Confessions of a Lazy Creative: My Journey to Cure Writer’s Block

Confessions of a Lazy Creative: My Journey to Cure Writer’s Block

As I sit here, staring at the blinking cursor on my screen, I can’t help but chuckle. Here I am, tasked with writing about curing writer’s block, when I’ve spent more time blocked than actually writing over the past few years. But maybe that’s exactly why I’m the perfect person to tackle this topic. After all, who better to discuss overcoming creative stagnation than someone who’s intimately familiar with its paralyzing grip?

Let me take you back to where it all began. Picture a bright-eyed high school kid, furiously scribbling dialogue and camera directions into a beaten-up notebook during lunch breaks. That was me, lost in my own little world of screenplays and daydreams. I was going to be the next big thing in Hollywood, you see – just like every writer my age after watching their first Tarantino film. My stories would captivate audiences, my name would be in lights, and I’d give acceptance speeches at the Oscars while wearing a suit that cost more than my parents’ car.

Reality, as it often does, had other plans. Before moving on, I should also note that fantasizing about the end game – the interviews, the fame and fortune – is a big part of the problem, at least for me – DON’T do this!

Don’t get me wrong – I didn’t give up on my dreams entirely, it just took me a while… took a little bit of growing up. I went to film school later as a young adult, tried to ride the wave of the YouTube revolution, and even managed to produce a couple of low-budget feature films. But somewhere along the way, the words that once flowed so easily began to slow to a trickle. The blank page became my nemesis.

It wasn’t until I switched gears and dove into the world of novel writing that I felt that spark reignite. The Gate Key Chronicles burst forth from my imagination, a fantasy world that had been simmering in the back of my mind for years. I poured my heart and soul into that first book, and when I finally typed “The End,” I felt invincible. I had conquered the dreaded writer’s block! I was back, baby!

Or so I thought.

After the high of completing my first novel wore off, I found myself adrift once again. The words didn’t come as easily, and the motivation that had driven me to finish the book seemed to have packed its bags and gone on an extended vacation. I managed to squeeze out a children’s book, “The Littlest Bloops,” collaborating with an artist to bring the story to life. You can check out Miss Sharon Martin here.

But then… silence. Two years of creative stagnation followed, a period I like to refer to as “The Great Writing Drought of 2021-2023.” I could see creativity on the horizon, but I just couldn’t reach it.

It wasn’t until my sister caught the writing bug and started sharing her work with me that I felt that familiar itch in my fingers. You can check out my sister’s profile page under Action Marie. She actually does all kinds of creative works – she’s in band where she writes and composes music; she dabbles in creative artwork; and now she is writing, and she has a real knack for writing, if I do say so myself (I think she found her calling)! A little detour shout out there.

Suddenly, I wanted to write again. I found myself returning to the world of the Gate Key Chronicles, picking up the threads of a story I had left dangling years ago. Working with a beta reader to revamp and republish Book I, which you can find on Amazon, Btw. And I also found myself inspired to adapt one of my old horror screenplays after a good friend of mine, Antonio Nicassio, adapted one of them into a crime drama, also available on Amazon: Nevada Lowball – I’ve always loved that title!

And just like that, I was back in the game.

So, what changed? How did I go from a “lazy creative” (a term I use with equal parts self-deprecation and pride) to someone actively working on multiple projects again? Well, buckle up, fellow procrastinators and block-sufferers, because I’m about to share the wisdom I’ve gained on this roller coaster ride of a writing career.

  1. Embrace Your Inner Lazy Creative

The first step to overcoming writer’s block is to stop beating yourself up about it. Yes, you read that right. As counterintuitive as it may seem, accepting your “lazy creative” tendencies can be incredibly liberating. For years, I berated myself for not writing every day, for not churning out pages like some literary machine. But you know what? That’s not who I am, and that’s okay.

Some writers thrive on strict routines and daily word counts. Others, like me, work in bursts of inspiration followed by periods of seeming inactivity. The key is to recognize your natural rhythm and work with it, not against it. During those “lazy” periods, your subconscious is often hard at work. When you have those creative visions, even during that lazy period, write them down, take notes – processing the ideas and experiences that will fuel your next creative burst

  1. Diversify Your Creative Portfolio

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is the importance of creative cross-pollination. When I was stuck in the world of screenwriting, I felt trapped. Switching to novels opened up a whole new world of possibilities. And when I hit a wall with my fantasy series, writing a children’s book provided a much-needed palate cleanser.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different forms and genres. Each new creative endeavor informs and enriches the others. My background in screenwriting has made me a stronger novelist, particularly when it comes to dialogue and pacing. And the world-building skills I honed in my fantasy writing have come in handy as I adapt one of my old screenplays into a psychological horror novel.

  1. Find Your Tribe

Writing can be a solitary pursuit, but it doesn’t have to be. One of the biggest catalysts for my recent return to writing was my both sister’s, and my good friend’s newfound passion for the craft. Sharing our work, bouncing ideas off each other, and providing mutual encouragement has been invaluable.

Look for writing groups in your area or online communities of like-minded creatives. I know, you may be an introvert like myself, in truth I still have not joined a group myself, but I’m working on it. Having a support system – even a small one like a sister and an old friend – can make all the difference when you’re struggling to find motivation. Plus, the accountability of knowing someone is waiting to read your next chapter can be a powerful motivator to keep writing.

