A Close Encounter with Writer’s Block

I used to believe that writer’s block doesn’t exist. Though I still feel that way, I’ve recently come closer than ever to experiencing it.

There are things that can make it well nigh impossible to express yourself, creatively or otherwise. Self doubt and rampant self criticism are two of these things. Dealing with these writing-killers is uncomfortable, but fully possible, as I learned in competitive Impromptu speaking.

When you’re waiting outside the closed door of a competition room, preparing to give a speech on an unknown topic with just two short minutes of prep time, you’ve got to will yourself into a good, productive mood. If you don’t, the two minutes of prep time will yield nothing of value, and when the speech begins and your innermost thoughts are laid bare, you’ll find you have nothing to give. Trust me—it is usually easier to give a bad speech than to will yourself into a better mood.

Using willpower isn’t easy, but it becomes easier with practice. It feels unnatural to force yourself to feel differently, but writers and speakers are actors, and this is what we do. It’s a necessary skill for anyone whose profession or hobby requires them to share their deep thoughts with others.

There’s no such thing as writer’s block. Getting yourself in a positive and productive mood on short notice is worth it for writers, speakers, and everyone else.

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