Friday, October 29, 2010

13 Ways to Combat Writers Block

I keep lots of notebooks around (in my purse, next to my bed, on my desk) so I can jot down thoughts, ideas, dialogue, whatever, whenever something hits me. I find that if I ever need a jolt, I just go through my notebooks, something will jump out at me, and I'll realize, "That's it!"

Susan McBride

I go to yoga, take my dog for a walk, or...really...take a shower. :)

Alison Pace

If my muse is off visiting some other writer, I show him/her a thing or two. I keep my butt in the seat, fingers on the keyboard, and write, write, write... about anything--the color of the walls, the dust bunnies on the floor, how my muse is a two-timing hussy

Deborah LeBlanc

Sometimes I tell myself I can't stop until I have written a number of hours, a number of words, or a certain scene. And sometimes I treat myself by writing a scene that falls further ahead in the book and that I've really been looking forward to writing.

April Henry

I don't really believe in writer's block. I don't wait around for inspiration, I just keep writing daily, regardless, knowing that what I write may or may not end up in the final manuscript. If I'm truly having a hard time, I'm still writing - but it feels as if I'm writing my way into a maze that I can't see the end of. That's probably the closest I come to writer's block and when it happens, inevitably it's an indication that this particular idea isn't worth writing about. So I put it aside and start something new - but I'm always writing.

Melanie Benjamin

I view "writer's block" as an indulgence I'm not willing to grant myself. So when I don't know what to write next, I simply start typing notes and asking myself all sorts of questions about my story. Eventually, the answers emerge and I get to work.

Ellen Meister

I combat writer's block by thinking of the most outrageous thing that could happen next. That usually puts things into perspective when I realize that Giant Preying Mantis' are not really possible.

Leslie Langtry

I start writing dialogue. My characters can always talk me out of being stuck . . . and usually take me in a completely new direction.

Judy Merill Larson

I combat writers block by looking at my bank balance and then at my bills. It's amazing how quickly I feel inspired after that!

Megan Crane

I've learned not to fight it, actually. I try to take a look at whatever aspect of the story I seem to be resisting, and I back away from that. If I've been staring at the screen for a few hours and not managing more than a sentence or two, I turn off my computer and try to write a few notes by hand instead. Or I work on some other section of the book that doesn't seem so daunting. Or I take a nap. (Surprisingly effective.)

Marilyn Brant

Having established rituals can trick my brain into writing even if I'm feeling uninspired. Sitting down to write at the same time, place, and using my favorite mug helps, as does reminding myself that the first splat of words on the page doesn't have to be perfect - that's what re-writing is for!

Sarah Pekkanen

The ways I've found to combat writer's block are short, manageable
deadlines with little rewards built in, and social support! Nothing
like other writers producing pages to get me going...

Roberta Isleib

Easy. A walk around the block or I jump in the shower... the only two places where I ditch my cell. The only conversation I can have is with my higher self and there is never a busy signal.

Saralee Rosenberg

If I have writer’s block it almost always means I’m forcing my characters to do something they shouldn’t or I’ve taken a wrong turn in the story. To me it’s a symptom and I make a correction.

Karin Gillespie

If you're a writer how do you beat writers block? We'd love to hear.  

Girlfriend News

“Saving CeeCee Honeycutt” by Beth Hoffman is a Pennie pick at Costco. Woo hoo!  And on a similar note, here’s the Cinderella story on how Beth’s book launched an imprint.

Melanie Benjamin reminds book club members to be kind to


  1. This is perfect, just before NaNo begins! Thank you all.

    Deborah, your method cracked me up. Take that, hussy muse! lol

  2. What a wonderful link, Karin! What a fabulous story. Reading that link can help you combat writers block-- just thinking about making your dreams come true!!

  3. I find that taking a yoga class will relax me so much that my mind becomes more open and imaginative. So, if I'm really having a tough time, I head to yoga and sweat that story out of me! Otherwise, I just sit in front of the computer and start typing. Something usually comes poring out as long as I've got but in chair and fingers on the keys. That's the hard part - just sitting down and doing it.


  4. Such inspirational ways to deal with this terrible affliction. I hate to admit it, but I'm a runner (think Julia Roberts in RUNAWAY BRIDE). If I get stuck, you will see me slowly start to inch my way out of my office and once through the threshold, I will run as fast as I can to a diversion...any diversion. I'll stuff myself with chocolate, move furniture or donate organs to keep from going back to that darn blinking cursor. But then, as soon as I lay my head on my pillow, the voices return and I find myself working until the next morning.

  5. There are so many ways to write. I find my writing going largely into emails these days as I grow a circle of reader friends. So many ask such great questions, in no time at all my writing wheels are greased and the words flow. Such a treat to 'talk' to other readers/writers and learn from their experiences.

    Thanks for this NaNo primer.

    Christine London

  6. I love reading all these responses ...

    And what great timing for NaNo participants!

  7. Loved reading these. My way of dealing with writer's block is part Megan Crane's and part sleeping on the issue (thinking about what's blocking me) for a couple of nights. I tend to wake up at 5 a.m. with answers to plot problems and corners I've backed myself into and new scenes. Love that.

    Happy Halloween, everyone!

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