Breaking the Block: How to move past writer’s block
When I first started writing, it was purely for fun. My stories twisted and turned and often ended up in a tangled mess, but I loved it. I didn’t struggle with what to write next. I rode the current of inspiration wherever it took me.
As I moved into the world of publication, it didn’t take long to realize that tangled messes didn’t make the cut here. I needed clear, neatly woven stories if I wanted to share them with the rest of the world. My method wasn’t getting me what I needed.
So I bought books on outlining, had my books professionally edited, and learned lots in the process. But though I was learning the process of writing, some days I stalled. Some days it was so hard, I forgot why I even wanted to write. This forgetting sent me into a tailspin of despair and confusion. What about all the time, effort, and money I’d expended on learning how to write? Was that all going to waste?
The struggle intensified this summer when I became pregnant and lost my energy and my will to write. Finally, I came before God, broken. I knew He had given me this dream to write. He’d given me a measure of talent, and it was up to me to hone it, no matter how hard I had to work.
In that quiet space with Him, He reminded me why I am writing. It’s not so people know my name. That’s part of it, so they know how to find my stories. It’s not so I feel good about my skills. It is fulfilling to be able to weave a masterful story with all the proper high points and conflicts.
I am writing because He has called me to worship and delight in Him with my words. Even if I was only writing in my journal, never to show it to anyone else, it would be worth it. Yes, I hone my skills because my delight in writing deepens as I further understand its structure. My worship of God takes on another sheen of glory as I see how my writing can turn others to Him.
I am given the gift of writing. Not a burden, though it is hard some days. It is a gift, and as long as I keep that knowledge before me, I can push on after fading inspiration. I can trust God to reveal the inspiration already inside me, so that I can write a story that touches lives.
I'm Sheri Yutzy, and I'm a storyteller who believes that words hold unimaginable power. I'm passionate about writing life-changing literature for young people. I edit for Daughters of Promise, an Anabaptist women's magazine, and I am working to get my first two young adult fantasy novels published. In the meantime, I write short stories and articles for blogs and online magazines. I grew up as a conservative Mennonite and still practice that way of life. I live with my husband Dan in Huntsville, Arkansas attend a small church in town.
Where to find Sheri online...