A couple of days ago I jokingly posted on my facebook status,

"I was going to blog today about writer's block but I couldn't come up with anything."

And then I started writing this. It took forever.

For the past two years I have been writing regularly- blogging a couple of times a week and recently completing the manuscript for my first book, The Ripple Effect. At times the words flowed effortlessly. Other times it took hours to get one thought out of my head and into a word document; months and even years to complete some of my writings. At this very moment I have at least 12 unfinished articles in my files, some of which were started well over two years ago.

Writer's block is most commonly associated with fear on some level. Fear of criticism, fear of looking bad, fear of the naysayer. It's probably quite obvious that fear tends to stifle creativity and inhibit self-expression.

While this may account for much of writer's block, it is a limited view. There can also be a positive aspect to writer's block. At times your ideas simply need the chance to develop and mature.

Whether you are blocked from fear or your ideas are taking their time marinating, here are specific strategies to get your thoughts flowing.

-Morning pages as defined in Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. This practice of "three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning" has been a part of my daily ritual for years.
-Images. Google the images for your topic. Sometimes the right visual representation of what you are trying to put into words can have an almost magical effect on your writing.
-Talk it out. Converse with a friend on the subject.
-Do it anyway. Specify a minimum number of words you will write (my target is generally 500) or a minimum amount of time (say 30 minutes) of writing. Forget about the quality of the output, just focus on the activity.
-Exercise. I had been struggling with writing a song for my mother for months. I wrote almost the entire song in my head during a one hour trail run.
-"Good enough" sometimes really is. It doesn't have to be perfect to be powerful, purposeful, and published.
-Multiple starts. Leave the topic you're blocked on. Write about something else. Worst case scenario is you'll have multiple unfinished writings. Oftentimes you will combine two or more concepts into one writing.
-Begin without the end in mind. Just write. Don't worry about where you are going with it. You'll know when you get there.
-Deadlines and other commitments. If no one else is setting a deadline for you, set one for yourself. Commit to other people what you will complete and when you will complete it.
-Lastly, be aware of how you talk to yourself. If writer's block has a negative implication in your mind, try this:

"My subconscious mind is always working to clarify my communication. My words flow easily in the right way at just the right time."

Author's Bio: 

Doug Grady is President of High Achievers Network. Doug has been studying and teaching the pathways to personal potential for over 20 years. Exciting, entertaining and enlightening are words invariably used to describe his unique seminars and workshops. Doug is also a musician and the author of the book, The Ripple Effect.

"Doug Grady gives you practical, proven ideas and methods you can use immediately, and he presents them in a fast-moving, entertaining and enjoyable style." -Brian Tracy, Author, Maximum Achievement

"Doug Grady has real world information that will make you listen, make you laugh, make you think, and make you money." -Jeffrey Gitomer, Author, The Sales Bible