August 10, 2011

Writer’s Block, Part One: Fear of Offending Others

Posted in Writer's Block tagged , at 8:42 am by Rebecca Hein

If you have writer’s block, and it doesn’t yield to practice writing and the flow this activity should create, it’s time to look for a more subtle cause. Nothing halts us like a sudden encounter with something we’re afraid to write and one reason for this fear is that we don’t want to offend.

Yet if we’re writing honestly, someone will be offended because in being true to ourselves we will assert our own personalities and views, which not everyone will share. Courage is needed, along with the understanding that there’s no way around the problem.



  1. One way to get around the fear of offending others is to write in general terms or to use allegory. I wrote one short story about controlling cults vs. the freedom of finding out truth for one’s self. Another was about liberalism vs. conservatism. In both cases, I used talking animals and fable-like plots to deliver my controvercial message without specifically mentioning either religious or political parties. Doing this helped me say what I wanted without the fear of angry mobs surrounding my house.

    • Rebecca Hein said,

      Good idea. In Don Quixote, it appears that Cervantes was doing the same thing.

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