Why We All Struggle With Writer’s Block

Today, I’m honored to be hosted on the Conquering Writer’s Block & Summoning Inspiration blog tour by Anne Tyler Lord. Stop by her blog to read the interview. Below is a sneak peek:

Why do you think writer’s block is something we all have to struggle with?

It’s ironic, really: Here we are, a bunch of people who discovered this whole writing business because one day we woke up inspired with an idea for a story—and yet consistent inspiration is something most of us struggle with on almost a daily basis. Ultimately, I think fear and uncertainty are the major things that trip us up. Learning to be open to inspiration is largely a matter of realizing that inspiration is something we can’t control. We can’t force inspiration, but we can create habits that encourage it to visit.

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About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.


  1. I can certainly relate with the notion that we can’t force inspiration, that we can’t operationalize creativity. Otherwise we could produce Picassos on a conveyor belt. Nonetheless, as writers, our charge is to keep trying.

  2. Good sneak peak.

    Wanted to let you know your video bogging encouraged me to give it a go. I feel so serious, but it’s hard talking to a 5 inch phone. :O)

  3. @Mohamed: I agree. The joy of writing would largely be removed if we could control it at will.

    @Diane: Awesome! It took me awhile to feel comfortable too. I’m sure you’ll do great. Zipping by your blog to check it out right now!

  4. No, we can’t force inspiration but we can make ourselves write whether we’re inspired or not, which is the most important thing.

  5. I agree. Kind of goes back to that old saying about God helping those who help themselves. We need to be actively searching for inspiration, rather than waiting around for it to find us.

  6. A lot of the “work” of writing takes place in the subconscious. Many years ago I read a book called On Writers Block by Victoria Nelson, and her philosophy is that a “block” is your subconscious telling you to stop what you’re doing, that you need more information or that there is something wrong with your direction. It really informed my process. Since then I’ve read a lot about the subconscious and it seems to confirm this.

    So writing whether you are inspired or not gives you the pieces, but sometimes you also have to stop writing and sit back. Sleep on it.

    I just finished a novel, which my agent has complimented, and it was a tremendous process entirely in flow, and now having finished it is quite a let down. It was something of a spiritual experience to be working that way.

    Now I keep trying to bring that back, but it actually took me about ten years of writing bits and pieces and fits and starts and gathering ideas and reading to get there. I hope it doesn’t take as long next time, but that is all part of the work. The writing bit is the last stage. So I’m trying to have patience with myself and trust that “it” will “come back.”

  7. Well said. I, too, tend to think that “writer’s block,” as we generally think of it, is almost always something we create ourselves. And, painful though it often is, it’s not necessarily a bad experience – so long as we keep working our way through the problems, instead of letting them stymie us permanently.

  8. Fear is most definitely a factor. I wish I could turn off the self critic but it doesn’t always work that way. I am hoping to break through that during NaNo this year but we’ll see what happens.

    and I really love that picture.

  9. Turning off that infernal internal editor is tough business. NaNo’s a good exercise for it, though, since it forces you to write quickly, without censoring yourself too much.

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