A Letter to the Soul Suffering from Writer’s Block

Dear soul,

I am going through it too. Right here. Right now. Not some time in the past, not an inevitable time in the future. Until five sentences ago, I hadn’t written a single word in over a month. Try to write just one word a day, they say. How silly, I think. Of course I’d be able to write a word.

And here I am, suffering through these sentences – almost eleven now – and feeling as if I was pressing against a wall of solid, unyielding syrup. How slowly the words come! How dull my mind is! I’ve only been able to write even this much because I’m complaining, and you can always find words to complain, no matter how thick the Block.

How sad.

Why am I bending over backwards to write this to you?

Because instead of offering advice while I’m surfing along at hundreds of words per hour, I thought I’d come to you now. In the middle of your same pain. Your sharp desire to create, to spin worlds out of words, yet every time you stare at the blank page, you get stabbed by nothingness.

I am feeling those pangs of guilt, of wasting precious time, of being unable to conjure a single word and of being simultaneously aware of how easy it should be. But it’s not. It’s not easy. It’s maddening, and it feels hopeless and eternal.

I both did and didn’t want to sit down and write this. I don’t feel creative and I don’t think I have the ability to string words together in a cohesive manner, never mind one that is touching and poignant. My head is stuffed with cotton and my heart, which eagerly poured so much passion into my words, once upon a time, now feels frighteningly still and silent.

The very idea of adding to any of my manuscripts, even just one word, is nauseating.

And the thought of being repulsed by my own darling that I’ve sweated and worked so hard for only drives home more guilt and despair.

Dozens of sentences now, most of them complaints. This reminds me. A wise Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Complaining about a problem without posing a solution is called whining.”


Dear soul, I’m with you. I feel your frustration. But we will press on together, we will overcome this, and we will be winners, not whiners. (Feel free to cringe at that; I know I am.)


Well, I’m sure you’ve read those articles. About taking a break, making a brain-storming list, journaling, pin-pointing what exactly you dread writing, simply pushing through and forcing yourself to write, etc. Yeah. I’ve read them too. I’ve tried all those things too.

And if you’re like me and you’re still stuck, I suspect it’s because of a deeper problem.

Fortunately for us, I have an idea.

A few days ago I had the honor of attending a talk on the power of imagination given by the inspiring Allen Arnold (I highly, highly recommend checking out his website and his various videos and books.) Many beautiful, uplifting things were said, but one thing that really hit me was that God is the Creator. (This should have been obvious, especially for all the times I’ve read the first few chapters of Genesis, but apparently cotton is a veteran tenant in my head.)

As the Creator of spinning galaxies, sparkling eyes, swirling ocean currents, laughter, resplendent peacock feathers, twitching bunny noses, and human souls – the Creator, in fact, of literally everything – it makes perfect sense that God also created creativity. Imagination. Wonderful gifts that He bestowed upon every single one of us by creating us in His image.

But just as we get thirsty for water, eventually our creative wells run dry. How can we fill them up?

You’re exactly right. By seeking the source of Creativity and Imagination, God himself.

It sounds so obvious and too simple.

Yet, for all its simplicity, over the past month, I have not been pursuing Him very often. I’ve been so busy with school, so caught up in the fast-paced duties and responsibilities and deadlines and chaos of life that I’ve…left Him in a little drawer to attend to later. I’ve even managed to place physics, out of all things, at a higher priority than the Creator of the universe.

Now that I realize this, it’s no wonder that my ability to create has been frozen.

The past few days, I’ve been forcing myself to take tiny but frequent moments to just…remember. Remember my Creator, and spend pockets of my day with Him. This never involves locking myself up in a closet and chanting prayers. It’s things like marveling at how a petal can be so pink. At watching cardinals work so hard to feed adorable baby chicks. At admiring clouds billowing a thousand times more picturesquely than in a painting in the Louvre. At laughing with my family.

At becoming alive instead of just living.

This makes me think that Writer’s Block (or any other kind of blockage) comes when life is so hurried that everything becomes dull and lackluster, like a blur from racing too fast. Creativity, on the other hand, comes from a passion for life, for the beautiful things in this world, that are found through the Creator peeling open our eyes to them.

But what if we are seeking Him? What if we’re still being crushed by the chaos of life? How are we supposed to create then?

Well, if God can shape the universe in the midst of churning, primeval chaos, I think He can help us create amidst the hustle and bustle in our own puny lives. Our creations can be little islands of light, pointing back to heaven, reminding us why we create in the first place.


Has God miraculously cured my Writer’s Block? Well, no, not in the snap of a finger. I’ve struggled to write this post more than I struggle to do a pull-up.

But I would be a whining liar if I said that God isn’t doing anything to help me. He is. You probably have a good idea of how terrifying it was to face this page that not so long ago was completely blank.

Well, I faced it. Without God, I am only capable of creating extremely elaborate complaints and various permutations of garbage. So if there is anything at all encouraging or helpful in this post, or if you have made it this far without becoming either bored or horrified or confused, you can know for sure that it came from the Creator.

Dear soul, this is not the end. Join me and seek out our Creator. Learn to become tuned into the strings of life so that you can see and feel their every complex, delicate, beautiful thrum.

And then, even if it’s been weeks, months, years…I challenge you to write.

It’ll be terrifying.

You might feel useless.

But you can do it, through Him who strengthens you.

~ Elisha

9 thoughts on “A Letter to the Soul Suffering from Writer’s Block

    1. I honestly do not know what to say, except to tell you that you brought tears to my eyes. Happy tears. *hugs* I guess my prayers were answered. 🙂 ❤


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