Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Break Writers' Block the Old-Fashioned Way

Get past writers' block
More has been said about writers' block than most writing topics. The problem usually isn't that people can't put a word on paper, but that they're afraid to.

Some writers thrive on deadlines. Others dread them. Some fear the blank page. To others, it's a perennial fresh start. Of the myriad ways to deal with writers' block, one is to simply begin, even if all you start with is, "I'm not sure what to say."

When I reach an impasse while writing a story, I often stop writing the story and start writing to myself. I'll write something like, "I'm not sure what to say here, and the reason is …" It's similar to using the prompt "and then" to keep the prose flowing.

My approach, however, is to explain the problem to myself, since I'm not always sure what the problem is. I may think I know, then find it's really something else. I may fear something, or lack a key piece of information. Whatever the reason, I'm usually better off addressing it by writing about it. That way I keep writing, address the problem and move toward a solution all in one effort.

Suffering from writers' block? Send along your anecdote.

Happy writing!

For an online writers' workshop, visit Word for Words. For more on writing, visit Adele's blog.

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