write about every time you received praise for your writing, from your Mom’s Christmas card to the essay you wrote in third grade. Include the reaction of others to your work—positive thoughts only!

How has writing improved your life?

What lessons have you learned from writing?

Read “Learn more about your purpose” and do the writing exercises in Reason 1.

Review your answers and write.

 

Learn more about your value as a writer

Value What You Do: A Must Watch for Artists and Creatives
Why Writers Self-destruct and 5 Ways To Thrive Instead!
what is the point of writing?
Shortly after Valerie’s death, I wrote the backstory to the note, mentioned above. You can read about it in this post, Call Me

 

    Continue Reading

  1. For me, writing has become a burden rather than a joy.
  2. I have nothing to say.
  3. I don’t want to write/post/publish if it isn’t perfect.
  4. I’m not sure where to start.
  5. I don’t want to sound stupid or uninformed.
  6. I don’t have time to write.
  7. What is the point? Why does it matter if I write?
  8. I have too much drama/stress/change in my life to write.


 

Reason 8

I have too much drama/stress/change in my life to write.

If chaos is a necessary step in the organization of one’s universe, then I was well on my way. Wendelin Van Draanen

“We think we can plan our lives,” he muttered. “We think we can model reality. But chaos is an intrusive, inconsiderate bitch.” Linda Nagata

I have even been known to purchase my family some extra underwear, so I can stretch out the time between loads of laundry․‥(is that bad?).Lisa Lipkind Leibow

We’ve all had them: The days when it seems more humane to bang your head against the monitor than, say, commit homicide.

But a bit less satisfying.

The washer overflows, dinner gets burned, and your puppy develops a taste for sheep manure—rolling in it and eating it.

You have to mop up, nuke something else, and catch the dung dabbler so you have the pleasure of washing the crap off him, literally.

Lucky, lucky me.

It would be easy to fall into a bottle of Jack and post the dog on Craig’s List.

Instead, you laugh and toast The Universe for being so perverse.

Then you write about it.

Easier. And a lot more satisfying.

One person’s data is another person’s noise.K.C. Cole

drama, drama, drama. In real life it isn’t a good thing, but on my pages it’s magic #writingTasha Kreger @TK_McGill

Our real discoveries come from chaos, from going to the place that looks wrong and stupid and foolish.Chuck Palahniuk

 

Reason 8 Focus Question:

Write down your answer
How can writing relieve the stress in your life?

 

Writing Exercise 8

Write a letter to whomever or whatever is causing stress and drama in your life. Tell them all the ways their actions are upsetting you.

Share every moment of despair, every slight, every inaction that caused you harm. Continue adding to the letter as events transpire.

Seal the letter in an envelope. Burn the letter.

Use the stressful situation as the setting for your next story. Change the nagging sister into the nosy neighbor, adjust the outcome, add more drama and intrigue.

Switch the elements to turn your personal chaos into a story all its own.

 

Learn more about writing during periods of chaos and stress

Writing Despite Grief
Write in the Middle of Chaos
Writing Fiction When Chaos Strikes Your Life
Crying Out Loud

 


 

Write on

For me, writing, at times, can be an awful, miserable experience. Not writing is ten times worse.

As a favor to yourself—no matter the circumstances—write. Write and write and write.

Remember every time you sit at the computer, you write because you are called to write, because writing expands you and fulfills you and comforts you in a way no other thing can.

And if find yourself, once again, making excuses, work your way through the exercises. And write.

Write and write and write.

Writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life.Stephen King

    For further reference

  1. For me, writing has become a burden rather than a joy.
  2. I have nothing to say.
  3. I don’t want to write/post/publish if it isn’t perfect.
  4. I’m not sure where to start.
  5. I don’t want to sound stupid or uninformed.
  6. I don’t have time to write.
  7. What is the point? Why does it matter if I write?
  8. I have too much drama/stress/change in my life to write.

 


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