This week’s question:
What is your best method of combating writer’s block?
Writer’s block, in case you’re a lucky son-of-a-gun who hasn’t ever experienced it, is nothing more than creativity constipation. You just can’t get anything out no matter how hard to try and push. You wait, pace, drink coffee, but nothing happens. Okay, enough with the poop analogy—I think you get my drift. But seriously, how can you battle writer’s block? How can you reverse it and help your creativity get moving again? Okay, okay, I had to slip that last one in there but now I promise I’m done.
A note about this week’s decks
This week, I chose five cards from a gorgeous deck I’ve been waiting to use for our weekly readings! The Tarot of the Divine, by Yoshi Yoshitani, is a collection of 78 fairy tales and folklore from around the world. The cards are stunning and the stories are whimsical and interesting.
Next, I looked at each of the illustrations and then consciously selected five cards from my favorite borderless Waite-Smith deck, a classic that features the artwork of Pamela Colman Smith, a biracial stage designer and illustrator whose contribution to the most popular tarot deck often goes unacknowledged.
In observance of Black History Month, I’m posting a little bio about this prolific Black artist tomorrow on Instagram, so be sure to check that out.
A note on intuition
On today’s Instagram post, I asked you to choose your card according to which fairy tale or folklore most resonated with you. In doing so, I hope you chose “from your gut,” which is another way of saying “intuitively.” As a reminder... as creative folk, it’s so important to the work we’re doing that we remain alert and accepting of those little internal nudges. Your gut will never lead you astray. When I read Tarot for my fellow creatives, I always tap into my own intuition and present the messages I’m receiving as unedited and straightforward as they unfold.
In case you missed it: A note about my readings
This week—and every week this year—I’ve set my own goal of helping you, my fellow writer, use the Tarot for creative inspiration. After all, the cards are individual stories, full of imagery and architypes and symbolism. For writers, they can be incredibly inspiring to character and plot development, decision-making, creative forecasting, and so much more.
I’m so happy to have you participate in this new weekly Tarot blog. I do hope the messages resonate and help nurture your creativity; however, every Tarot reading that I give is intended for creative purposes only. I cannot guarantee results or outcomes; I can only present the messages and ask that you use your own gut and decide for yourself what they mean (if anything) to you.
The Reveal! What’s in the cards this week?
If you chose Sleeping Beauty, you actually chose the Hanged Man, the twelfth card in the Major Arcana (the first 22 cards of the tarot—they address big picture topics). The Hanged Man refers to enlightenment and meditation. Therefore, in order to best combat writer’s block, taking a little respite is likely to be the best thing you can do. As such, I have chosen the IV of Swords for you this week. Similar to the Hanged Man, the IV of Swords encourages you to balance your thoughts through rest, relaxation, and meditation. Take a break. Have a massage, take a nap, play some instrumental music or sounds of nature and meditate, asking your Higher Self to reveal to you what you need to do next in order to get out of your writing funk. Take some time off, not necessarily from work and life but from writing. Set aside what you’ve been working on and don’t go back to it until you’ve achieved creative enlightenment, an awakening from the blockage.
If you chose The Little Mermaid, you actually chose the Fool, the very first card in the Major Arcana. As mentioned in the previous reading, the Major Arcana are the first 22 cards of the tarot. They address big picture constructs. As the very first card, the Fool sets out on an exciting journey. Like Ariel, our Fool isn’t well-prepared for this adventure and doesn’t know what to expect... but she takes a leap of faith and pushes forward. The card I felt most resonated with the Fool’s message regarding writer’s block is the VIII of Cups. This is a card of traveling, taking a trip and leaving behind everything in which you’ve invested blood, sweat, and tears. As a writer, the best way for you to battle writer’s block might be to embark on a change of scenery. Take a vacation, if you are able to. If not, save and go on a road trip, something that won’t hit your pocket hard. Otherwise, you might take a staycation, taking off a couple of days from work and walking in the park each day, take a little joyride around town and observe how other people are living and doing business, something like that. Set aside what you’ve been working on and don’t even think about it. Clear your mind’s eye so that you can go back to it with a fresh new perspective.
If you chose Yennenga, the West African Warrior Princess, then you are a total badass! According to Yoshitani, the author of this deck, Yennenga is her father’s most prized fighter, yet she makes her own way and chooses her own path. If you are Yennenga, then you’re actually the VI of Wands, a card that promotes balance of creativity and champions authenticity. Therefore, like Yennenga, in order to fight writer’s block, do something totally different than what’s expected. This week, I chose the Chariot to accompany this card because the Chariot makes his/her own way, not taking the path that everyone else takes but choosing whichever way suits his/her desires at the moment. When writer’s block strikes, do something unexpected. Set aside what you’re working on and make some notes for something new, pen a whimsical children’s book story, write some poetry, imagine the screenplay for your favorite book, draft the screenplay for a book you’ve written, watch a documentary, something to encourage inspiration while tapping into the unexpected.
If you chose Pele, the Hawaiian deity, then you actually chose the Queen of Wands. I love this card! And not because she’s my Sun card (zodiac card) but because like Yennenga and Pele, this Queen is a fiery badass who’s the life of the party. What’s your best solution for fighting through writer’s block? Throw a party! Ahem, a socially distanced party! This week, I chose the III of Cups for you. This is my “Girl Tribe” card, a card that promotes celebration and expression. If you’re confronted with writer’s block, you might try embodying the energies of both of these cards and either host a virtual and/or intimate party or attend one. Shake a tailfeather, shake what ya mama gave ya, dance and sing and have a good ol’ time. Are you an introvert like me and the thought of throwing a party and dancing “like nobody’s watching” freaks you out and causes you more anxiety than your writer’s block? Embrace your wallflowerness. Do something fun but hang back and watch what everyone else is doing. Be a people watcher. Set aside your writing, put on your mask, and go to a mall or an airport. Grab a coffee and a snack, and just sit back and watch. You’ll be surprised by how much inspiration you can experience in just observing people at parties and/or on the go.
If you chose Scheherazade of One Thousand and One Nights, a Middle Eastern folklore, then you actually chose the High Priestess. The High Priestess is all about intuitive thought and aligning your Physical Self with your Higher Self. She’s thoughtful, careful, wise, and inquisitive. As a pairing for combating writer’s block, I chose the III of Pentacles for you this week as this card promotes asking for help, seeking self-help, and practicing self-care. If and when you struggle with writer’s block, just like the other readings this week, you are encouraged to pause and retreat. Set aside what you’re writing and turn your attention internally. What can you do to jog your creativity? Tap into your intuition by thinking about something that intrigues you and reading about it. Do some research on the subject. Even if the topic that has nothing to do with your WIP, tap into it. Find something interesting and discover all you can about it. After all, that “something interesting” could be the key to uncovering whatever is missing and blocked from what you’ve been writing.
If you enjoyed this week’s creative readings, come back to Instagram every Sunday afternoon for another writing-related message to enhance your creativity! If you are curious about or need some helpful ideas around a specific situation (writing-related or not), I’m now doing custom Tarot readings. Click here to learn more!
All Tarot readings are intended for creative purposes only. We do not guarantee results or outcomes. Please read our Terms and Conditions for details.