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Writer’s Block; What Is Holding You Back?

I really enjoy sharing my ideas, whether it’s through this blog, videos, or comments via Twitter. The feedback I get from your comments makes it even more rewarding. In most cases, I want to share positive things I have learned at Avnet.

However, sometimes I have difficultly coming up with a topic I think will be relevant to my audience, or I believe the topic may be so obvious that nobody will care. This is the dreaded writer's block, which all writers talk about overcoming before they can produce their masterpiece.

Writer's block occurs in all of us, even if writing is not part of our normal business or personal activity. It’s called procrastination. We procrastinate for various reasons. For example, we rationalize that our ideas aren’t good enough, or somebody must have already done it or said it, so why bother? The reality is we all have great ideas that other people may have thought about, but the person who acts is the one who makes a difference.

Just think if your favorite author or musician thought that way. Check out this video by Derek Sivers on YouTube to see an animated short on this topic.

There is also a great book I recommend if you want to learn more about ideas for overcoming your fear of starting any project. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield does an excellent job of explaining how he overcomes writer's block and how it can work for everybody, even if you are not a writer.

I’m sure people who know me are having a hard time believing I can’t think of something to say, at least given how badly the Cubs are playing. Nevertheless, any ideas out there I could hit on? Please send them my way. Thanks.

25 comments on “Writer’s Block; What Is Holding You Back?

  1. eemom
    July 28, 2011

    Al

    Thanks for the post.  I would love to read about how companies that largely affect the electronics Industry feel about increasing their workforce and what they perceive the global economy to be. We've seen that most are hedging their bets and hoarding cash but at what cost?  How long will they continue with that practice or do they even know.  How much influence do they have on our political environment (if any) and the subsequent turn around of the economy.

    Instead of running scared, someone needs to take the charge in leading the economy back to health.  Its a tall order, I know…Your thoughts??

     

     

  2. Eldredge
    July 28, 2011

    Al,

       Thanks for the reading recommedation – I plan to get a copy of the book and gibe it a go!

  3. Tim Votapka
    July 28, 2011

    Al – Didn't see the link for the video. Could you repost?

  4. prabhakar_deosthali
    July 29, 2011

    I had this block a couple of years ago. I would get so many ideas but when it came to putting them down in black & white , nothing would happen. My wife used to force to to write something. One fine day i decided that come what may i am going to write a book and with determination I wrote a book of 100 pages in just about a month – of course the subject was very trivial – I wrote a book on recipies for single men – students, men working away from their homes.  The book became instant success with mother, sisters and wives of all those men staying away from home especially in foreign countries.

    My wife was however disappointed as she wanted me to write something technical

     

     

  5. Taimoor Zubar
    July 29, 2011

    I think one of the ways to overcome a writer's block is to make a trip to a place you have never been before like an exotic market place, a commercial street or even a university campus. The key is to be at a place which has a crowd of people and lots of activity going on. I bet you will come across many ideas you will be prompted to write on.

  6. t.alex
    July 29, 2011

    I totally agree. Just take a short break 🙂

  7. Nemos
    July 29, 2011

    A little help from me, here you are http://youtu.be/xcmI5SSQLmE

  8. Nemos
    July 29, 2011

    I liked very much your article and the way you think. Furthermore I want to highlight this one “but the person who acts is the one who makes a difference ” . And in addition I want to share these lines : If not you, Who ? if not now When ? .

  9. Mr. Roques
    July 29, 2011

    What to do when you NEED to get it done? I've read a few pieces about (insert task)-Block (writer/photographer/etc) and it's basically step-back and take a break but what if you need to get it done.

    Any tips for ASAP moments?

  10. Ashu001
    July 29, 2011

    Al,

    Its inevitable,for any creative profession there comes a time when people can no longer approach their task with the same excitement and focus.

    That's when you take a break and do something else that fills your hear with equal(if not more ) joy atleast untill you recover your passion for writing.

    Regards

    Ashish.

  11. Ashu001
    July 29, 2011

    Al,

    Its inevitable,for any creative profession there comes a time when people can no longer approach their task with the same excitement and focus.

    That's when you take a break and do something else that fills your hear with equal(if not more ) joy atleast untill you recover your passion for writing.

    Regards

    Ashish.

  12. Michelle
    July 29, 2011

    I guess you knew there was a fearful little monster telling me my ideas weren't good enough for .  Thanks for posting today.  I will check out The War of Art…it can give me something to do until…

  13. itguyphil
    July 29, 2011

    A vacation from the task definitely helps. I know when I've been working on a technical item for way too long, I zone out. Walking away from it helps me to realize the missteps in my path.

    Not that it helps, but my family/friends are alot happier when I getaway as well.

  14. Anna Young
    July 29, 2011

    Al, as you rightly put it “we all have great ideas that other people may have thought about, but the person who acts is the one who makes a difference”.

    The emphasis here I think is overcoming procrastination and trying again and again until we get it right.

    Thanks for the recommended book. I'll check it out.

     

     

  15. JADEN
    July 30, 2011

    I think lack or low motivation is one of the reason for this, and the right thing to do is to take a break, reschedule and get back later.

  16. Ms. Daisy
    July 31, 2011

    Al:

     “I believe the topic may be so obvious that nobody will care.”

    This statement describes me. I simply feel the topic is too obvious, but to my surprise I get different opinions from others when I finally write.

    Thanks for the ecouraging words in this post.

  17. FLYINGSCOT
    July 31, 2011

    I believe sharing any problem is the first step to solving it.  By doing this one quickly realizes that there are loads of people in the same boat and that in itself is a comfort.  Also when I have struggled I try to go into autopilot and just start on something without worrying too much about the finished article.  Once started any project will eventually take shape or will take shape on its third or fourth revision. Alternatively one could move to a cold rainy climate (like where I live) and one gets so bored staying indoors that any project is a welcome relief.  Best of luck.

  18. electronics862
    July 31, 2011

    Vacation will definitely helps regenerating energies in employees. This will raise their skills and come up with fresh thoughts in the work area.

  19. saranyatil
    August 1, 2011

    Definitely taking a break would help we can try to divert oursleves by initiating in different activities, which we love to do. These kind of activities will relax our minds.

  20. Ashu001
    August 1, 2011

    Charle,

    One should not forget that we are humans and not machines.

    We all need our rest from time to time to refresh ourselves.

    Regards

    Ashish.

  21. Ariella
    August 1, 2011

    Yes, Ashish, even machines need a rest and a time to recharge to work at peak efficiency. People need to find what serves to refresh them so that they can be energized to go forward.  

  22. Eldredge
    August 2, 2011

    Absolutely right that the person who acts is the one that makes the difference. For me, acquiring the disciple to act on a good idea, either to write it or implement it, is the difficult part.

  23. stochastic excursion
    August 2, 2011

    Creativity and schedules sometimes do not mix.  One strategy is to store ideas as they come in when there are more than you need at any one moment in time.  A set of ideas can suggest a structure to help get them across.  If you have an outline, it's much less likely you'll have a lull in creative output.

  24. Al Maag
    August 2, 2011

    Thanks for your comments

  25. Ashu001
    August 2, 2011

    Ariella,

    You are extremely accurate here.

    Rest is extremely important in getting the right quality of work done.

    Ashish.

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