The cure for writer’s block is gratitude (or Britney Spears)

If you follow my blog, you know I’ve written on the topic of the critic voice verses the creative voice, and how one can overpower the other and slow your writing to a snail’s pace. But writer’s block is something entirely different, where you can’t even bring yourself to type anything meaningful at all on the page. Now mix that with a dreary, cold January winter and you have a perfect recipe for disaster. But thankfully, there’s a cure for that.

To begin with, let’s turn to our friend Wikipedia for a simple, clear definition of writer’s block: “a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work.” Now many people have written about writer’s block and have shared their many cures, but I thought I would dedicate this blog post to one simple concept: gratitude. 

Two weeks’ ago, after all the Christmas brouhaha was over, I recognized a potential “block”. Once I had an inkling of it, I told myself not to panic because I still had plenty of time to complete my next novel, which is only scheduled for release in fall 2014. But the next day, I received by mail the Independent, a monthly magazine published by the Independent Book Publishers Association, with a feature story on the book publishing cycle. I scanned the article and was reminded of just how much work it takes to publish a single book and how you have to start the process 9 months out—which is basically now!

I knew I had no time to waste and had to find a way to overcome this lack of motivation and loss of control over making my fingers type a sentence on the keyboard. I had to start writing every day again if I was ever going to finish my book on time. So what did I tell myself to get over my writer’s block? How did I get my motivation back? I know it might sound too simple to be true, but I turned to gratitude, and it worked like a charm. I reminded myself how lucky I was to be doing what I love to do, and to have the time and space to think about characters and plots and to write it all down, and that I shouldn’t waste one single day of it because it really is a privilege to be a storyteller.

But to be fair, I realize this concept of gratitude may not work for everyone, so I'm providing you with another solution that is guaranteed to motivate the pants off you. Let’s turn to the sage words of Ms. Britney Spears, which go something like this:

You wanna hot body
You wanna Bugatti
You wanna Maserati
You better work bitch

You wanna Lamborghini
Sip Martinis
Look hot in a bikini
You better work bitch

You wanna live fancy
Live in a big mansion
Party in France
You better work bitch

Copyright Britney Spears song title “Work Bitch”

Okay, I was going to provide the video link to Britney’s video, but decided I’d spare y’all and instead give you this very special treat. Here is a super, fantastic indie short film featuring our favorite chemistry teacher Bryan Cranston, entitled “Writer’s Block”.

Bryan Cranston in the short film “Writer’s Block.” (Youtube)

Bryan Cranston in the short film “Writer’s Block.” (Youtube)

Also, for your reading pleasure, here are a few interesting articles on writer’s block. No shame, people. It happens to the best of us.

13 famous writers on overcoming writer’s block, Flavorwire

7 ways to overcome writer’s block, Writer’s Digest

Happy writing, everyone!

Stacey D. Atkinson is the author of the newly released novel Stuck, which she published via her independent company Mirror Image Publishing. 

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