Monday, June 29, 2009

Mental Blocks or Writing Blocks?

It started the day I knew my mother would move in with me. I hit a mental block about my writing. I chalked it up to having way too much on my plate. So, I stepped back and allowed myself some time to "take care of personal business."

Along the way, I'd open my manuscript, edit/write a page or two, get excited about the project, and... Something would come up and days/weeks would pass without my looking at it again.

Did I have writer's block?

No. A mental block is not writer's block. In fact, I've said this before. I don't believe in writer's block. I do, however, believe in mental blocks. Our internal editor entangles issues and fears in our brain that have nothing at all to do with our abilities, and the result is shutdown.

Case in point: I invited some dear friends to dinner. Having eight kids, trust me, I've never had a problem with cooking for anyone. But, after planning the menu, I stalled. As the day drew nearer, I couldn't imagine cooking anything. Everything seemed wrong. Inadequate. I even started searching the internet looking for menus. What happened to me? A simple cook-out meal should not be something to stress over. I had to dig deep for the answer. As a child, I never felt anything I did was "good" enough. My mother, bless her heart, wanted more for me than she'd accomplished. Unhappy with her lot in life, she alternated between being jealous of my accomplishments and pushing me to do more. Now she's living with me again. My mind is struggling with the confident adult and the incompetent child. Thus, I hit these mental blocks.

Opening my manuscript every day is mandatory.

How about you? If you think you have writer's block, maybe you should look deeper inside and ferret out the real problem. Only then can you overcome the obstacle.

Oh, yes. We had a great time, good food, laughter, and bonding with our friends. And, my manuscript is moving right along.

Thanks for stopping by.

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