Six Benefits of Writer’s Block

I’ve been suffering from writer’s block, which is really just the feeling that everything that I write SUCKS so I don’t write.

Yesterday morning, I finally broke through it, but during my week of being stuck, I spent some time thinking about the benefits of writer’s block. There must be some reason for it or my brain wouldn’t “block” itself in the first place.

Here are the six benefits I came up with:

  1. Your desk will stay clean.  In my life, that’s a small miracle.
  2. You can spend time with family without any guilty feelings that you should be writing.  I spent the weekend as a bona fide soccer mom, traveling to my daughter’s tournament on the other side of the state, visiting with family, baking cookies for my son and not feeling even a little bit guilty for not writing since I still had no words coming to me.
  3. You can catch up on fun stuff like ironing.  All my laundry and ironing is done and no longer clutters up my quilting space, another small miracle.
  4. You can devote some time to alternative creative endeavors. I have a whole appliqué block designed and ready to add to my scrappy quilt top, and I made 25 12” blocks out of extra material from my man quilt.
  5. You have some extra time to get caught up on your reading.  I can’t write unless I read, so I took advantage of it and did just that.
  6. You can start a new different writing project that does strike you.  I began to sketch out a YA novel idea that has been brewing in the back of my mind but hadn’t got to because of my devotion to my work in progress.

I’ve decided to think of writer’s block not as my nemesis, but more as a brain break. 

All the activities that I did instead of write somehow fed my creativity in that I didn’t really have to think too much while I did them, leaving some part of my gray matter free to solve my dilemmas in plot and character that had me stopped in the first place.  I enjoyed myself. 

I tried not to feel guilty or bad about not getting any writing done, and for the most part I succeeded.

When I sat down to write yesterday and the words started to flow, I couldn’t stop.  I had to force myself away from desk, which already has a nice little pile of messy papers, so I could get to work before the tardy bell.

I’m happy the words are back, but next time I find that I can’t write, I’ll take full, guilt-free, advantage of it, knowing that the words will return.

No Comments

  1. Sharon Rosse on September 8, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    You are very wise to take advantage of all opportunities. I’m positive that your muse is quite happy!

    • Amy Isaman on September 12, 2011 at 5:52 pm

      I hope my muse is happy – she had a nice rest!

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