Top Menu

The Memoir Network Don't Let Writer's Block Stop You

2 Causes of Memoir Writer’s Block: Not Telling the Truth or Writing Unimportant Material

Many writers suffer from writer’s block, yet few understand—and much less resolve—its possible causes. There are a number of reasons that contribute to difficulty—especially blockage—in writing.

In memoir writing, the infamous “writer’s block” can result from avoidance—that is, you don’t want to deal with uncomfortable material and so you “block.” Perhaps you haven’t admitted to yourself the importance of your material or—as a way of avoiding the importance—you are not yet telling the truth about a part of your life. Why are you waffling? What are you evading? What is the worst thing that could happen to you if you write this story honestly? How will this story stand without the material?

Two ways avoidance manifests itself.

  • Choosing a wrong point of view to avoid “the truth.” Perhaps you are writing from someone else’s point of view. Writers who uphold someone else’s version of a story rather than their own will find the unconscious balking. If you are blocked, ask yourself. “Am I writing from my point of view?” Sometimes coming to that realization can be enough to help your writing to flow once again.
  • Writing about something unimportant to you. Sometimes “writer’s block” is the way your unconscious has of telling you you’re not writing about something important enough. Sometimes the writing flow is waiting for you to come up with a more substantive idea, an idea that will command your loyalty. If you feel blocked, explore your current topic: does it warrant the time you are putting into writing it? Sticking to a topic of secondary importance is not conducive to good writing. It doesn’t command your loyalty.

Action Steps

Blockage is often the voice of instinct speaking loudly but you are not listening. Though persistence has its place, honor your instinct and stop writing for a while to ask yourself these two important questions.

  • Am I writing from my own point of view?
  • Am I bored because I am skirting the important by writing about the unimportant?

Good luck writing!

The Memoir Network blog reposting” width=And now this one thing…

This post is one of over 500 informative, well-written articles we have made available to you on this site.

We’ve contributed to your writing success; now we ask you to contribute to the expansion of the memoir conversation.

By reposting this article on your blog or website or reposting on your favorite social media, you will inform your fellow memoir writers of the programs and services—many for free like the blogs—that are available at

Thanks for your generosity. You rock.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

A gift for you...
...because you need to get your memoir written. This little book will focus you to complete your memoir.
  • Your memoir deserves to be written. We help people get their story down—right!
  • Writing a memoir or want to improve one you're working on? Download Memoir Writing 101: How to Craft a Compelling Memoir or Lifestory / 10 Steps and a Bonus.
  • Memoir Writing 101 comes with The Lifewriter's Guides, a biweekly "workshop in an email.".
  • If you are already a member of The Memoir Network, this e-book and others are available to you free in Member Resources.