Writer's Block Belief

Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Writers Block Belief

by Kalinda Rose Stevenson

Lack of Belief

If a writer has a block,
it’s usually because
she doesn’t believe in what she’s writing.
Sarah Ban Breathnach
Sarah Ban Breathnach defines the belief that causes writer's block.
Sarah Ban Breathnach Writer's Block

What Is Writer's Block?

Let’s begin with the word “block.” A block is an obstacle in your way. The block can be a physical obstacle. It can be an emotional obstacle. It can be an intellectual obstacle. If you’re feeling blocked, something is in your way.

What causes writer’s block? The short answer is that potential causes of writer’s block are so wide-ranging that no single definition is adequate to describe the "what" and the "why" of writer’s block.

Sarah Ban Breathnach claims that:

If a writer has a block, it’s usually because she doesn’t believe in what she’s writing.

This is a valuable insight into a frequent cause of writer's block. At the same time, it strikes me as too broad in its claim. Substituting  "often" for "usually" makes room for a broader perspective on why so many writers experience writer's block:  

If a writer has a block, it’s "often" because she doesn’t believe in what she’s writing.

Creative Problems

Writing can take many forms. If you’re writing a check, or writing out a grocery list, or copying a quotation that caught your attention, you’re not likely to be blocked by what you’re writing. In these situations, you're not creating anything original. You're just writing down words. 

In contrast, writer’s block often occurs because of creative problems that occur when you’re attempting to write something original.

It could be the plot of a story. It could be a solution to a problem. It could be an attempt discover your own unique perspective on some issue.

In contrast, using words to create original ideas can be a difficult challenge. Using words to create new ideas usually takes some thinking and actions and different points of view. Writers can sometimes get stuck because the words they have used haven't created believable solutions to specific problems in their written texts. This is true for both novels and nonfiction.


Writers block can also be the result of fear of what someone else is going to say about your writing. Beginning with teachers who graded your writing when you were in school, to critics and readers who will judge your books, you have learned that anything you write and make public is fair game for both positive and negative opinions.

Life Problems

Writer’s block can also result from life problems that have nothing to do with your writing efforts. Health problems, family problems, money problems, and emotional problems — whether serious or minor —  can easily overshadow just about any writing project. 


The broader reality of writer's block is that many writers — maybe most writers — experience writer's block at some point during their writing careers for many reasons. Even if some writers have blocks because they don't believe in what they're writing, I suspect that many writers have blocks because they do believe in what they are writing. They believe fervently in their ideas but they are frustrated because they have not yet been able to convey their ideas in powerful and cogent words.  

About Simple Abundance

Simple Abundance is a book of evocative essays — one for every day of the year — for women who wish to live by their own lights. A woman's spirituality is often separated from her lifestyle. Simple Abundanceshows you how your daily life can be an expression of your authentic self ... as you choose the tastiest vegetables from your garden, search for treasures at flea markets, establish a sacred space in your home for meditation, and follow the rhythm of the seasons and the year. 

Every day, your own true path will lead you to a happier, more fulfilling, and contented way of life. Embrace its gentle lessons, savor its sublime common sense, and dare to live its passionate truth. The authentic self is the Soul made visible.
[ Original Post August 29, 2014]
What are your thoughts about writer's block? Please leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Writer's Block and your True Self: 4 Questions to Banish Writer's Block focuses on the experience called "writer's block." 

Are you experiencing writer's block? Is there something stopping you, from starting or completing your writing project? How can you figure out what is blocking you and move beyond the block? The answer is to ask yourself four simple questions and to answer them honestly, willing to discover the real reason you feel blocked. You will probably be very surprised when you discover what is really blocking you.

Available on Amazon in either Kindle or paperback versions. Click Buy Now From Amazon to get your copy now.

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