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Monday, January 31, 2011

How To Deal with Preacher's Block

Sometimes writer's block can hit the best of us. You sit down to work and nothing is coming to mind. You try to push the words out, to make them fall onto the paper (or computer screen). They just won't cooperate. What can you do?

One problem is the wrong attitude we can have about being creative. Somewhere we got the idea of being inspired by a muse (that was Greek mythology, but that's not important right now), and that notion has given us the attitude that creative work must be inspired. You need to wait for your muse to give you the words (notes, shapes, etc.) before you can create.

The truth is that creative work is much more about consistency and craft than it is about inspiration. Sure inspiration will come from time to time, but the regular work of creating is often just that: work. Work doesn't have to be boring or tedious, but it does have to be consistent and skilled. So, two things you can work on to help get over your writers's block: create consistently every day. For preaching you should write little notes about Scripture every day. It doesn't matter if they are good or not, just write something and write consistently.

Second, practice excellence. Look for ways to improve your craft. Critique a recording of your sermon from last week. Watch a highly respected preacher and pick out what they do well. Don't try to copy them. Do not try to copy them (I'm serious). But look for one aspect or attribute of their style that you want to emulate. Spend some time practicing that attribute before you take it live. Practice before you put it into practice.

How do you defeat writer's block?

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