“Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it” (Psalm 37:5, NASB).
Writer’s block affects every writer now and then. None of us bypass this dreaded experience of reaching for words … only to grasp emptiness.
Zero. Nada. Zip.
Our brains won’t cooperate, and our ability to plant words on an empty page just freezes up—at least temporarily.
In response, we often stress, straining for words that refuse to emerge. Like fireflies that don’t flicker light, we fail to communicate the content we possess. At such times, we can find help in three simple ways:
It’s human nature to strive for success. We usually don’t try hard to try harder. Words won’t come? Well, we determine to force them out, writing whatever comes to mind for a set period of time. Though this approach merits some results, it can hinder the Christian writer from dealing with a foundational issue: self-dependence rather than dependence on God.
I’ve fallen into this trap repeatedly. Feeling the weight of looming deadlines, I subconsciously develop a reliance on myself to complete whichever writing project awaits my attention. Pressing the anxiety down and pushing myself to perform, I insist on making progress according to my standards.
I forget I write for the Lord.
I decline to acknowledge that He’s the Giver of words.
I leave Him on the backseat while I stomp the accelerator … only to find I’m going nowhere.
Once I wear myself out this way, I look up. Our gracious and merciful God reminds me to seek His strength. To rely on Him. To surrender my writing to His control.
The Holy Spirit convicts me to relinquish my thoughts and efforts into God’s mighty hand. He is, after all, the One who spoke creation into existence. He’s the ultimate word-breather, word-shaper, wordsmith. When I release my grip and humbly pray for God to supply words, something shifts.
And it is good.
Taking a break produces fruit. In other words, we sometimes need to rest our minds so they can receive inspiration and godly motivation, which work together to form insightful messages.
If we refuse to calm down, however, we run the risk of throwing useless words onto paper. Instead of positively impacting others, those words can lack power. We end up wasting our time and others’ time.
Relaxation looks different for each of us, and it can be achieved at various points. Let’s consider what activities relieve our stress, then engage in them periodically without guilt. Writing for the Lord should include joy. When we relax, we discover the delight of writing all over again.
And words come.
Could the words we wrote yesterday experience new life today? Yes. They can be a lifesaver, too, when meeting deadlines.
While we might wish our words would spread on a viral scale, we know they don’t for most of us. In fact, even when people do read our content, they don’t remember every single word. This reality enables us as writers to repurpose written material as needed.
With artistic flair, we can insert creativity into past projects. Fresh insights, figurative language, and even a new theme can transform yesterday’s message into a word for today. Repurposing allows us to maximize the different passions we seek to promote.
And it adds beauty.
I trust these three tips will benefit you the next time you encounter writer’s block. As we release, relax, and repurpose, the pages we labor to fill will display our Master’s affinity for words. May we connect the words He provides in a way that radiates His glory.
In Christ’s Love,
Additional reading material on writer’s block and elusive words:
- How to Overcome Writer’s Block Once and for All: My Surprising Solution by Jerry Jenkins (this is an incredibly helpful article!)
- Words (one of my poem prayers from 2014)