Writer’s Block and Managing Expectations
One common cause of writer’s block in new bloggers is insecurity and fear caused by mismanaged expectations of what it really feels like to write. Sometimes things flow smoothly, but what if they don’t? What if they never have since you started this whole thing?
If your work isn’t as immediately amazing as you imagined in your fantasies, you must be a big fat failure. Right? Writing is a natural talent, so if it’s not happening on its own then you must not have what it takes. RIGHT?
Reality check! Writing is a process. Good writing is born of revisions and drafts, rewrites and edits, proof-reads and (sometimes) total redos. This is something all writers do. This is what makes you a writer. Do you really think you’re supposed to spill out perfection without putting any work into it? No, of course not. Your head knows that’s silly.
Your heart, however, seems to think it’s possible.
And it would be easier that way, wouldn’t it?
Well, as the saying goes “if it was easy everyone would be doing it.” And that is so true for writing. There is no shame in working at it. Writing is work. It’s magic and emotion and art…and work.
And what about when all that hard work still leads to something that’s less than amazing? That’s okay too. The very fact that you can see your writing isn’t perfect means you have what it takes to improve. (Seriously — do you know how many bad writers think they’re awesome? They can’t improve what they can’t see). Appreciate where you are in the journey. You’re already farther than so many others!
Writing is a skill that is built over time. Don’t let expectations of what you thought it would be like, or what you think it should be like, or what it seems like it is like for someone else, undermine and derail your dreams. You want to be a writer? Then write.
Perfection is not required to begin.
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Adjusting your thinking and understanding of what is possible makes a big difference in how the words flow. I know when I have a deadline and am trying to force writing, the words are a mess.
Adjusting my expectations or those of my clients, allows all of us to have a better experience with those written words.
Sometimes, I have to stop and tell myself that today, I’m just going to make lists. That helps get some of the unnecessary words (and stress) out of my head. Tomorrow I can write fancy words!
I really appreciate this. And it does take time to develop your voice. I feel I have discovered my voice, but I am lacking a bit in the technical area of writing. I’m improving but one can only improve so far on one’s own.