Category Archives: Common Writing Block Problems

Common problems with blocking and procrastination

On diving in

I have worked with several writers whose primary challenge was taking the step of sitting down at their desk. Their anticipatory anxiety or other resistances create a mental barrier against taking the first step. Often they are entertaining an inaccurate and exaggerated estimate … Continue reading

Posted in Common Writing Block Problems, The Blocked Writer's Book of the Dead, Tips for overcoming writer's block and procrastination | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Procrastination or gestation?

Sometimes a writer needs to gestate, integrate, contemplate and maybe even vegetate for a while. This may involve pulling away from the keyboard or notepad and staring off into space, pacing in circles, or lying on your futon in the … Continue reading

Posted in Common Writing Block Problems, The Blocked Writer's Book of the Dead, Tips for overcoming writer's block and procrastination, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Room, Womb or Tomb of One’s Own

In her book, “A Room of One’s Own,” Virginia Woolf emphasizes how important it is for a writer to have the right place to do the work. This place is the womb where literary gestation, growth, labor, and birth occur. It is … Continue reading

Posted in Common Writing Block Problems, Famous writers, The Blocked Writer's Book of the Dead, Tips for overcoming writer's block and procrastination | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keep your writing toe in the water after a project is completed

It is natural to want to take a break when you have completed a project, especially one that has been challenging and lengthy. This gap time between projects is, however, a high-risk juncture for initiating an extended period of work avoidance. If you … Continue reading

Posted in Common Writing Block Problems, The Blocked Writer's Book of the Dead, Tips for overcoming writer's block and procrastination, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Childhood Writing Experiences and Blocks

If you have concerns about your writing process (or lack thereof), it may be useful to review your history as a writer. You were taught to write during childhood, and the effects of these early experiences and conditioning extend into … Continue reading

Posted in Common Writing Block Problems, Feedback and criticism, Mental health and writing blocks, The Blocked Writer's Book of the Dead, Tips for overcoming writer's block and procrastination | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“No one tells me what to do! Not even myself!”

Anyone who has read even a few letters to the editor in the newspaper knows that anger can stimulate the flow of written words. A touch of outrage is powerful energy that can motivate one to march, fight and write. … Continue reading

Posted in Common Writing Block Problems, The Blocked Writer's Book of the Dead, Tips for overcoming writer's block and procrastination | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Barton Fink goes to Hollywood and can’t write

In the Coen brothers movie Barton Fink, the main character (John Turturro) experiences some success as a socially relevant, intellectual playwright in NYC, who prides himself with addressing the plight of the common man in his art. When he is … Continue reading

Posted in Common Writing Block Problems, Famous writers, The Blocked Writer's Book of the Dead, Tips for overcoming writer's block and procrastination, Uncategorized, Writing for money | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A word of caution about giving advice to a procrastinator

  I, like so many others, am guilty of giving advice to procrastinators. I’ll bet I do it again in this blog post. It is so tempting to offer “help”, and even if my motives are pure and compassionate, the … Continue reading

Posted in Common Writing Block Problems, Feedback and criticism, The Blocked Writer's Book of the Dead, Tips for overcoming writer's block and procrastination, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Online Class on Overcoming Writing Blocks and Procrastination

Beginning June 25th, I will be teaching a five-week course through Stanford University’s Continuing Education Program. This will be an online class for writers who wish to improve their ability to initiate and sustain an ongoing practice of writing. Class … Continue reading

Posted in Common Writing Block Problems, Feedback and criticism, The Blocked Writer's Book of the Dead | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Procrastination Wheel of Suffering: Part Six – Writing Binge, Disappointment, Rationalizing

Binge; Disappointment; Rationalizing At this point on the Wheel of Suffering, a last-minute, deadline driven frenzy of writing erupts. With or without the use of stimulants of various sorts, long binges of work ensue in an adrenalized state of hyperactivity. Everything else in … Continue reading

Posted in Common Writing Block Problems, The Blocked Writer's Book of the Dead, Tips for overcoming writer's block and procrastination | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment