Writer’s Block

A couple of weeks ago, I had writer’s block. Bad. I couldn’t think of a single creative paragraph, much less a coherent sentence.

The thing about writing is that it is creative. I’m not even talking about creative writing. Writing for business is creative. Writing a press release is creative. It takes a certain amount of creative energy to write, regardless of the topic.

I’ve been writing for this blog, the Women Give San Diego blog, the book, and for the publication Advancing Philanthropy. Not to mention all of the documents I author for my clients.

Sometimes you get writer’s block.

As you know, I was asked to write a guest blog for the Women’s Foundation of California (WFC) in March.  I actually had written the blog for the WGSD blog and then wrote another version for WFC. Sande, Director of Communications, manages the WFC blog and asked if I could rewrite the piece from my personal point of view. I responded: Sure, no problem. This was an easy task for me.

Until the deadline came and passed.

By Monday, I couldn’t have had a creative thought to save my life. I emailed Sande to confess my predicament and ask if she would just run the original blog that I sent her.  She had an even better idea!

She asked for 15 minutes of my time and interviewed… me! Turns out, I had all the creative information in my head, I just couldn’t get it down on paper and organize it in a productive way. Sande used my original blog and the thoughts I had shared with her over the phone and helped me “write” my blog.

This experience taught me a lot. One, writing is not easy. Two, ask for help. Three, have confidence in your abilities.

Renee’s tips for overcoming writer’s block:

  • Open up a new word document and start typing or re-typing the piece you are working on. Sometimes you just need to have a clean slate to be able to put your thoughts down.
  • Go for a hike! Get out of the office or house and get some fresh air. Taking a break is healthy and it allows your brain reset.
  • Go easy on yourself. You will not be able to crank out creative, well-written thoughts day after day and not be fatigued. So, give your self a break and give yourself time to recharge your creative battery.
  • If you wake up feeling creative with lots of ideas in your head, write them down. Sit down and type and type until you run out of ideas. Don’t miss an opportunity to be creative!

5 thoughts on “Writer’s Block”

  1. I had one brilliant, very French, very alcoholic professor at UCSD who said that the cure for writer’s block is push ups. When you can’t write, do push ups. Anything is better than doing push ups so it quickly makes you want to be back at your desk. He, apparently, suffered little writer’s block judging from his skinny, pasty-white arms. Maybe it works?

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