How to Overcome Writer's Block - Just Write!

Try to brainstorm . . . .


Is This Writer's Block?

As I sit and stare at the blank page before me, I feel empty. Is this writer’s block? Or is it something deeper than that, the overwhelming feeling of life closing in, of overtaking any kind of creativity. I have many ideas, many topics to write about, but I can’t focus tonight. Geez.

This frustrates me. I want to write. I want to be a writer. I want to be a better writer. But I have to write to be a writer. And I have to write more to be a better writer! But I’m stumped. Has life really gotten the best of me? Is it the pressure of the job? One day at a time, I tell myself. One day at a time. But it wears on me. And somehow a long-time relationship of mine may be ending—could it really?—and I can’t even explain why. I just know that it could be happening as I write this, and I feel helpless to stop it.

What If You Feel Helpless?

Helpless? Isn’t it normal to feel that way in a world full of ups and downs, and sometimes incredible pain? Tonight I went to a memorial service for one of the fallen Navy Seals who was shot down in a helicopter in Afghanistan. He was a former high school student of mine back in the mid-1990s. As I had reconnected with many of my students of that time on Facebook, I decided I should attend.

I know that sometimes it’s almost cliché to say of someone who has passed away how great a person he or she was—how good and kind—but this guy was. He was popular in school and kind to everyone. Hearing the stories tonight from his friends, testaments of his love for his wife and family, and words from the other soldiers he worked with made me think how unfair the world is. Is it true that “only the good die young?”

It seems that many around me are also going through tough times, facing challenges greater than the usual daily grind. I can’t seem to keep up with daily chores, much less the larger heartaches of my own and others around me. For the last couple of weeks, I have been throwing myself into writing. It has been a great release, and I have been thrilled to feel that I’m finding my groove… but tonight it is failing me. Now what? I’m empty. Nothing is coming to me. My mind is swirling with all the thoughts of the past few days, all the disappointment, hurts, and questions. How can so many issues be crashing around in my head, and yet I feel almost numb?

Write About the Emptiness

I don’t know. I just don’t have the answers tonight. I don’t have ANY answers. I have only questions. Maybe that’s okay. Maybe it’s okay to write about those questions, those frustrations that keep me from writing, because at least I’m still writing. Writer’s block or not, writers should write. Somehow I’ve plodded through and written an article about just that. I guess that when I’m full of topics, I’ll write about those topics. When I have an idea about a poem, I’ll write a poem. And when I’m empty, I’ll just write about the emptiness. But at least I'll be writing.

If meditation helps with your writer's block, this video will definitely help.

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Comments 24 comments

andromida profile image

andromida 5 years ago

I think emptiness allows the surge of thoughts. You're doing the best thing-writing-and you write really well.Thanks.

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA

A beautiful piece of work. I have found myself doing the same thing when the feeling to write evades me. Writing those thoughts and feelings help to heal. I am sorrowed to hear of your student's sudden death. At least his memory will live on in your writing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

mkrandhawa profile image

mkrandhawa 5 years ago from India

Great sad to hear about your student.It is a healing touch writings.But still your student alive in your thoughts,in your feelings,emotions.

Thanks for sharing Dear Victoria

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

I appreciate all the comments and support I hear from all three of you. Maybe emptiness does allow the "surge of thoughts," andromida. And yes, tipoague, writing is healing, and it can keep people and thoughts alive, mkrandhawa points out. I was hesitant to submit this writing as it is very personal, but it was therapeutic and maybe it can encourage others to keep writing when they feel empty.

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

This rings very close to home. The feelings of emptiness, wondering about so many things; tryng to pull a rabbit from the hat...any magical formula that will remove the doldrums. For me, it's because some pretty big changes are in the midst and, coupled w/some bad news earlier today well, sometimes I am left dumbstruck and with feelings of sadness; just an overall encompassing sorrow..maybe for all the injustices in the world, such as you've described here when attending the service of a former student who lost his life in that tragic event. Don't want to be so 'down...' but, then; here is this hub that describes, so well, the feelings that are overwhelming at the moment..But, Victoria, "this, too, shall pass." Not any less important or monumental just...softened a bit and removed from immediacy. thank you for a very compelling hub. ARE an excellent writer...and your words seem to flow seamlessly.

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

It's okay Lucky Cats. I'm glad I could relate to feelings you, too, are feeling. They're real, and sometimes we just have to feel them. Thanks for the encouragement. I look forward to the time that "this, too, shall pass." I've always held onto that phrase. I am humbled by your words--"excellent writer" and "words seem to flow seamlessly." I have never found so much validation for my writing and encouragement in my life as I have found in the past few weeks on hp. Thank you, thank you, for your words!

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

My sweet Victoria, the toil going on in your mind. The sadness brought on by the loss of one of your students a home town boy who gave the ultimate sacrifice. War is sad and cuts down young men and woman just entering their prime of life, I am saddened indeed. Peace is the only answer and one day we will have it.

