Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Writer's Block

I’m currently reading the book, Everybody Writes by Ann Handley, and one of the chapters is on writer’s block. The author describes it as a “reluctance to begin” that is “rooted in fear and anxiety about knowing where, exactly, to start.” After thinking about the obvious – what keeps one from writing – I began to think that “writer’s block” doesn’t just apply to putting pen to paper. This experience can find its way into other areas of our lives and work as well.

How often do you feel the reluctance to begin? How often are you stalled because you just don’t know where to begin? I know that I am no stranger to this experience. And it got me thinking about all of the other LeaderShapers in this community and how you are impacted by writer’s block. Or vision block. Or manageable goal block. Or “fill-in-the-blank-with-what-is-stopping-you” block. I would venture to guess that at times we all have experienced a block of some kind.

For me, it’s (sometimes) ok to have a block. I don’t especially enjoy it, but I do work to get past it (most of the time). And that’s the important part, isn’t it? To bust through the blockage, whatever that is.

So how can we move forward and get to work when faced with “fill-in-the-blank” block?  Here are a couple strategies that might be helpful…

Write it down: Put those apprehensions on paper as a way to get them out of your head.

Talk with a Mentor: The encouragement from someone who cares about your success might give you the push you need.

Talk with someone who understands your passion: The enthusiasm around a shared interest can “stoke the fire” and provide you with some momentum.

Get Inspired: Connect to the work you want to do by reading about it, watching a documentary on it, or visiting your favorite website on the subject.

Reward Yourself: Good ol’ bribery. If you get X amount done, you can grab a fancy coffee at your favorite shop or meet up with a friend.

Do all the other things: Clean your room, re-arrange you closet, get to in-box zero. In other words, do that thing you do before you get down to work. My thing is cleaning my desk. It is never so organized as when I’m experiencing a block of some kind.

What about you? What tips and strategies can you share to help us all beat the block? Share them in the comments section.

No comments: