Category Archives: Mental health and writing blocks

Many a blocked writer languishes on the “Procrastination Wheel of Suffering”

Above is a visual depiction from my book of the process of procrastination. It is a summary of the patterns I frequently see in blocked writers, and based loosely on the Buddhist “Wheel of Samsara,” which depicts the cyclic, self-perpetuating nature of human suffering. … Continue reading

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“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” True for writers?

As a demonically possessed, binge-writing, axe-wielding Jack Nicholson wrote repeatedly in The Shining, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”  The last thing a writer wants to be is dull. Does a writer become dull if he or she … Continue reading

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Do you worry about how much you should worry about writing?

It almost doesn’t matter whether you believe worrying about writing is helpful or not. Bobby McFerrin likes to sing “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” but if you’re worried, you’re worried, and it might not be so helpful to have Bobby tell you … Continue reading

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Steve Martin’s writing block as comedy writer for the Smothers Brothers

While Steve Martin’s engaging book Born Standing Up is primarily about his incredible standup comedy career, it also gives the reader an informative glimpse into the life of a comedy writer.  In addition to being a talented goofball, Martin is also … Continue reading

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Writing’s not easy in The Big Easy: John Goodman is blocked in “Treme”

Typically, when a protagonist has a writing block, it means he/she will have to face adversity, resolve inner conflicts, grow and learn, then find love and write again. Not so for John Goodman in the first season of the HBO … Continue reading

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I think (positively) therefore I write. Beating blocks with tools from cognitive therapy.

David Burns wrote a self-help best seller, Feeling Good, based on principles of cognitive therapy, a psychotherapy modality pioneered by Aaron Beck and others. Much of the advice in this book is applicable to writers who are struggling. Cognitive therapy … Continue reading

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Imagination gone wild: catastrophizing and writing blocks

The human imagination is a many splendored thing, and as a writer, you depend on it. But in addition to providing wonderful ideas and images for us to use in our work, imagination can also take small challenges and transform … Continue reading

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