A Different Kind of Writer’s Block by Steph Beth Nickel

We typically think of writer’s block as a mental state, fear of the blank page, concern that the words will never flow again.

But today, I’d like to talk about a different kind of writer’s block, other things that keep us from getting words on the page.

Don’t get me wrong. All the things on this list can also serve as the solution to writer’s block. (More about that in the next post.)

Skills Development Books

I have dozens of writing books, the majority of them unread. And have I stopped buying them? Of course not. Maybe this shiny new volume will inspire me to actually sit down and write. And if I do read and apply what I learn, my writing will be better than ever.

But those books will do me no good on the shelf. Nor will thinking I can’t buckle down and write until I’ve read such and such a book.

Online Courses

True confession. I don’t even know how many writing courses I have awaiting me out in cyberspace.

Oo, that looks interesting! I think I’ll purchase “just one more course, lifetime conference access, whatever.”

Does owning this material benefit me if I don’t read and apply the material? Of course it doesn’t.

Online Communities

Despite all the concerns about social media, I love the opportunity to make connections and develop genuine friendships out in cyberspace.

There are Facebook groups of all descriptions, dozens, if not hundreds, of them for writers.

But the reality is … we can only spread ourselves so thin. The more communities we’re active in, the less time we spend writing and the more time we spend scrolling. Guilty as charged.

And then of course … Life!

Fulltime job? Children? Aging parents? Volunteer responsibilities? Netflix? All of the above?

If we really want to write … we will set aside time to sit down at our computer or grab our journal (or laptop) and head to the local coffee shop; we will fit it into the available moments here and there, perhaps even writing on our phone; we will stop making excuses.


Nothing weighs us down like guilt. Guilt over unread books, incomplete courses, wasted inspiration. and endless excuses.

The writer’s blocks in your path are likely different than those in mine. But one thing’s for sure: twenty-twenty is a great year to start blasting through the obstacles in our way.

What has been standing in the way of your writing?

What are your goals for 2020 to conquer writer’s block of all descriptions?

Steph Beth Nickel is eclectically interested and eclectically involved. She has made far too many excuses about why she isn’t more productive as a writer. Twenty-twenty is the year that changes!

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