Note from Brigit: I'm thrilled to have Tarot reader and creative coach, Liz Worth, back to the Biddy Tarot blog. In this blog post, she shares how you can overcome your writer's block with the Tarot. You don't have to call yourself a “writer” to benefit either… Every one of us writes every day, so consider this post is written just for you! Perfect for journaling, blogging, emailing a friend, writing love notes, you name it! Over to you, Liz…
It seems to come out of nowhere: Your creative juices are flowing and you’re confident that you’ve got a great idea in the works. And then – bam! You sit down at the keyboard and can’t think of a single thing to say.
Whether you’re working on a novel, a short story, or even a killer blog post, writer’s block seems to get everyone at some point.
Why? It could be doubt, insecurity, stress, or burnout. It could just be that you’re tired, or that you need to take a bit of a break. When writer’s block sticks around for weeks, or even months, you can start to worry that maybe everything you’ve written to this point has been a fluke.
I’ve been a professional writer since 2003 and let me tell you, every fear that writer’s block drudges up is a lie. Writer’s block wants you to think about the worst case scenarios because that’s what it feeds off of.
But when you turn to tarot, you can get key insights on how to overcome writer’s block and get back into your creative groove.
When I first started using tarot in 2008, I did what a lot of aspiring readers do: Studied the tarot meanings from a book, learned the Celtic Cross, and moved along understanding tarot only as a divinatory tool. As time went on and I deepened my studies around tarot, I came to discover that there were so many other layers to tarot and started to push beyond the basic applications.
Our creativity thrives when we push ourselves to see things differently, and reading tarot activates our creative sides as much as it does our intuition. Intuitively, we can look at a card and know what it’s saying. But it requires some creativity to put it into context by telling a story around it, taking into consideration its position and its relationship to the other cards in a spread.
So I started to think the Tarot as a way to answer questions I had about my writing: “How can I stay focused on finishing this manuscript?” “How can I fulfill my purpose as a writer?” “What do I need to know about the new idea that came to me today?” I have always felt my creativity was directly connected to my intuition. I feel guided towards certain ideas, and feel that my writing comes from as a partly channeled experience. And so it only made sense for me to bring tarot into the mix.
Meditate on the Cards
When it comes to writing, I find certain cards hold potent creative power: The Magician, the High Priestess, the Empress, the Hermit, and the Ace of Wands. Here's how each of them can help the budding writer:
Talk about a connection between creativity and intuition! I always think of the phrase, “As above, so below,” when I see the Magician, which is why I feel this card is such a great one to work with, because the Magician has the power to take something out of the ether and bring it down to Earth.
And because the Magician reminds us that we already have everything we need inside of us to realize our own power and potential, it's a great card to work with when you are experiencing any self-doubt, or need to reconnect with your creativity.
Meditating on the Magician, you may want to ask: “How can I reconnect with my inner resources?” “What step do I need to take to trust in my abilities?” “What is waiting for me in the ether to manifest through my work?”
The High Priestess
The High Priestess can help you connect to your higher self and trust your inner voice. Her power can be especially strong when the heart and the mind are misaligned.
Meditating on the High Priestess, you may want to ask: “How can I reconnect with my higher creative power?” “Where am I out of alignment with my inner world?”
Pregnant with possibility, the Empress is a force of nature who encourages you to grow towards your fullest potential. Her power is within her ability to bring something forward, to manifest her creative ideals, making this a great card to help you birth your own ideas.
Meditating on the Empress, you may want to ask: “How can I trust the timing of my creativity?” “What can I do to nurture my words as they prepare to surface?”
I often see the Hermit as a card that helps us with our shadow work. Sometimes, writers need to go under the surface to bring forward thoughts, feelings, and experiences that others would find difficult to express. But in this way, we take our own pain and loneliness in order for others to feel less alone in theirs.
Meditating on the Hermit, you may want to ask: “Where do I need to shine my light?” “How can I reconnect with my creative path?” “How can my writing light the way for someone else?”
The Ace of Wands
The Ace of Wands is a great card to tap into when you want to start a new project, but are waiting for a new idea to hit. It’s also a card that help if you are experiencing writer’s block, or just feel that your creativity isn’t flowing the way you would like it to.
Meditating on the Ace of Wands, you may want to ask: “How can I welcome new inspiration into my life?” “How can I openly receive my creativity?”
Try a Tarot Spread for Writer's Block
When we’re writing, it can be hard to take a step back and gain some perspective about who we are and what we need in the moment. Just as athletes need to give their bodies time to rest and recover between training sessions, writers need to nurture their creative selves as well, but we don’t always know what we need, or if we do, we don’t always make space for it in our lives. Along with meditating on the Ace of Wands to cure a block, you might also want to do a reading for some guidance around feeling stuck.
I created a simple spread for whenever I feel stuck. I designed it to be focused on the “now,” to understand what I might be forgetting, or neglecting, and what I can do to keep moving forward. This is a four card spread, and each card answers one of the questions below:
1. What do I need to remember right now about my path as a writer?
2. What does my creative self need most right now?
3. What is a step I can take to overcome my writer’s block?
4. What is a step I can take to reconnect to my writing?
Use the Cards as Writing Prompts
Sometimes writer’s block is the result of spending too much time with the same idea. Using the cards as a writing prompt can help you freshen up your approach. It does require that you give yourself permission to play with words, so allow yourself to just write something in draft form – don’t think of it as something you need to show to anyone else.
I like to do this in a couple of different ways.
First, if I’m really stuck on a blog post or a chapter, I pull a card at random and then ask myself, “How would this card write this blog post?” The King of Wands would write a very different blog than the Fool, I would expect.
Another way to use the tarot as a prompt is to pick a few cards and try to figure out how they could fit into a story you’re trying to tell. What if all of a sudden the energy of the Eight of Wands appeared in the scene you’re writing? How would that affect the characters? How would it affect the environment?
Or what if the Queen of Cups showed up? What would she say? Would she be welcome in your work?
The point of this is to just have fun with your writing. Sometimes taking a different approach with your writing is all that you need to feel re-inspired.
What are some of your tricks to overcome writer’s block? Have you ever used tarot for creative inspiration? Tell me in the comment below!
About Liz Worth
Liz Worth is a tarot reader, author, and creative coach based in Toronto. She thought her one and only career would be as a writer, but after she started reading tarot in 2008 on the advice of an astrologer, her life has never been the same.
Today she uses tarot help others move past emotional and creative blocks, overcome any obstacles or setbacks, and begin to live their truth through personal freedom and creative liberation. Her goal is to help people from all walks of life find their light and their path.