Why Writers Need to Learn How To Heal Themselves From Emotional Pain #MondayBlogs #Writers

A troubling and painful period of Writer’s Block has made me realise how important it is for writers to learn how to heal themselves from emotional pain…and to repeat this process again and again.

This latest episode of Writer’s Block has been distressing and has led to me falling behind with my second draft. In recent weeks I have come so close to walking away from my beloved second draft. Every time I sat down to write nothing happened or if it did things would end quickly in tears. Frustrating and soul-destroying.

However something deep inside stopped me from ditching my story. I knew I had to find a way of healing my creative self or I would be stuck in this tortuous state for the rest of eternity.

Our writing lives are at times joyful and heavenly, but they are also fraught with creative emotional pain and suffering. We go through continual phases of hating our writing, dealing with writer jealousy, working through rejection, failure and feeling a million years away from our writing dreams. The important thing to remember is that all this emotional pain unfortunately goes with the territory of being a writer. It’s all part of the fun.

I am starting to see that literary success comes from learning how to heal yourself after an episode of creative emotional pain. In view of the time I have wasted fretting about my Writer’s Block – the quicker the healing process the better!

If we don’t do something to kickstart the healing process our projects won’t evolve and our dreams will never get fulfilled.

Here are the things I have found useful in healing myself from creative emotional pain:

  1. Talking. Sharing my struggle with some sympathetic writer friends has been invaluable. They helped me get to the root cause of the Writer’s Block (an emotional issue) and work out some coping strategies.
  2. Helping Others. I might be creatively blocked but that has not stopped me reading and reviewing other writer’s books. Acts of creative kindness are good for the soul.
  3. Creative Podcasts. There are some excellent writing related podcasts out there. Listening to other writers talk about how they handled Writer’s Block has been like a mini therapy session for me. I have a post on Useful Podcasts for Writers – click here.
  4. Refilling the creative well. Emotional pain drains the creative well so its important to work on refilling it. This can be done through things like catching up with writer friends, reading different genres, watching different films, shopping, eating out and writing some flash fiction.
  5. Returning to my creative ‘home’. I believe that everyone has a creative home. A creative place where you feel most at ease and comfortable as a writer. When you are troubled, returning to this place can be similar to that wonderful ‘coming home’ feeling you get after a long trip. Mine is writing comedy blog series like The Diary of Roxy Collins and Tina’s Writer’s Diary. I enjoy writing these and I love how the characters cheer me up. So whilst being ‘blocked’ with my novel I have been giving some serious thought to a new blog comedy series. I have a fab idea, some new great new characters and it has made me feel like a writer again. So, I have made a promise to myself that once I finish my second draft my reward will be to run my new blog series.

The hardest thing about being a writer is that when you fall down nobody comes rushing over to pick you up, dust you down, ruffle your hair and put a plaster over your emotional wound. You have to learn to do all this yourself.

I think I am coming out the other side as tonight (Sunday) I have written 1000 words.

Have you had to find ways to heal your creative self?

Have a fabulous day!

Photo: Upsplash.

Posted by

Lucy Mitchell lives in South Wales with her husband, her two teenage daughters, a giant labrador and a gang of unruly cats. Lucy is the author of the award winning blog, BlondeWriteMore and was a Featured Romance Author on Wattpad. When she’s not working or writing, Lucy can be found listening to audiobooks in a muddy field with her dog or sat outside her local pub in the sunshine enjoying a glass of wine. Her debut novel Instructions Falling In Love Again is OUT now and already pulling in some fabulous reviews ❤️

59 thoughts on “Why Writers Need to Learn How To Heal Themselves From Emotional Pain #MondayBlogs #Writers

  1. I’m feeling this too at the moment. And emosh stuff may well be the reason I’m getting stuck…. wish I could discuss or offload to someone bit it’s just not possible…

      1. Here’s hoping ! It’s very close to home… and to be honest, if this other person can’t get over stuff it’s always going to be hard for me…. 😢

  2. Awesome post as always, along with your number 4 & 5 I find these also helps:

    Yoga: the more powerful and sweaty the better to remove the cob web from the brain. I always come out the other side feeling energized and ready the face the beast (writing) head on.
    Meditation: it’s like having a one on one with the brain, like I’m sorry I know I bruised you with that loud music; letting mundane things upset you and applying unnecessary pressure, so here’s some medication to recharge yourself.
    Pictures: I find pictures of snow on mountains; pictures of comfort dogs; flowers; babies and watching natural wonders videos really soothing and gets the creative juices flowing.
    And drinking very cold water.

