What To Do About Writer’s Block
By Shaneen Thompson
I’m a bit of a newbie writer myself, having just started my blog this year, so I hardly feel qualified to give advice on it. But I’ll tell you my story in regards to writing and things that I’m currently learning, and hopefully you’ll be able to garner some wisdom from it.
I basically have been writing since the womb. I still have a little picture book that I made when I was 3 or 4 years old. In grade 3 we had to write a sequel to a novel we read in class, so I wrote a novel. Apparently it only needed to be a page or so. Oh well, I was on a roll. Essays in school came fairly easy to me. I even managed to write 15 page papers in university (the night before they were due. Oops.). I’ve always enjoyed writing short stories and poems, and I’ve planned (but not yet executed) many a novel. The first time I put my writing out there, for more than just my own eyes, or the critique of my teachers, was when I started a travel blog. In the latter half of grade 11, I traveled to Ecuador for a few months to visit my missionary relatives, and people back home wanted to keep up with my adventures. I picked my blog up again a few years later when I traveled to Southeast Asia for a discipleship training school with YWAM. This time I wrote a bit about my travels, but more about what I was learning. Even after my trip was over, people would still ask every now and then when I was going to write another blog post. However, I didn’t think I had too much to write about anymore.
I got to a point in my life where I felt stuck. I had graduated university and gotten married within a few months, and I was struggling to adjust to my new roles of wife and full-time worker. I wanted to do something with my life that made an impact for Jesus. I was struggling to find direction, and turned once again to writing. It started as just writing for myself, and then a thought occurred to me – what if I started blogging again?
I’ve gone through many phases in my life in regards to writing. In some seasons, I almost can’t stop myself from writing; I just need to get everything down on paper. In other seasons, no matter how much I want to write, I can’t. When I find myself in non-writing seasons, it’s often because I feel I don’t have anything to say, or I just don’t have the words for what I want to communicate. The classic plight of writer’s block.
Now, this isn’t going to be my advice on five easy steps you can take to overcome writer’s block. There are plenty of ways to get over it, many of which can be helpful and that I’ve used in the past. But I think, as Christians, we can view writer’s block differently than the world does. Writers tend to get caught up in writers block, but as Christians we can utilize that time better than stressing over what to write.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33 NIV
In this passage, Jesus is instructing his followers not to worry. Don’t worry about what you’ll wear, or what you’ll eat. Or, for our situation: Don’t worry about how much money you’ll make. Don’t worry about how many people will read what you’ve written. Don’t even worry about what you’ll write. We must first seek God, and then all those other worries and concerns will be taken care of.
We must spend time with God to grow closer to Him and stronger in our faith, not to twist divine inspiration out of Him, begging for that million dollar idea. We can seek God and see what he has to say to us, not necessarily what he wants to say through us. And as we grow closer to God, learning what He wants to teach us, then we find we have something to say.
As a Christian writer, the most important thing for me is to remember that God is the most important thing. Everything else is secondary. And if I’m seeking God, then I’m fulfilling my calling.
And if He wants me to write, then I will write.
Shaneen Thompson is a writer, moderate geek, and Jesus lover from Alberta, Canada. Visit her Website www.thehootandhowl.com