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How to Overcome Writer’s Block

  • 10 min read

As the tagline so adequately explains, I started this blog as a medium for sharing ideas for a better life, a better world and a better you.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I also started it as an outlet for self-expression. That said, the benefit of you, the reader, is still my number one goal here. If it wasn’t, I could easily just post a rant full of random personal ramblings every day.  

Recently I’ve found myself a bit stuck with figuring out what to write about.

For about a year now, I’ve been disgustingly happy.  That doesn’t mean I never feel “negative” emotions.  I get sad sometimes, and occasionally something frustrates me.  But in general, I’m happy to a degree my former self would’ve deemed impossible.  I’m happy in a way that’s not temporary.  It’s not a hyped up, ecstatic kinda happy.  It’s a gentle happiness in the background that’s there for no other reason than being alive.

And since my aim is to share anything I know can make your life better, I should in theory start writing about the many things that contributed to elevating my “baseline emotion” to one of joy and love, instead of the previous pessimism.

But with the exceptions of some small practical changes (like improving my productivity and daily routine) most things that contributed to my increased sense of happiness are spiritual in nature.  They required me to transcend my exclusive faith in science and become more open-minded.

I feel a strong resistance towards sharing such things.  Mainly because 1,5 years ago, I still actively judged the crap out of anyone who would talk “spiritual mumbo jumbo” to me.

For my entire life, my mom had been sharing lots of valuable knowledge about spirituality with me.  But my unshakeable belief in science caused me to reject the very notion that there could be any valid perspective coming from a spiritual angle.

And the fact that the people who spread these kinds of messages are generally brainwashed by a religion or cult, or living in denial of some very important aspects of their lives (the material world, or sexuality, just to name a few), didn’t really contribute a lot to making me less judgmental.

So whenever such a subject came up, I’d start hammering it into the ground with arguments on why it was all bullshit.

But as any loyal reader of this blog may know: Whenever you find yourself defending an opinion as if it was your own life, that’s a pretty clear sign you’re living in denial.

Resisting Spirituality

If the above sounds a lot like you, it might help to ask yourself: What are you defending here? Why would you go through so much effort just to prove yourself that your opinion is the right one?  Why would it matter if someone else doesn’t see that?

If you are that involved in proving your opinion is right, there’s a pretty big chance you’re pushing away an important part of reality that you don’t want to face.

Of course, I can only see how stubbornly I was identified with my own opinion in hindsight.

Back then I would’ve just believed I stood up for truth.

But as 2016 progressed, lots of things happened that forced me to broaden my perspective and open up my mind.  And they turned me into a very spiritual person.

As I gathered more and more of these experience, I realized that a lot of the perspectives I had refused to consider weren’t as airy fairy in nature, as the words made them sound. But that explaining them with non-“spiritual” words was simply very hard to do.

They were also exactly the things that turned out to improve my life:  My relationship with myself, with other people, with the world.  The work I was doing.  And they were impossible to explain in scientific terms, because they were so subjective in nature.

Luckily, I was blessed with some friends who went through a similar shift in mindset at the same time.  And they had similar results.

The Things I Never Wrote About

For that reason, if I’d stay true to my mission in life as a person, that means I would need to start writing about things of that nature from time to time.  If I really want to share the things I’ve benefitted most from in life, I’d have to also open up about things like:

  • Surrendering to a greater force (as in nature, or life itself. Not God. Unless… Life itself is God 😉 )
  • Subjective reality
  • The flow and management of energy
  • Oneness
  • Meditation
  • Connecting with the timeless essence of being human
  • Law of attraction in a practical way (not the way most people interpret it)
  • Synchronicities
  • Non-attachment
  • Spiritual seduction
  • The difference between your ego and your higher self, etc.

So why didn’t I do that yet?

Because of how hard I used to judge other people for stuff like that.

So having been that harsh on people with such opionins, I expect the outside world to judge me harsly as well.  Which is why for the entire year, I’ve refrained from writing about such subjects.  I’m afraid of losing credibility in the eyes of some people. Which might cause them to stop taking more scientific or down-to-earth advice on this blog to heart as well.

