Can Accountability help us avoid Writer’s Block?

One of the challenges that I have found while developing a writing practice is becoming accountable for it. No one forces us to create in whatever form of expression we use. And as I am becoming more comfortable with the craft of writing, and am learning more skills, it seems that the potential for becoming blocked increases.

That is concerning.

I have been reading a wide variety of books on the art and craft of writing and am becoming ever curious about the concept of writer’s block. Many writers develop rituals that must be followed before the words will flow. Others seem to have developed unique and individual work arounds to avoid writer’s block. Some don’t even believe that it exists. There seem to be a myriad of opinions about the concept of writer’s block.

It seems that choosing a path of accountability would serve to help us forgo periods of writer’s block.

Being accountable is simply being responsible for your work. Imagine a doctor telling you that they are unable to see you because they are currently “blocked”. What would happen to anyone of us if we simply did not show up for work. Or if we decided that it was mission critical to walk the dog first, make sure the laundry was done, and spent hours “researching” information via the internet to inform or inspire our writing. If we chose to do that in the work world, the consequences of those types of choices are obvious.

Blogging has become one of my anchors to accountability for my writing practice. Having committed to writing and publishing one post each week has actually increased my word count in other projects that I am working on. It is important to me to hold myself accountable in some way as I am learning to become a writer and this has turned into a strategy that also helps me maintain my focus.

The act of writing is not about being published, or having others scrutinize your work. By simply becoming committed to the act itself without all of the what if’s, it is much easier to sit and begin every day. The pact we make about our creative practices should first be with ourselves. Being accountable is also about honouring ourselves, our creativity, and the expressions of that, that bring us passion and purpose.

What do you do to hold yourself accountable to creative practice, whether it be expressing yourself through writing, photography, painting, or other art forms?

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