Reading Hints

Sometimes the best way to get out of a block is to remind yourself why you started writing in the first place. Pick up your favorite writer and indulge in a day of reading. Don't give yourself a hard time about not writing. Let yourself read.

Another reason that writers resist the act of writing can be the writing itself. In earlier chapters, we discussed writing through the difficult truths of our stories. Often, what compels you to write is inextricable from your own story. That is, you will be always writing the story that is most important to you and your understanding of yourself. Sometimes that story is painful. Sometimes it requires a shift in consciousness and/or behavior, both of which can affect your comfort zone. But you cannot avoid telling that story. Whatever genre or form you write, you are writing toward that story. Once you tell it, it transforms. Other stories can emerge.

Sometimes, however, you cannot dictate your readiness. My novel languished because I avoided writing its central story; instead, I spent far too many pages on explanations of minor characters and events. As I revised, I realized I could not tell that story in that form. I put the novel away. I may return to it. Right now, I am writing the story in a different novel, one that makes more sense to me.

The importance here is that the writing continues. I close this chapter with several suggestions for writing yourself out of writer's block.

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