As a writer, it is tempting to fall into the trap of thinking that I always have to have something original to say. Honestly, if that was the case, I couldn’t write. I would be paralyzed. I still have a great fear that someone will read this blog and declare that I’m a phony and that all my ideas come from other people. That is because they do.
I write about what I learn from others. As a matter of fact, a lot of writers do that. I would almost argue that all writers do that. It’s possible that those of us suffering from writer’s block are actually suffering from something else.
We stopped learning.
I have more problems writing when I’m not reading or listening to someone else. If I’m stuck in my own head then I’m just stuck. I need to read and listen. The wisdom of others is how we all learn.
The tricky thing is that learning takes time. It takes time to read about a topic, whether it’s through a book or a blog. Though I can put a podcast on in the background, it takes effort to retain what I hear.
When I have problems writing, it’s because I haven’t taken any time to actually learn anything. I don’t have anything to say because I haven’t filled myself up. So, writers can’t just write. We also have to read, pray, observe, and listen.
These are all things that writers should do, but so should everyone. Learning is what helps us decide what we are passionate about. Learning gives us something to say.