    1. You get a gold star for this fab comment.
      I actually do yoga and meditation every morning after I wake up. Actually I have been skipping both for a few weeks and…I entered this period of suffering…is there a link lol?? I am back to my yoga and meditation – hey presto my writing is back!

    1. I am coming out of the ‘fog’ that I have been in – thanks. I feel like I have wasted a lot of time moping about but maybe there was a good reason and maybe it will present itself soon 🙂 Happy Monday!

  3. A wonderful post, and some great suggestions.

    Your #5 is why is very familiar to me. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but – to me – there’s no such thing as a writer’s block, but a story that’s not ready to be told. For me, it’s all about being patient while the characters mull the story and prepare to share it with you. It’s not a process that can be hurried, and those bastards will clam up if you try and force the story out of them before they’re ready. Which is why I currently have 4 projects going on simultaneously. While I wait for one story’s voices to share, I turn to the rest of them. Happily, there are always a few willing to share.

    I’m sorry you feel you have to go through such periods alone, and I know first-hand just how hard that can be. A big virtual hug and a plaster over the emotional wound!

    1. Yes you have told me this before about being patient….good advice…but you know I don’t like taking good advice. I like to go into full emotional breakdown mode. Thanks for the virtual hug and plaster!

  4. I am in a lot of pain and writing is making me more depressed..:(..I want to stop writing but this is the only one i can think of as a distraction..!

  5. Sometimes you need to do something else. Read. Walk. Not hurry. Not worry. Clear the cobwebs. It’s easy to say when it isn’t happening to you. ❤ ❤ ❤
    I stress over low energy, which shuts down the production. Ugh. I lose myself in reading when I can.

  6. I had issues with the pain of writer’s block. It’s not an easy feeling to go through. Writing was starting to feel like more of a chore, not something I enjoyed. I took some time off of writing and thought about what I wanted to do with my writing.

    After some soul-searching, I felt a weight had been lifted. Writing became fun again. The writer’s block still happens, but it’s not as crippling.

    Thank you for posting.

  7. Pain is the reason I am a writer today. But in this journey we must heal ourselves. That’s a very helpful piece of write-up.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Thanks Hugh, In the end I turned to witch craft and some fellow blogging / writer friends (names withheld 😉) made me burn my emotional issue with the draft in the garden, announce my farewell to it and sniff sage incense! Worked a treat! Sigh!

      1. Only the best authors on my site! Yes please! It’s gaining popularity my series so just let me know a suitable Saturday. I can add cover pics and links. Give me a shout 🙂

  8. Lucy, it’s so important as writers to spread the word about these lulls and indeed the deep dips into the murky depths so we can get through the hard times together. I am constantly questioning my writing abilities but at the same time, working to skill myself up. This constant refinement produces results, but also leaves me with a sense that I’m never going to get there.
    Perfectionism is a huge issue for me with my writing but not in other areas and through learning the violin and dance, I’m learning to chill out a bit more. Not put so much weight in what I think other people are thinking when indeed, they’re probably not criticizing me at all.
    I had a tough lesson a month ago when my short story failed to place in a local competition. I thought if I couldn’t make it in a small pond, what chance did I have in a big pond?
    However, I spoke with the judge afterwards and realized my structure had some faults. I was also kind to myself and acknowledged that I don’t write short stories and had about a week’s notice so not to be too hard on myself. Use it as a learning experience. There’s always next year! Here’s a post I wrote about that: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2016/10/30/rejection-its-a-short-story/
    I have also got into writing magnetic poetry lately. Not because I’ve had writer”s block but I’m sure it would help: http://play.magneticpoetry.com/poem/Original/kit
    xx Rowena

      1. Somehow, when it comes to battling perfectionism, it’s a matter of letting go of impossibly high, unattainable standards. I really struggle because our house just never seems to be neat enough to invite people over but last week it was my husband’s 50th birthday and I invited some friends round for afternoon tea. I am a great baker and so I ended up focusing more on my strength rather than my weakness. Yes, there’s mess but this is an awesome pavlova and cheesecake. I’m a warm, friendly person. I don’t have to be everything.
        Just a thought.
        Good luck!
        xx Rowena

  9. Thank you for this post. I’ve felt really stuck with my writing lately, and on reflection I think it’s because I’ve been reading too much about promoting books and not focusing enough on creating them. I don’t think I can bear to read any more ‘How to sell’ stuff – every time I see the words ‘marketing plan’ I go grey with boredom, and boredom is not good for creativity.

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