Writing Block Interview Project

I am not a writer. I might write well sometimes, but I often struggle to write a simple coherent email. Three years ago, I was struggling more than usual, so I decided to ask other people how they navigated “writers’ block.”  I began interviewing writers about their process and posting their responses on my previous blog during the entire month of March 2010. I loved the project and learned a great deal from generous people. I have been extremely grateful to everyone who contributed in 2010 and 2011.

Reverend Anne Howard is the Executive Director of The Beatitudes Society, a national Progressive Christian leadership development organization.

Reverend Anne Howard is the Executive Director of The Beatitudes Society, a national Progressive Christian leadership development organization.

Even though I have stopped interviewing writers, the project still lives. In 2012, my daughter visited some of the contributors, including one of my favorite preachers, the Reverend Anne Howard. (Anne’s three responses were posted on March 13, 2010.) The photograph above was taken November 7, 2012 in Berkeley, California. A photo from the shoot accompanies Anne’s recent article on the Beatitudes Society website that is one of my all-time favorites. The article is called, “Hold The Tension.”

 (bryan farley)

On June 9, 2012, my daughter visited my good friend Arlene Stepputat in Santa Barbara. (Arlene’s three answers were posted on St. Patrick’s Day in 2010.) Arlene met Emily several years ago, so this was the first time the two could discuss animals and less important topics. Emily often asks me about that “nice lady” who had the dog and rabbit. Emily actually knows the animals’ names… and she knows that Arlene is kind.

In reading both Anne’s and Arlene’s responses three years later, I noticed that both women kept journals and wrote often. They both practiced writing.  As I have practiced writing, I have moved through writers’ block faster. Three years ago, I struggled to write a sentence. Now, I struggle to write a paragraph. Progress.

To see more of the 2010 contributors, please visit my project: Open Heart – Insert Foot

Thank you again!


19 Responses to “Writing Block Interview Project”

  1. Karen Clark says:

    You are such an amazing person, Bryan! Thank you for sharing this. I struggle with this issue every day of my life. I write while listening to music. I have to put on earphones so it blocks out all other noise. I have to have music on so it activates the creative side of my brain and helps stop the inner critic that lives inside of me telling me I can’t do it and that I’m not good enough. Even doing that, I still struggle. Thank you for sharing. It makes me feel like I’m not the only one.

  2. Bryan Farley says:

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  4. Karen Clark says:

    Keep doing everything you’re doing, Bryan. I really love all your work and especially the vulnerability you show while creating. It is the truest gift to the world, a reminder of what true gentleness is.

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  6. Bryan Farley says:

    Karen Clark thank you for appreciating my effort. You keep me digging deeper! These little reminders mean more than you know. I find more strength each time.

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  8. Alice J Pierson-Knapp says:

    good to read again!

  9. Bryan Farley says:

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  11. bryan farley says:

    Thank you Mom for being a loyal reader!

    Thank you as well for teaching me the value of finding quality role models for my children. I have been blessed throughout my life with people who “just seem to show up.” Now that I have my own children, I realize that this mystery is based on my early lessons.

    Now, you are one of those role models who influences my children’s lives teaching them to find and trust people with integrity.

    They love you a great deal, as do I.


  12. Bryan Farley says:

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  14. Bryan Farley says:

    Anne Howard Do you remember my project about writer’s block? I started it three years ago. You were one of the people I interviewed about their writing process. I wanted to extend an extra special thank you today on International Women’s Day 2013 (http://www.internationalwomensday.com/) for supporting people around the world, including me and my daughter.

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  16. Anne Howard says:

    Thank you Bryan. I’m needing to get over my own block right now to do A Word in Time for Monday!

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  18. Bryan Farley says:

    You are welcome! There were some great suggestions from the list of writers. I was surprised by how many people rarely struggled. You seem to write effortlessly. I love your sermons and if you write to preach, I can see how both your sermons and your writing go well together. This year I have been trying to appreciate Lent and all of its discomfort. You know what? That is a lot easier the first week. 🙂 Looking forward to your next post!

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