(continued from previous post; 8/3o)
~Challenging life experiences: Difficult memories, poor training and traumas. Through the impact of past experiences you may have incorporated unhelpful beliefs about yourself as a writer, or been conditioned to fear or avoid writing. These issues may operate unconsciously, making it hard to understand what is happening. The path for addressing these conflicts involves reviewing events in your personal history and understanding their impact on your writing life. Using a therapist or counselor may be useful in this endeavor.
~Lack of support and mentoring. Writers like Heraclitus, who spent many years roaming the countryside alone in melancholy despair, are too isolated in terms of their writing, and do not have mentors to guide them through the many challenges that the writing life entails. Sometimes finding the right group, class, coach or good writing buddy makes a big difference in motivation, skill development, confidence, awareness of options and resources, morale and daily word count.
The above topics will at least serve to give an overview of some of the chief issues to consider in terms of addressing writing blocks. As is true in many things, the devil is in the details, and finding the right path for an individual will depend on the particulars of that writer’s experience. Sometimes change happens quickly, sometimes over months, and sometimes a bit of trial and error is involved before finding an approach that works.
I have found that an approach involving patience, sufficient motivation, a willingness to exert effort and self-acceptance is useful. It’s also important to remember that even Heraclitus, a misanthrope who exemplified a number of attributes connected with poor writing productivity, ended up being a powerful historical figure whose book has made important contributions to philosophical discussions through the ages.
Heraclitus could be kind of a bummer, but I bet Will Rogers would have liked him, and his book.