Dealing With Writers Block

by | July 28, 2020 | General | 2 comments

Here is a rare, practically unheard of experience for me: I have writers block.

I’ve had it for a few months. It’s due to COVID, being in lockdown, and getting stir crazy. I’ve also had some writing-related disappointments over the past couple of months that have affected my self-esteem. I normally go with the flow, and I don’t let these kinds of things bother me, but this time it’s different. I feel like I’m ready to give up. Some of my author friends at the moment are having difficulty writing. 2020 is a very stressful year for many people, including writers. For some writers, the creative well has dried up.

I want to write. The words just aren’t there. I have finished the first draft of a short erotic story, but it’s not one of my best. I feel as if I need to learn to write all over again. The muse is not cooperating. Rather than dwell on it, I’ve decided to do things that make me happy that aren’t related to writing. Maybe some other writers who are having difficulties now can relate to what I’m saying.

Here’s what I’ve been doing:

Watching TV. My husband and I have been watching “Death In Paradise” on BritBox. The show is brainless, fluffy, and cute. It’s a detective show set in the Caribbean. Pure escapism.

Listening to music. I recently saved radio shows on Digitally Imported so I may listen to my favorite music at any time. Digitally Imported plays trance, techno, house, ambient, and other similar music. I sometimes listen to it when I write. I often listen to it when I sleep, but I usually listen to the nature music station on RadioTunes when it’s time for some shut-eye. There is even a channel called Sleep Relaxation. That is very pleasant music to listen to to help me stay calm and happy.

I keep my husband company during the day when he cooks. He works nights. He’s the gourmand in this home. I swear he can make anything. This past weekend he made spicy shrimp, shrimp toast, and a 3 rib roast. Yum! Food is nurturing, isn’t it?

I make my own soaps, bath gels, and bath lotions for my own personal use. Ever since COVID hit, the place I normally buy supplies from has sold out of what I need. It seems everyone is making their own bath products now much the same way everyone is making sourdough bread. Yeast is hard to find. So are bulk soap and lotion bases that aren’t already overpriced. I do have some stock left so I can make my own at least for the time being.

Speaking of sourdough, my husband has been making it. We named one starter Clint Yeastwood and a second one Yeast of Eden. Ha! We’ve had sourdough bread, sourdough crackers, and sourdough waffles. My husband makes bread anyway, but he’s never made sourdough before. It’s easy and fun.

I’ve been tending to my herbs and other plants. I’m growing basil, oregano, sage, thyme, rosemary, bay, tarragon, and marjoram in pots. Last year’s catnip is growing out of the ground, and it’s blooming. I’m also growing tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, and poblano peppers. We use my herbs for cooking. My seven-year-old avocado – which was five feet tall – finally died. It didn’t make it through the winter indoors. I’m sad about that, but I’m now growing a lemon tree from a lemon seed from a lemon I bought at the grocery store. I’m curious to see how long it lives. So far, it’s thriving.

I’ve been reading. At the moment, I’m reading non-fiction; a book by Dr. Phyllis Chesler about the second wave feminist movement. It’s very good and eye-opening for me since I used to write non-fiction feminist political essays before I delved into romance and horror fiction. I know a few people in her book. I also just bought a collection of short stories by Shirley Jackson. Once I finish the Chesler book, I’ll read the Jackson book.

While I haven’t been writing, I have been promoting several new books. Some are selling while others are not. It’s the luck of the draw. I held a blog tour for “Full Moon Fever”, my paranormal erotic shifter romance. I also took out a few ads and participated in a scavenger hunt related to books. I co-hosted some podcasts where I talked about that book and some short stories I’ve written this year. Those shorts are in anthologies. Results are mixed. It’s hard to tell what kinds of promotions actually work. I took a big hit this year as have all writers when it comes to conventions, book readings, and other appearances since all have been cancelled due to the virus. I miss the mingling, but I’m sure I’ll meet readers and writers in person next year (I hope).

I’m keeping myself occupied and sane while enduring writer’s block, COVID, and isolation. What are other writers reading this doing while under quarantine or lockdown? How are you coping? I hope all is well.


Elizabeth Black writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, horror, and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and her three cats. Her new LGBTQ paranormal erotic shifter romance novel “Full Moon Fever” is now available for purchase at Amazon and other book distributors. Her collection of erotic fairy tales, “Happily Ever After”, will be released soon.

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Elizabeth Black

Elizabeth Black's erotic fiction has been published by Cleis Press, Xcite Books, Scarlet Magazine, Circlet Press, and others. She also writes dark fiction and horror as E. A. Black. She lives in Massachusetts next to the ocean with her husband, son, and three cats. The beach calls to her and she listens.


  1. Lisabet Sarai

    Hello, Liz,

    I’m sorry but not surprised to hear you’re going through a dry spell. The epidemic is, quite simply, traumatic.

    Have you considered participating in the Storytime list? It’s a lot of fun and you get immediate feedback, as well as encouragement.

    Your post made my mouth water, by the way. Off to make dinner!

  2. Elizabeth BLack

    Thanks, Lisabet. You got a link for the Storytime list? I’d like to check it out.

    I’m doing much better now. I’m working on two short stories, which are about all I can handle right now. One is accepted and it needs edits. I’ve submitted the other one, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

    Enjoy your dinner! We have leftovers now, but they’re delicious leftovers.

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