Writers across the globe, and from the first written writing system to today, have looked to the heavens for help with writing. In 3200 BC, Sumeria created the first writing system, and writers began looking to the goddess Nisaba. Egyptian writers begged Seshat for help, while the Greeks and Romans focused on the nine Muses. Let’s not forget Cangjie (Chinese), Ganesha (India), Saraswati (Hindu), Itzamna (Mayan), and a variety of Catholic patron saints. And for writers not looking heavenward, inspiration can come from a talisman, crystals, essential oils, and more.
What draws writers to plead for help finding the right word? The answer is simple – writer’s block – the inability to know what to write or how to move forward with what’s already been written.
However, I am one writer who doesn’t look to the muses or rub my hand over Celtic symbols. I don’t even have to wear my lucky pair of socks. That’s because I don’t believe in writer’s block, at least not in the traditional sense of the word.
Writing is not magical or mythical, requiring other-worldly influence. Instead, writers just need to be in tune with their creativity. When the next words aren’t flowing, it has little to do with goddesses and much to do with real life.
Not long ago, I learned that my husband had brain cancer, and I wasn’t able to write for several weeks. After his surgery, the doctors gave us incredible hope that he would be able to beat the odds. Within days of the pronouncement, I began writing my third novel. To me, writer’s block is simply another way of saying that there is something else that is too big or too important to allow creativity. As a writer, it is impossible to be creative when life events are taking up the creative bandwidth.
If you are experiencing writer’s block, the first thing you need to do is determine what thing is currently more important than writing. Then, you need to solve that problem or find a way to wrap it neatly in a box. Once you do, creativity will return – without the need for the goddess Calliope or an amethyst necklace. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!
Written by Teri M Brown