Writer’s block comes in many forms, but perhaps one of the hardest to deal with is that feeling that you can’t seem to say what you really want to say. You feel like there is a writer inside of you—the true writer that comes from the true you—but every time you sit down to write you end up writing something that feels like it’s just trying to get approval from others, instead of actually express the truth of what’s going on inside you.
Almost every time I do a consultation with a new client, it’s a writer who is absolutely sure they know what their problem is. Much of the time they tell me they need to learn “craft and structure.” Sometimes they say they need to take more classes or read more books on writing. Frequently I hear that they just need to be “better,” with all the vague intention that implies.
But one thing is always the same. They are paralyzed, stuck, frustrated, and feeling hopeless and sad about their writing.
Writer’s block comes in many different forms, but two of the most common types are procrastination and perfectionism. All writers struggle with one or both at some time during their writing life, but some writers struggle more than most, to the point where one or both of these conditions feels utterly paralyzing and the writer never finishes (or even starts) any creative project, ever.
For the writers who struggle with severe procrastination, or severe perfectionism, they also experience a sickening feeling of shame that accompanies the writer’s block that’s causing them so much trouble. They assume that they’re not motivated enough, or that they need to try harder, or “just get over it.” However, if the procrastination or perfectionism is of the severe type (and not just experienced occasionally or fleetingly), then the roots of the block go much deeper than most writers suspect.