Of course, I know that in order to live in integrity with my own values I have to stop giving a single fudge about that. And to start including some articles about those subjects too.  

A Writing Retreat

As an experiment for this month, I’ve decided to take a full week in which I would write for 60-100 hours straight.  First I’ll write enough articles to schedule for the entire month of January and the first 2 weeks of February (which I’ll spend on vacation in Africa).  Then if I have enough time left, I’ll spend the remaining hours of my work week to write for my book.

I’ve never done so much writing at once before. But it was interesting to do.

The first 3 articles I posted this month were very safe and practical in nature.  Then I came up with a couple of articles about things I’ve been meaning to write about for a long time. These articles felt very inspired, flowed effortlessly, and I liked the result.  All of them are scheduled to be posted.

I also wrote a little unfocused rant about all kinds of random things. But I felt it held lots of practical value.  

However, now that I’m done with those initial few articles, it seems like all inspiration is gone.

Is it though?  I still have a list of about 30 lessons I learned in life that I want to share.  But whenever I start to write the article, nothing comes out.

Why would that be?

I noticed it’s because all of them focus on “riskier subjects”.  One by one, they are always related to spirituality or sex.

So would you say that a lack of inspiration is the problem here?  Or that I am stopping myself from being inspired?

How to Beat Writer’s Block

Thinking back on how I cured writer’s block as a songwriter, that makes it pretty clear what I need to do:

I overcame it by not being afraid of getting judged any more.

There used to be a very judgmental attitude in the band I play in when it came to songwriting.  The vibe was rather competitive.  When I came in with a song, the first thing that happened was that I had to hear “it sucked and it was the worst song ever”. But on the other hand those same people weren’t able to deal with constructive criticism from anyone.

As soon as the vibe in the band changed, and I found myself surrounded by positive people, I felt safe to share even the songs I myself had doubts about with them without receiving any insults. And I stopped giving a fuck.

Now I could let my creativity run free and write from the heart.  Every song I write since then is simply a vehicle for self-expression and musical experimentation.  After that, the band gets to decide whether they like this particular outlet of self-expression enough to start improving it to the point where we can include it on an album.  But I never get judged for it, neither do I judge them for their creative musings.  Because I know how beautiful those things are in itself.  Listening to a piece of music that literally is a glimpse into the soul of one of my best friends is just amazing.

Nowadays song ideas are abundant for me.  I get about 20 ideas for songs a week.  I’d never have time to finish them all even if I wanted to.

When I compare this evolution in the “eco-system” of our band, it becomes clear to me that the reason I’m uninspired to continue writing at the moment is the fact that I am a creating a similar internal eco-system for myself.

One in which I judge myself for my own creations before I’ve written them.  Where I already imagine people saying things like “That’s bullshit!”  “Life is not that simple!”  “You’re stupid and ignorant and you don’t know what you’re talking about!” . But the truth is that I have no way of knowing what people will think of my writing up front.  In fact, history proves that the articles I’m most afraid of receiving criticism for, are the ones people end up liking the most. 

So if I want to enjoy the same level of creative freedom for this blog that I enjoy while writing or playing music, that means I’ll need to let go of my inner judgment.  Besides, am I not the same guy who preaches sucking in public is a good thing?  (Not in  that way, you dirty mind!  But I agree that also is a good thing 😉 )

Addressing the Root Cause

Considering what causes it, getting out of writer’s block is actually pretty easy if you’re willing to see it for what it actually is.

Writer’s block is not a lack of inspiration.

Writer’s block is not a lack of energy or focus to keep on writing (if that was the case, it would be called “writer’s fatigue”).

Writer’s block is just what it says.  It’s a block.

You’re blocking yourself from listening to the inspiration because you’re judging it.  You’re blocking yourself from authentic, free expression because you’re afraid of the responses you might receive.

Once you decide to release this block and stop giving a fuck (writing whatever comes to mind as if you had no audience), you automatically fix the problem.

In fact, this article just wrote itself after deciding to release that block 😉

Now if you’ll excuse me, I still have about 27 hours of writing left to do.  During which I won’t censor myself 😉

Lots of love for you, and I wish you a year full of authentic self-expression 🙂

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