What is writer's block? An unwillingness to face who you really are.
"What is writer's block?" So I could clearly define it for my audience, I asked myself this question before creating my How to Slay Writer's Block Training. What I discovered was that—contrary to popular wisdom—this writer's block isn't about an inability to write. It's about an unwillingness to face who we are as writers and human beings.
The writing journey is a vulnerable one. It demands that we constantly peel back layers of the lies we carry about who we are and what we should write.
Eventually, we’re left with nothing more than a pen and ourselves—naked, alive, and on fire with our true, life-changing message.
When I think of how vulnerable it is to write, I remember an old recurring dream where I was forced to use a toilet (not a bathroom—a toilet all by itself) in the middle of a crowd. I squatted in a busy street, wearing little more than a hand towel. I desperately stretched the hand towel over my bare flesh to give even the slightest semblance of dignity. And then, I’d try and do my business as though everything were normal. I watched people swarm past, trying to remain unseen.
My dream showed me how much I longed to release the unspoken truths inside me. My attempts to keep my emotional shit hidden revealed my unwillingness to face my raw, stinking, ugly pain. I desired what I feared the most: to let others see me, in spite of my pain. Because, in that hurt lay the parts of me that were real. These aspects of my being contained the seeds of my authentic message.
The more I wrote about and shared my pain, the more I discovered how to heal it. And through my healing, I only overcame writer's block. Most importantly, I learned how to help myself and my clients access our messages, our voices, and the stories that bring them to life.
Sharing personal pain in order to create an authentic, impactful message requires clear boundaries and strong trust.
As a soul-centered writer and entrepreneur, you will be called to confront your personal pain intimately throughout your career. Through this confrontation, you’ll discover new layers of authenticity and power in your work and in your storytelling. The details you choose to share—and with whom you want to share them—can take some time to discover. I recommend a regular (at least weekly) journaling practice to help you sort through the parts of your story that will both benefit your audience and align with your boundaries. This practice can help you clear writer's block and write consistent, authentic content.
How has writing help you see yourself naked? Have you been able to embrace the person you’re discovering through your words—in spite of the pain?
If you answered yes to these questions, congratulations on your progress in mastering your authentic voice. If you answered no, don’t be discouraged. Keep writing, practicing self-care, and surrounding yourself with people who help you honor and express who you are.