Because every text is different, so is every bout of writer’s block. It’s essential to have lots of curatives up your sleeve, to mix-in-match the best solution for your specific problem.
Symptoms include self-doubt, delusions of incompetence and frequent daydreaming about alternative careers like shepherding in New Zealand.
This form of writer’s block is shared among scholars and authors of fiction alike. Reading the great works that inspired the writing project only exacerbate the problem until the general feeling of self-loathing is such that even showering seems like an unnecessary and undeserved luxury.
Gilbert’s Great Solace
Elizabeth Gilbert, the best-selling author of Eat, Pray, Love and The Signature of All Things writes extensively on her website about how an inner critic shouting “you suck!” never really goes away, no matter how accomplished and successful one might become. Developing stronger feelings of self-compassion and self-love, however, is one of the main goals of mettā meditation — and the “Pray” section of her beloved book.
1. Find a quiet, comfortable space to sit.
2. Listen to a guided mettā meditation.
If you’re new to meditative practices, there are a number of wonderful, free resources online. The Insight Timer is an app available for both Android and IPhone used by almost 1.5 million people worldwide. Danny Ford, a psychotherapist and mindfulness coach, has an incredibly soothing voice and offers a free, short mettā meditation via podcast or direct download. If you’d prefer a woman’s voice to guide you through the forest of self-doubt, check out Dr. Kristin Neff’s self-compassion exercises.
Repeat as necessary to silence the little voice in your head telling you that you’re incompetent and wasting your time.