Barriers to Writing and How to Overcome Them

Hello friends!

This is the first guest blog post ever on The Time Came to Write! I’m proud to share the exquisite insight and musings of Lexi Flint, an awesome writer and someone who knows about where you are with your writing. Enjoy – and make sure you visit her page and follow her on Twitter when all is said and done (see links below).


As an aspiring author I am constantly inspired to write about sights I’ve seen, conversations overheard and life in general. They say ideas are a dime a dozen, however when it comes to putting the ideas into action and producing a work of fiction or non-fiction I inevitably encounter multiple road blocks on my journey to publication.

Panic at the thought of doing a thing is a challenge to do it.  ~Henry S. Haskins

My first hurdle is fear. I live with a constant feeling of self doubt that the worlds I am creating on the page will not be good enough, or they won’t be interesting to others. I overcome the first hurdle by reminding myself that until I actually put words on the page no one is going to judge me. Author @HeidiB  (via twitter) has the similar issues of “Self-doubt! {which} makes me start over and over again,” she says.

Patches of Grey author Roy Pickering expresses similar frustrations regarding self doubt.  “I decide that perhaps the idea for this book isn’t as wonderful as it seemed when I first decided to write it.  Only books that virtually sell themselves due to having plots more seductive than McDonald’s french fries have any chance of getting published AND turning a profit, right?  Perhaps I should stop before I get in too deep, put the book aside, and get to work on a new one with more commercial appeal.  Nah.  Before such a thought is halfway through I recognize that the book I’m writing insists on being written…by me.”

Time is what we want most, but… what we use worst. ~William Penn

Next is the lack of time to write. As a full time nurse, mother and wife I often put my family and paying career ahead of my wants and needs. I need to write. It is my dream and fulfills me. Through my writing I can express thoughts or feelings I may be hesitant to voice in the real world.   Author Cherie Burbach recognizes “finding the time to write a book is challenging. To overcome this one, I place my butt into a chair and write anyways, especially when I’m tired or don’t want to.” I haven’t developed the discipline to write when tired but am trying to make writing a priority each day.

Multi-tasking arises out of distraction itself. ~ Marilyn vos Savant

Now I must admit I am easily distracted by shiny things like the internet. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are awesome tools for interacting with other writerly types, yet they often keep me from making progress on my own writing projects. Chronicles of Aesirium author Ren Cummins suggests “keeping to a schedule and sticking to it can be the most helpful thing: just like a budget for your finances, there’s a finite amount that you have to work with, and if you blow it all… then it’s just not gonna go well.”

One of my favorite authors, Janet Evanovich, encourages writers to “Write something every day, even if it means getting just a few sentences on the screen. “ In her book How I Write  she suggests writers:

1. “Do it by time”. I have found this method to be very helpful lately. I set my kitchen timer for 20 minutes or so and force myself to write until the timer goes off. Then I can get up do some chores and come back for another 20 minute session.

2. “Do it by pages” One page of writing is approximately 250 words. So each day set a goal of writing as little as one page. In a year you can write a whole novel!

3. “Do it by word count” Again set a goal and stick to it.

4. “Do it by appointment” Carve out a time and place for your writing and show up for work each day. I’m still working on this one.

“I think writer’s block is simply the dread that you are going to write something horrible. But as a writer, I believe that if you sit down at the keys long enough; sooner or later something will come out.” ~Roy Blount Jr.

As much as I love to write, some days the words just won’t come. It is like my head is under water and I cannot hear my characters voices clearly. Usually when this occurs I put the manuscript down for a day, week or year. Yes, I said year. I actually anguish over the fact that I have left my characters in writing limbo. I fuss at them for not speaking to me louder than the laundry. When setting aside my work in progress doesn’t work (and it usually doesn’t), I try free writing. Free writing kick starts the creative juices in my brain.  I put pen to paper and just write whatever comes to mind typically in my characters voice. After a few paragraphs I can jump right back into the project.

H.L Reasby, author of Sekhmet’s Light series, has had similar mental constipation as she calls it. She states “I know what I want to do, I have an idea of how I want to get there, but the words just… won’t… come! Generally speaking, my writing output can peg somewhere between 1000-3000 words a day, but when I get into one of these cycles, word counts can drop to as little as 100 words. Despite my anger when these times arise, all that can really be done is to keep writing and work your way through it.“

So I will continue to push through my mental constipation as if I am giving birth to the most beautiful baby on the planet. For in fact I am giving birth to my thoughts, ideas, and dreams in the form of a novel that I hope you will enjoy one day soon.

What problems do you have when writing a new book or article? How do you overcome them?

Lexi Flint


2 thoughts on “Barriers to Writing and How to Overcome Them

  1. All of these points are awesome.

    I create realistic goals for myself, usually weekly ones. I have to or else I’ll get distracted and discouraged, with a low word count or nothing at all.

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