Tag Archives: writer’s block

What Else Looks Like Writer’s Block But Isn’t


The gap between finishing one writing project and starting the next can look like writer’s block. It’s not. The contrast can be startling. You were focused and engaged, busy drafting, revising and polishing. You rightfully felt proud of your effort and gratified with the result. Then suddenly, you’re not. Not doing anything apparently. What’s wrong […]

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Looks Like Writer’s Block, But It’s Not


One of the things commonly mistaken for writer’s block is simple unpreparedness. You’re not writing because you’re not ready to write. How many steps do you think there are between getting a great idea and writing? It’s more than you think. Go ahead and list the steps for yourself. Then come back and we’ll compare […]

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Writer’s Block and Medical Student Syndrome


Second-year medical school students are known to experience symptoms of many of the diseases they study, at least for the week they’re studying that particular ailment. It’s the placebo effect in reverse – focusing so much attention on symptoms causes med students to think they have them. “It’s not necessarily the reality that shapes us, […]

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Writing Failure Lesson #1: Don’t!


Thomas Edison’s observation that he had not failed, he’d found 700 ways that didn’t work (or 1,000 or 10,000 depending on the source) is remembered because it is unexpected. Edison’s lesson from failure was to refuse to see it. Most of us couldn’t endure finding 700 ways not to do something. Most of us get […]

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Learn to Be Brave, Not Blocked


Pain is Tuition for Compassion, Fear is Tuition for Bravery A Sufi adage tells us, “Pain is the tuition for compassion.” Until you’ve experienced deep pain yourself, you are incapable of the compassion that calls forth the best parts of human beings and allows us to connect heart to heart, deep below the surface of […]

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Thanks for the Resistance – Again!


If this Thanksgiving post sounds familiar, it’s because I’ve published it before. It bears repeating. As a writer, what do you give thanks for? Your computer? Teachers who taught you to read and write? Writers who inspire you? Your vision and the flexibility of your fingers and brain? Do you give thanks for your resistance? […]

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Keep the Poop Principle and Writer’s Block in Their Place


The previous post invited you to write your Writer’s Poop List of the things you don’t love about being a writer. So why do we deal with all this s**t? Why do I pick up what a friend euphemistically calls “recycled dog food”? Because I love my dogs and that is part of having dogs […]

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Master Resistance with Two Simple Commands


No matter how resistant you are – how much or how long you’ve been procrastinating, distracting yourself, doing anything but the writing you want or need to do – two simple commands will change everything. Well-trained dogs respond to these commands and you can train your brain to respond, too. Yes, I know people are […]

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Brain Basics About Writer’s Block


Joel Canfield asked me to review “the foundations and high-level perspectives about why we struggle with this stuff, and why your excellent solutions work.” I’m happy to oblige!  Here are the brain basics of writer’s block. Do You Have What It Takes? If you’ve ever questioned whether you have enough discipline, will power, ambition or […]

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Sidestep Writer’s Resistance with the Willingness to Suck


I shared a Wall Poster on my Facebook page with the “Nobody tells this to people who are beginners…” quote from Ira Glass that’s making the rounds right now. If you’re getting started as a writer, the advice is right on target. If you’ve been writing awhile, it’s an excellent reminder. If you haven’t seen […]

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