This post, by Mark David Gerson, originally appeared on his site on 11/16/11.
It seems a good time to reprint this piece, which offers practical tips and guidance for sailing through and past whatever is getting in your way and back into creative flow. (If you’d prefer a video version of this piece, click here.)
Do you have other experiences of writer’s block or tips to get the other side of it? Please share them in the comments, [here].
You don’t have to experience writer’s block. Ever.
You don’t have to sweat over the blank page. You don’t have to chew your pencil (or fingernails) to the nub. You don’t have to wonder where the next word is coming from.
Writer’s block is a myth — not because you won’t ever feel stuck but because there’s no reason for you ever to stay stuck.
Do you wonder where your next breath is coming from? Unless you suffer from some sort of lung disease, you rarely think about your breath. You assume it will come and it does. One breath and then another…and then another.
It comes because you let it, because you don’t get in its way, because you’re not thinking about it or worrying about it.
Words can be like that, too.
If you trust in your story, in its inherent wisdom, the words always come. The words always come because they’re already there. They’re there because, in some sense, your story already exists.
It exists in the same invisible realm in which your dreams, visions and ideas exist. And if you believe in that existence, if you trust in that existence, if you know deep in your heart that your story is already present and smarter than you are, you will never lack the words your story needs for its expression.
By the way, I use the word "story" in its broadest sense, to encompass all that you would write — fiction or nonfiction, novel or screenplay, short story or poem. Everything you write, everything you experience, everything you share: It’s all story.
So how do you get to that place where the story’s words flow as effortlessly as your breath?