What’s the Difference Between Writer’s Block and Creative Paralysis?
Many writers and creatives struggle with their creativity at times. As an author myself, I too have felt the frustration of sitting at my keyboard and producing nothing worthwhile. But, there is a vast difference between having a bad day of writing and being incapable of doing what you love for weeks, months, or even years. The advice, “just keep writing,” doesn’t work when the block has become this severe.
In fact, few things are as terrifying to someone who writes or creates for a living as the sudden inability to do so. If you are a creative person or know one, maybe you can relate.
What could possibly cause such a block in someone who previously adored writing, painting, singing, acting, etc.? Often these issues are spiritual or emotional in nature.
Here are 5 Possible Causes of Creative Paralysis:
One of the biggest culprits that can short-circuit a creative’s ability to create is trauma. The trauma could be recent: a home invasion, mugging, car accident, or assault. Or the incident may have occurred in the past: childhood abuse, having to kill or watch others kill as a member of the military, or being mercilessly bullied in school.
Whether the trauma happened in the past or closer to the present, the person involved may experience anxiety, panic attacks, paranoia, OCD, PTSD, or a myriad of other problems. If you feel like your safety has been compromised, or like you’re afraid all the time, you’re not going to be in the best mental state to draw from your creative well.
Loss of a Loved One.
Some see death as horrible while others see it as a beautiful and inevitable transition. Either way, the grief it causes can utterly extinguish the creative flame. A period of mourning is expected. But when months and years pass with no acceptance or healing, the loss may cause repercussions in your ability to create.
If you were particularly close to this loved one, if they died in a catastrophic way, or if suicide was the cause, emotions like blame and shock can set in, destroying your stability and peace of mind.
We all depend on money on this planet. It’s simply what we use as an energetic exchange to receive the resources we need. A large unanticipated expense like a theft, a fire, a natural disaster, or the loss of income or a job can throw anyone into a tailspin of worry and panic. If you write or create for a living, this might make you feel so much pressure that you’re unable to continue.
Few things are more frightening or debilitating as a life-threatening medical diagnosis or injury. The saying is true, “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.” Recovering from such a threat is not only physical but also psychological and spiritual in nature.
A Massive, Unexpected Change.
Life is change. But some changes can alter our lives in ways that are difficult to handle.
Some pertinent examples:
- The betrayal of a trusted friend, colleague, family member, or spouse.
- The dissolving of the publishing company you depend on for your livelihood.
- Your editor being replaced by someone else who rejects your work.
- A manager or agent leaving you without support.
- A break-up or divorce.
All of these means having your life turned upside down, which will understandably put writing or creating on the back burner.
Many times, being betrayed or rejected will affect your confidence and belief in yourself. Other emotions like anger, jealousy, or a sense of unworthiness may take over.
This can leave anyone shaken and too emotionally compromised to create.
Are there any solutions?
Time itself can help to heal wounds. But, when the passage of time isn’t enough, the pain and trauma must be alleviated by other means.
We are fortunate and blessed to have some amazing gifts available to us in the form of tools and strategies.
Here are 4 Tools to Help You through Your Creativity Block:
EFT and TFT Tapping.
Tapping is clinically proven to clear disabling emotions. It works by using the connection of body (nervous system), mind, and spirit. When these three parts of ourselves are shifted back into alignment, clarity and the return of our creative muses are far more likely.
Meditation tunes us into our inner selves. By purposely quieting our thoughts, we shut down any negative momentum our limiting beliefs have caused. Refocusing on the truth of our infinite nature raises our mood and allows us to vibrate at a higher energetic level.
Visualizations are powerful in that they help us construct the reality of our futures. They are particularly helpful to those who learn best visually. If we picture the life and outcomes we want vividly and with strong enough intent, we have a much greater chance of tearing down blocks and reaching our goals.
Affirmations are also useful in the manifesting and block-breaking process. They are to auditory learners what visualizations are to visual learners. These positive sayings, when believed at a core level, can break the negative chains of thought that lead to procrastination.
If you know of someone suffering from creative paralysis, please give them the chance to talk to you.
We all like having a sounding board. Knowing that you’re being listened to and that your feelings are being honored can make all the difference.
When you are grounded, connected, and supported, it’s amazing how much your life can change for the better. If this article helped you or might help someone you know, please share it with them.
Have you ever suffered from creative paralysis? Please share your experiences with us in the comments section below!