Writing blocks rarely hit me because I don’t know what to say. For me, they are usually derived from a mind swarming with ideas. So much so, that I can feel overwhelmed with questions like these:
- Should I focus on idea A or B today?
- Just because I’m interested in a topic doesn’t mean anyone else is, right?
- Is my thinking on this matter completely delusional?
- I can’t write about __________; people will think __________ about me. Won’t they?
Ah, the battles of insecurity a writer must fight. So how do we wage war against our own fears, those with the power to debilitate us if we aren’t careful?
For me, I’ve had to gulp, choosing to write afraid.
I love what Stephen King said on the matter. “The only requirement to be a writer is to remember every scar.”
The secret to great writing is daring to risk in order to reap greater rewards.
- When you aren’t sure whether idea A or B is better, choose one and decide to embrace your own decision.
- Odds are, if you are interested in a topic, so are other people. If you doubt it, do a quick friend/family and social media poll to test the waters.
- What sometimes feels delusional to us can feel like “outside the box” thinking to others. Research to see if you can substantiate your premise. Try to imagine how this might come across to someone foreign to the concept. Tell your readers you understand this may sound strange or that they might agree to disagree with you. And don’t forget to ask God what He wants you to say — He is the king of fresh ideas.
- As Stephen King’s quote reminds us, the inner scars, the deep thoughts, and the vulnerable spaces in our lives are often the ones other people connect with the most. If we hold our tender areas captive, we can’t free someone else who needs permission to release their own fears.
I think most writers struggle with what to write when you don’t know what to write. But you can’t go wrong when your words originate from your soul. Don’t doubt yourself to the point of mental paralysis. Your unique take is as important as your unique voice in expressing your thoughts.
Dare to believe in what you have to say. Dare to share your innermost thoughts. Dare to trust God with a message he wants you to offer.
So what if every person on the planet doesn’t share your perspective? Some of the greatest minds in history were scoffed at in the beginning. Do your due diligence, then dare to risk so you and your readers reap a greater reward.
What topics could you write afraid? What are you holding back that could help others?
2 Replies to “What to Write When You Don’t Know What to Write”
Thank you, Anita. I have gotten out of my writing routine in the details of a book launch and the chaos of May (May needs 45 days in it, at least). Started back to my routine today. Turned off the phone and social media and went to work. Love the quotes you found!
Thank you, Lynne. Isn’t it nice to know there are people who get us and this crazy writing life?
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