Journeys in Writing – Overcoming the Shame-Spiral

Just over three months ago, I started this blog as a means of getting some daily (well, that was the intention!) writing practice, and maybe learning some truths about myself along the way. Instead, I’ve created another task-master, another box to be ticked, another thing to fail at and feel guilty about. That’s the trouble I’ve found with writing so far. The hardest thing, for me, is to get back up and keep going when I feel as though I’ve already failed.

The more I write, the more inspired I become, so the more I write… And so the cycle of positivity continues. When I don’t write, as I haven’t been for a while, the more my page starts to look like this:


The negative cycle, or shame-spiral as I sometimes call it, is my number 1 cause of writers’ block. I don’t write, so I feel bad about myself, so I don’t want to face the issue, so I don’t write… Thus the shame-spiral continues.

I think my attitude is very aptly summed up in this blog post by the brilliant Allie Brosh: The subject matter is slightly different, but the concept is very much the same.

I know I’m not the only one who experiences this, as evidenced here. But what is the solution? How on earth can I break out of this spiral and force myself to just WRITE!!


5 thoughts on “Journeys in Writing – Overcoming the Shame-Spiral

  1. I experience something similar in music and I made one observation that might help.
    I, took very recently some time for myself and ignored each and everyone around me. I was highly creative and had an incredible output.
    At some time I let others influence my process and they tried to imprint their own views and stories on my creative process. That’s where I snapped. It became harder and harder to stick to it. The more I let others lay distractions onto it, the more it becomes something, I do not want to write and therefore will not write or sing about, despite the fact, that I want to force myself doing it.

    • Thanks for your comment. I have not told anyone what my writing project (my novel) is about! I’m too scared that if I let it out of my head it’ll fly away and I won’t be able to get it onto the page… Does that make sense? Anyway, I don’t want people to see it till it’s finished and it’s how I like it. If they see ‘behind the scenes’ then the magic will be lost.

      • But you want to show them? I have to fight that urge constantly. I want to show everyone what I do.
        The magic is a perfect expression. The magic is only there for you. The others have a different kind of magic, an absorbing kind.Yours is yours and yours alone. You construct magic and only you are able to witness it to it’s full extent.
        I would not tell either and good luck with your plan. I’m looking forward to it’s possible realization 😉

      • It’s a hard balance isn’t it? I really don’t want to show people because I’m worried they won’t like it, but I also really want their approval so I know I’m on the right track! I really agree with what you say about the difference between the magic you see and the magic others see. Thanks for your comment 🙂

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