Writers block? may I suggest you sit in a quiet/peaceful setting, dim the lights or light a candle, if necessary put on light classical music or meditative. I find myself when I do this and close my eyes the imagery comes forth. I then can build my story or poem around what I see in my mind's eye.

The words come so much easier and quickly, be prepared with your Quill/Keyboard:0) and let it take you on it's course as it churns out the verse. So remember, empty your mind of stress and daily activities and let your Muse work, believe me it will happen. Hugs now go write.

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Yes, saddlerider1, there is much going in my head right now. I long for that peace one day. Thanks for your comments, the advice to surround myself in quiet and peace, and the hugs, too! I relish your encouragement!

FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

writing about whatever is going on your mind can only help to clarify your thoughts. Even if waht you write turns out to be something you decide not to share with others, you will have written it down and expressed how you feel for yourself. Ultimately, you are writing for yourself first. If you don't feel inspired, do not feel that you have to force yourself.

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Binaya.Ghimire 5 years ago

Emptiness is an interesting topic in Buddhism. It also concerns us in our everyday life. You have depth in your ramblings.

Gerg profile image

Gerg 5 years ago from California

Victoria, as I'm sure you've noticed by now, one of the advantages of HP is you're surrounded by a bunch of like-minded souls. I well understand the feelings you're feeling, and I agree that you have depth and meaning in your "emptiness", which is not really empty at all!

Best, G

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

You're right, Flora. We write for ourselves first. Thanks, Binaya. I always love the phrases in your comments--"depth in your ramblings." Gerg--yes! Like-minded souls. It's wonderful, isn't it? Thank you all for understanding the "emptiness."

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Poetic Fool 5 years ago

Victoria, I think most writers can relate to what you're experiencing. How can so many things be going on in our life; the tragedies, the relationship struggles, the drudgery, the joys, the failures, the successes and not have anything to write? It may sound trite, but you must be empty before you can be filled. Soon, I'm sure, you will be overflowing with words pouring out onto paper. Be patient, you are a gifted writer. We all look forward to the fruit of your struggles.

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Poetic Fool...I really like how you express things, even in your comments! It goes with your name....I appreciate your encouragement, too.

SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 5 years ago from Philippines

Not advisable,but on occasion I have a little help from the bottle just to put myself in the mood. It does not matter what emotion....happy,elated,sad,anger,depression or looney :) I just need to rise the level a little notch higher or lower as the case may be. Staying in neutral contentment makes me lazy,which is where I am right now :)) Hence a lot of unfinished half bake hubs,ideas that do not get pass the "aha...I think I'll write about this" stage.

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

SilentReed...sometimes I do the same thing with the bottle! Sometimes it's what it takes to get my thoughts flowing. I, too, have a lot of half baked hubs! Thanks for the comments. I can relate!

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

Yes you are a gifted writer and to see you rise to the top so quickly is indicative of that, I woke up to see you at 99 and to think you just joined 4 weeks ago and with 17 hubs to your credit, WOW.

Congratulations to your Meteoric burst, I look forward to being a loyal fan of yours for some time to come. Now let's share a glass or two with Silent Redd another gifted writer. Cheers my fellow scribes.

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

saddlerider--I was shocked at the 99 myself! Wow--hope I can keep up this pace. I have a lot of other things pulling at me, but I'm going to try. Thanks for being a fan! I'm definitely yours! I'm sure that SilentReed would love to lift her glass with us! Here's to many more "Meteoric bursts."

qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon

Yes there is sadness in life. There is joy and peace of mind too. Excellent writing. Thanks for your comment on my question about miracles. I do have some ideas about how we can all access healthier forms of relief. Peace and Light...Gary.

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks for your comments. I, too, believe there is joy and peace, but that it's sometimes elusive. I would love to hear more on your ideas about miracles. Perhaps you'll write a hub about it soon? I'm needing some more peace and light in my life, so I think I need to read more of your hubs! See ya soon.

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femmeflashpoint 5 years ago

Victoria - this is such a beautiful Hub. I'm glad you decided to write, and share, even when you weren't feeling like it. It was a brave step and the content is noticed and appreciated.

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thank you, femmeflashpoint. That means a lot. Writers should always write even when they don't "feel" like it, huh? I appreciate your comment.

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Milli Thornton 4 years ago

It's amazing how compelling and heartfelt this Hub is, even though you were writing about emptiness and numbness.

From years of PTSD, I'm well-acquainted with the condition of emptiness and numbness. Last year was really terrible in that regard. I finally found ways to move out of it, but I still hit that place inside of me occasionally.

It was comforting to read your words written from that same place. Not that I want you to feel that way either . . . I just felt like you understand. Thank you. I believe it took courage to write this.

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Milli, sorry about what you've gone through with PTSD. That has to be tough. I'm glad that you can relate in your own way to what I wrote. Thanks so much.

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