Fear, Loathing and Writing Blocks

Hunter S. Thompson was able to write a book and make some money from his fear and loathing

The bad news about fear and loathing for the writer is that these two emotional states can stop the flow of words. The good news  is that they can be transmuted into writing fuel.

Hunter S. Thompson made fear and loathing famous in a book and in movies. Fortunately, the massive amounts of mind-altering substances that the writer/protagonist ingested in his tale are not required for this transmutation. There are other effective approaches that are easier on the brain, the body and the criminal record.

One way to shift your attitude about intense feelings like fear an loathing, is to fear and loathe them less. You may be more open to this idea if you come to believe that your negative emotions can be a real asset to your writing, especially the feelings you tend to dread and avoid.

One way that writing comes to a halt is when the anticipation or experience of writing dredges up hard-to-tolerate feelings, so you avoid writing to avoid experiencing those feelings. It isn’t writing itself that you dislike, it is the emotions that are activated when you write. If you can find a way to be more welcoming to these emotions, they may grace you with fresh energy and ideas for you work.

It takes a conscious effort to transmute fear and loathing into writing fuel, and it means operating in a way that runs contrary to common sense. Welcome your fear if it comes knocking, and ask it what it wants to say. Invite loathing into your living room for a chat. It might feel weird to do this, but certainly less weird than a taking an acid trip to Las Vegas with Hunter S. Thompson.

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About David Arnot Rasch

Author, psychologist, speaker, workshop leader
This entry was posted in Common Writing Block Problems, Famous writers, The Blocked Writer's Book of the Dead, Tips for overcoming writer's block and procrastination and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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