20 May

   If you are an author, you are well aware of the daunting condition known as writer's block.  It affects even the best writers. There is no doubt that even Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, and Steven King all had writer's block at some time in their lives, and yours truly is no different. What is the cure for writer's block? It's plain and simple keep writing. 

    Now I know this sounds kind of self-defeating, but writing is exactly what you need to do, even if it's the worst stuff you ever written. The focus is not on the content and quality you write, that will come later, but on the fact that writing will keep you in tune with your craft.

    There are several causes of writer's blocks, from lack of ideas, changes in your personal life or relationships, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, fear of failure or just plain lack of interest.  All these challenges can be overcome, and writing is a powerful tool to help you get there. 

     The past year and half has been tough on me as you all know after the loss of my wife. Although now I find myself at a comfortable place with her death, it was not always that way. After her passing, I found writing non- inspirational to me, for I liked her advice and encouragement that she always provided.  I felt alone, lacking the support I always cherished, and sank into a deep state of depression for two months. After I was able to focus enough to write from my anxiety and depression, I was able to complete the sixth book of my fantasy series.

    However, after meeting someone I consider very special, my writing went into overdrive, my confidence boosted, and I was able to complete the first ten chapters of my new book. My elated mood at finding someone that I thought was very close boosted my level of productivity. As time went on, however, things went into oblivion when the person had their own medical issues to deal with, and she needed time for herself, which having depression myself I can totally understand.  We have been in little contact, and I fell into a state of depression and anxiety myself shortly afterward, but after realizing the problem wasn't me, but her medical condition, I have accepted it. The past month has caused another writer's block for me, but I am more focused now and will begin on Chapter 15 tonight.    

     If you are dealing with the death of a spouse or ex-spouse, depression or anxiety, I found a couple of books that were helpful along my personal journey that I highly recommend by some authors who are personal friends. One is "Rethinking Anxiety and Depression", by Monica Gullotta, M S, and "Memoirs of a grieving ex-wife" by Judi Gowin, both books are very helpful in dealing with grief, anxiety, depression and loss.

    Now, with writing, you must start with one page, and just write about anything you know or are interested in. Don't worry about grammar, accuracy, or punctuation. The goal is just to get your ideas out of your head and on to paper or keyboard. After doing so many of these exercises, writing will start to become natural again. At Five Below and some other stores, you can find prompting books, which give you a series of words or an idea to write about. These are extremely help when you have writer's block. And finally, do not get discouraged. It will not be like this forever, your talent will come back to you, and you will become a stronger person for it, facing any challenge set before you. 


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