  1. Embrace the Power of Deadlines

I know, this point does contradict what I said earlier, but it is a crucial step, no matter how much my lazy side doesn’t want to admit it. As a self-proclaimed lazy creative, I’ve come to recognize the motivating power of a good deadline. Without external pressure, it’s all too easy for me to let days, weeks, or even months slip by without making progress on my writing projects.

If you’re not working with a publisher or editor who can impose deadlines, create your own. Set realistic goals and share them with your writing group or a trusted friend. Having someone to check in with you on your progress can provide that extra push you need to keep moving forward.

  1. Redefine What It Means to Write

One of the biggest roadblocks I faced was my narrow definition of what constituted “real” writing. I thought that if I wasn’t actively typing out new scenes or chapters daily, I wasn’t being productive. But the truth is, writing is so much more than just putting words on a page.

Reading books in your genre, researching historical details for your story, people-watching for character inspiration – all of these activities contribute to your growth as a writer. Even binge-watching a TV series can be productive if you’re analyzing the plot structure and character arcs. By broadening my definition of writing-related activities, I’ve been able to stay connected to my craft even during periods when the words aren’t flowing freely.

  1. Embrace Imperfection

Perfectionism is the enemy of creativity. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stared at a blank page, paralyzed by the fear that what I write won’t be good enough. But here’s the truth: the first draft is always going to be messy. It’s supposed to be. Your job is to get the story out of your head and onto the page. You can always refine and polish it later – “… writing … is rewriting” ~ Ernest Hemingway.

Give yourself permission to write badly. Some days, you’ll produce pure gold. Other days, it’ll be utter garbage. But you can’t edit a blank page. Get the words down, no matter how imperfect they may be. You’ll thank yourself later when you have raw material to work with during the revision process.

  1. Create a Writing Ritual

While I’m not a fan of rigid routines, I have found that having a simple writing ritual can help signal to your brain that it’s time to create. For me, it’s making a cup of coffee – coffee is key – and putting on your favorite background sounds – for me it is a familiar show, or genre of music, something nostalgic. These small actions help me transition from my everyday mindset into a creative headspace.

Your ritual doesn’t have to be elaborate. It could be as simple as putting on a specific pair of writing socks or doing a quick meditation before you start. The key is consistency. Over time, these rituals become powerful triggers for your creativity.

  1. Change Your Environment

Sometimes, the cure for writer’s block is as simple as a change of scenery. When I’m feeling stuck, I’ll pack up my laptop and head to a local coffee shop or park. There’s something about being in a new environment that can shake loose new ideas and perspectives. My buddy Antonio likes to head to the local cigar shop – he’s a big cigar guy.

If you can’t physically change your location, try rearranging your writing space. Move your desk to face a different direction, or try writing in a different room of your house. Even small changes can help break you out of a creative rut.

  1. Use Writing Prompts and Exercises

When I’m really struggling to get words on the page, I turn to writing prompts and exercises. These can be especially helpful when you’re working on a long-term project like a novel. Taking a break to write a short story or a scene based on a prompt can help reignite your creativity and remind you why you love writing in the first place.

There are countless resources available online for writing prompts, or you can create your own. This is where my notes might come in handy, you know, the ones I jotted down during those creative droughts – or so I thought they were droughts, but the amount of ideas I noted during those periods state otherwise.

  1. Remember Why You Started

Finally, when all else fails, I remind myself why I started writing in the first place. It wasn’t for fame or fortune (well, maybe for my younger, high school self it was). But I write because I have stories to tell, worlds to explore, and characters who demand to be brought to life. And most importantly, I write because, as a Christian writer, I have hope that I may write a story someday that can help bring someone into a relationship with Christ, or at least get them to question what else is out there beyond what they can see!

Reconnecting with that initial spark of passion can be incredibly motivating. Revisit your earliest works – those high school screenplays or the first chapters of your novel. Remember the excitement and joy you felt when you were first discovering your voice as a writer. What themes got you excited and fueled your desire to complete your first work and get it out there?

In the end, curing writer’s block isn’t about finding a magic solution that works for everyone. It’s about understanding yourself as a writer and a creative individual. It’s about being patient with yourself during the fallow (yes, I used a synonym search so I would sound more brilliant) periods and ready to seize inspiration when it strikes. It’s about accepting that the creative journey is rarely a straight line, but rather a winding path with plenty of detours and scenic routes along the way.

As I sit here, putting the finishing touches on this blog post, I’m reminded of how far I’ve come. From that starry-eyed high school kid dreaming of Hollywood to the published author I am today, it’s been quite a journey. There have been highs and lows, periods of intense creativity and frustrating blockages. But through it all, the stories have remained, waiting patiently for me to find my way back to them.

So to all my fellow lazy creatives (I think I may adopt this as my title now, provided someone else doesn’t already blog with it) out there, I say this: embrace your unique process. Trust that the words will come when they’re ready. And in the meantime, live your life, gather experiences, and trust that every moment is preparing you for the next burst of creativity. Because that’s the beautiful thing about being a writer – as long as we’re living and observing the world around us, we’re never truly blocked. We’re just gathering material for our next great work.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a fantasy world to return to and a horror novel to craft. The cursor is blinking, but this time, I’m ready for it. Let’s see where the words take us next.

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