Overcoming Creative Paralysis

I’m not going to lie – I’m currently experiencing a severe case of creative paralysis. When I first started this blog over a year ago, I was full of ideas. I had some writing projects going, found a few subjects I was interested in blogging about, and slowly started connecting with people online.

I don’t know what happened. Somewhere along the line, I lost my confidence. I started questioning every post topic I came up with, every book idea I explored, every word I wrote anywhere about anything.

Now, whenever I sit down to write something, I get stuck. I start to think about how each thing I work on will ultimately help get me where I want to be. Then I realize how far away I am from actually achieving my goals. I get so distracted by feeling overwhelmed that I usually make some excuse to take a break. Before I know it, another unproductive day has gone by, and I’m no closer to realizing my dreams.

I was talking to my friend, Paul, the other day about my creative paralysis, and he gave me some great advice. He said, “Make a to-do list. Think about where you want to end up, and work backwards until you get to what you need to do today.” It seems like it should be common sense, but I really hadn’t given enough thought to the little steps I needed to take to arrive at my destination.

So, what can I do today to get closer to my goals? Well, I can write this blog entry. I can hang out on Twitter and connect with some new people. I can brainstorm ideas. I can write a couple pages of prose. And I can make a to-do list to look at whenever I feel stuck in the future.

I’ll admit that I am still scared and overwhelmed. But focusing on the little steps I can take each day to get closer to my goal makes it feel more manageable. Hopefully, by succeeding in taking steps toward my goal, I’ll start to feel confident again.

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8 replies to “Overcoming Creative Paralysis”

  1. Don’t give up dear! Maybe peruse other blogs and generate new ideas! That’s what I did. It always helps me. 🙂

    1. Alana says:Author

      Yeah, I should definitely devote some time to just exploring and reading a lot of different blogs. Thanks!

      1. You’re most welcome! 🙂

  2. I totally get this! It’s been almost three years since I’ve written any substantial amount of new words in my fiction – and since I started a new story – so now that I have, it’s scary. Having a plan helps, and for me, a to-do list is essential. Sometimes I don’t feel like writing, but I make myself open the Word file, even if I only type one sentence. If it sucks, that’s what revision’s for. But usually, I go on to do a good bit more. Good luck getting over your slump!

  3. Marisa says:

    Oh, man, can I relate to this today. Thanks for writing it. I guess it’s all just part of the process, right?

    1. Alana says:Author

      It is definitely all part of the process. Thanks for the comment!

  4. I hear you Alana! I feel like this sometimes too. Slumps seem to sneak up on me. I’ll tell myself I’m taking a break for a few days, and then suddenly a few days is a week is a month. I find breaking it down into little pieces helps: I’ll convince myself to write for a ridiculously short period of time, like 10 minutes. Usually that tricks me back into action. Hope you are back in action ASAP!

    1. Alana says:Author

      Thanks, Carrie! I know my biggest problem is getting too overwhelmed with everything I want to accomplish in the long run to take the steps I need to take on a daily basis to get there. I definitely need to start writing daily, even if it’s only for 10 minutes like you suggested.

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