Overcoming Obstacles in Writing Part 2 by Carol Harrison

How can we get started?

Once we have defined the obstacles we face in our writing journey, whether small bumps or mountains, we need to take time to look at how to get started on overcoming them. In this blog post we will look at a few ideas which may spark some more of your own ideas.

Procrastination needs to be pushed out of the way so we get our goals met in a timely manner. You can schedule writing on your calendar in the time that is optimum for your writing. Do you write best in the early morning or are you a night owl and take advantage of a quiet house after everyone else has gone to bed? Where is your optimal space to write? Do you need the background noise of a coffee shop or a totally quiet environment? Do you have a specific space to write? Do you need that to train your brain that this is the time and place where writing happens?

Fear and perfectionism tend to go hand in hand when we look closely at them. We can’t give up on attempting to perfect our work because we fear it won’t be good enough or as good as someone else’s work. We need to learn to not compare ourselves or our work to other people’s writing and instead work on doing our very best with the abilities God gave us and turn to Him for help instead of worrying what someone else thinks. That still means we need to learn our craft well.

Writers’ block and burnout can also go hand in hand. When we stare at a blank page for a long time we want to give up. There is something blocking our creativity and we burnout on the writing journey. Also we can burnout by working so hard we forget about self-care.

Writing deadlines, even self imposed can help with this. Allow small steps and manageable goals with rewards for yourself when you meet each small milestone in the journey. This helps take care of yourself, give you breaks from writing to clear your mind.

For writers’ block you can try word association games, take time for other creative endeavours, and setting a time and place to write that works for you. Maybe writing prompts and a time of free writing will unlock the block. Free writing for a set amount of time even about nonsense or everyday events can dup information out of your brain and free it for specifics to whatever project you are trying to work on.

Self–care can be something as small as a short visit with a friend, getting and giving a hug, going for a walk and picking up a piece of nature like a pretty rock. It can also be bigger like a spa day. Give yourself permission to care for yourself and reward yourself with things that bring you happiness

For me, I use other creative endeavours like making a junk journal to combat feeling stuck Making lists of other things to do will give them a place to hang out instead of trying to remember all of them. You can also list other parts of a writing journey like marketing, research, updating your head shot or business cards. Then you can work on them when you face writers’ block. I struggle with remembering to implement self-care at times. Yet I realize how necessary it is.

Finally, there are many resources about the craft of writing, self-care, and motivational plans. Continuing to learn and improve in our writing journey is admirable but there comes a time when we need to implement the knowledge we’ve gained and not simply continue to only learn.

What works for you to overcome the obstacles of procrastination, perfectionism, fear, burnout and writers’ block?

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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