Peering over the ledge of writer's block

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Acrophobia is the fear of heights. We don't have a specific term for "fear of writing" but it could be writer's block. That chest-clenching moment when you see a blank page—or screen—and you'll do anything to avoid filling it up. 

I'm pretty terrified of heights. I remember hiking up to the top of the peak at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, snowboard held tightly against my side, looking over the edge, and thinking I would die right then. Just by looking. 

 
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You're not afraid of writing or of the page or screen you have to write on. You're afraid of what might happen once you start writing. Your mind does everything it can to find distractions, to prevent you from adding words to the document. Because once you're writing, you're committed, and in the end you will have said something. Maybe not profound, but you'll have gleaned some kind of insight, made some connections between the things you know and believe. 

It's hard writing stuff for other people because you're getting outside of yourself and incorporating their perspective. That's your job. 

Next time you start to squirm while you wait for Microsoft Word to load, look over the ledge. Address your fear. Write about that first, if you need to. And then just let it out—a shitty first draft, an outline. And over time, as you shape the thing, it will get less scary. 

 
 

 
 

The top image on this page is me (Rikki) peering over the edge at the Grand Canyon in 2018. Second image is the peak of Mt. Mackenzie, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, a popular and short hike from where the lift drops you off.  

 
Rikki Ayerscopywriting