Overcoming Obstacles in Writing by Carol Harrison

What’s stopping you?

Recently I attended a workshop on “Overcoming Obstacles in your Writing” by Jennifer Sparks from Saskatoon. It gave me lots to contemplate as I search my own writing life to figure out the obstacles holing me back or stopping me from writing. I’ve been asking myself how I can get unstuck and move forward with my writing.

The first part of overcoming obstacles is to identify them. Figure out what keeps us from writing. There are some main culprits that Jennifer called monsters. They include procrastination, perfectionism, fear, and burnout or writer’s block.

A big one I identified in my life is procrastination, that act of delaying or postponing something like writing. There are times I think I postpone my writing indefinitely with all kinds of excuses. We all have seasons in our lives where other things crowd out the writing or our desire to sit and compose words into poems or prose pieces. I am in a time where grief takes an upper hand most days and writing or other creative endeavours seem to be overshadowed. In time this season will pass or lessen and I will need to watch closely that procrastination does not continue without end.

Perfectionism comes when we constantly try and edit and improve our work with no end in sight to move it to the next phase of the writing journey – publication. At some point we need to get to the point where we say it is ready. It is the best I can make it. It has been edited over and over and it is time to birth the project.

Fear is another big one for me. Fear of my work never being good enough or as good as someone else’s pieces. There is the fear of failure. What if no one likes what I wrote? What if I can’t sell my books? But is there also the possibility of a fear of success? If I produce a well-done work that is enjoyed by others, what do I do then? What if someone asks me to speak about it or do an interview? What if can get us into lots of trouble both for failure and success I think.

Burn out or writers’ block can also be obstacles for writers. I believe they can go hand in hand. When we are burned out, feel like there is no creativity left in the chaos of life, we also experience writers’ block. What can I find to write about? Nothing sounds like a good idea. The blank page stares back at you as if daring you to mar its surface.

Do you ever experience any of these obstacles in your writing life? What can we do about them? Watch for Part 2 where we look at ideas to help us get started.

As a speaker, published author, and storyteller, Carol Harrison is passionate about mentoring people of all ages and abilities to help them find their voice and reach their fullest potential. She shares from her heart, through her writing and speaking, telling stories from real life experiences and God’s Word to encourage people and help them find a glimmer of hope no matter what the circumstances. You can find more information  at www.carolscorner.ca  or email her at carol@carolscorner.ca

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