Mind, Body & Spirit

Learnin’ To Write Again: Overcoming Writer’s Block

I have so desperately wanted to write. But life is indeed like a box of chocolates. Although, personally, I’ve always been partial to the road metaphors.

So let me begin. Sometimes, life takes you down certain roads that are too bumpy to write on while you’re traveling down them. Life is full of twists and turns and unexpected curves, but you have to keep taking the road as it comes to you.

Funny I should use a metaphor about driving. I hate driving. In fact, New York’s greatest selling point was that I never have to drive again, if I don’t want to. I love New York. I moved to a city that I had wanted to live in my entire life. I got that dream. And I’m thankful for it.

I’m thankful for every twist and turn I’ve come across that’s guided me to where I am.

I have a lot to be thankful for.


I’m living in the city of my dreams, with a job I love, and I have been blessed with amazing friends and family across the globe.

Hell, in my first week of living in New York, I got to sit front and center at David Letterman, during his final year, and he had Christopher Walken as a guest – AND they talked Annie Hall. This was the first week.

On the day I got offered my job, my boss and now friend, asked me, “Do you have a passport?” Two weeks later I was in Malta. I had never been to Europe. Now, 18 months later, one month-plus, was spent in Europe.

And I have met so many amazing and creative people and been a part of so many wonderful conversations. I have made friends, I have made a family. I have made a home in New York.

A year and a half later, I feel like a New Yorker.

Of course, it’s still blatantly clear to all New Yorkers that I am not, in fact, a New Yorker. Two words into a conversation today I was asked, “Where are you from?” And my accent was never even considered thick! In Kentucky, I was made fun of for having a “Northern accent.”

I am indeed becoming a person of the world. Like a tattoo, each city, beach, and every new sight leaves a mark on me. And I gladly accept it.

My New York luck increased when it offered to let me have a frequent affair with Los Angeles, another city I’d spent my youth loving from afar. But now, I’ve seen that there’s even more to California than just the Famous Sister. I‘ve met San Francisco, the Cooler Older Sister. And, the truest beauty of them all: the Soul Mate, Napa Valley.

But, as I’m reminded each moment I spend away from her, no one is New York. What gets me about New York is that every day, at least once, something beautiful takes my breath away, and it’s likely something that I’ve never seen before.

Whether it’s a hidden park, a beautiful building, the lights of Time Square, the sight of the Empire State, the singing musicians at the subways, an old bookstore filled with dust, an old pub – whatever it is – it’s breathtakingly beautiful. And if you listen closely, the concrete will tell you tales of the most exciting stories to ever take place.

Please don’t confuse me, New York is loud and obnoxious at times. New York can also be cold and hard at other times. But she is strong and confident and she demands those qualities of anyone desiring to live in her presence.

And I love that about her. I love everything about her.

But even in the brightest of cities, you can sometimes get lost. It’s easy to get lost in New York. It is the Netflix of cities. You can be easily distracted and lose focus. I did this. I lost focus on writing and writing is very much a part of who I am. Words spew out of me and I need them to. I can’t keep all that inside.

Life is too much to keep in. Everybody needs an outlet. I’ve been really upset and angry with myself as of recent because I couldn’t get back into the swing of writing. If you let it go, even for a day, it gets further and further away from you.

I have done everything to restore my writing. I’ve taken notes. I’ve read books. I’ve meditated. I’ve listened to my Go To Writing Music (90s Rock). I even fell victim to “Hello” for a day.

And I have written, but not as consistently and steadily as I used to. I need to get back to that.

I can blame it on “the real world” but that’s a lie. I was a full-time student, wrote for a school blog, my blog, a friend’s blog, wrote a thesis, a novel and then started a second one. I know how to find time to write. But I just stopped. And it sucked. And I’ve been desperately trying to get it back.

I’m  lucky because I have amazing friends who know how hard I’ve been struggling with it, and they have pushed, prodded, cheered, encouraged, nagged, and gave me the “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed” bullshit throughout my struggle. Again, I have a lot to be thankful for.

Life isn’t always easy, roads are going to get bumpy and milk will be spilled, but what it really comes down to is how hard you’re willing to fight for the things you want.

During my search for inspiration, I recently reread my first novel. It was an experience. Everything about that novel was an experience. But the coolest part of this experience was that when I got to the last page, more than anything, I was proud of what I had accomplished before, during and since.

And mostly . . . because my protagonist so desperately wanted to move to New York. Now, I can tell her my stories.

That’s my favorite part about being a writer, I see the potential story lines in every moment and I live life as it’s being written. I think that’s how it should be.

Most importantly, I am finally writing!

Following a five-year stint in New York City, Ashley is now a Los Angeles transplant. Having grown up in rural Kentucky, Ashley is passionate to share self-care techniques used around the world and hopes to make them accessible to folks in rural communities. Ashley believes in gratitude, personal legends, and doing good. Aside from being a business leader in her professional life, Ashley is a novelist and freelance writer.

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