Mark O'Neill

Spy thriller author, creative entrepreneur, daydreamer

Writers block? There’s no such thing

writers block

Writers block is a myth – period. Instead, let’s see it for what it really is.

It’s when you are putting yourself in circumstances that do not help your brain to focus on the work.

My current book manuscript has been worked on for the past three years. The fact it isn’t finished yet isn’t due to sitting at the computer and not knowing what to write. I’m not sitting there thinking “oh, if only this damn writers block would clear!”

Instead, it’s because life circumstances are getting in the way. Unless you choose to be a monk and live in a monastery, this is an inescapable part of life.

The day job. Covid. Family issues. I wasn’t able to write any of my book for three months because of the stress involved in moving to a new home.

That’s not “writers block.” That’s just life.

My brain is not in an optimised environment where the words can flow freely, due to my surroundings and circumstances. That’s the “block” – if you want to call it that.

Priorities are everything

You have to prioritise what’s important to you – and your day job (to pay the bills, feed yourself, and keep a roof over your head), your health, and your family should always come first. The writing comes second when all your more important priorities have all been taken care of. Unless of course the writing is the day job, in which case, this doesn’t apply.

So don’t beat yourself up if you’re unable to write as much as you want to. Deal with the more pressing priorities first – the words will then follow because your brain will be able to relax more, knowing the other stuff is gone.

Trust me, I’m talking from experience. Don’t insult your brain by calling the syndrome ‘writers block’. The fact is, you’re only human. You can’t do everything at once. Don’t even try.

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