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Crushing Writer’s Block

By Patricia L. Fry

Your deadline is looming and you can't think of anything to write.

You wonder if you'll ever pen another word again.

Writer's block is frustrating, but it's not fatal. Here are some remedies that work for me.

Just start writing. Don't wait hours or days for inspiration. Start pouring out random thoughts. Let the words flow without editing. You'll be surprised at how quickly your story will take shape.

Use another method of writing. When the words won't come, I sometimes find it helpful to get away from the computer and sit down with my favorite pen and pad.

Write something else. When I can't get into a particular assignment, I switch to another one.

Get involved in a different task. As a full-time freelance writer, I have a constant array of tasks. If I don't feel like working on a particular article, I can write query letters, catch up on my bookwork, clean out one of my filing cabinets, write new marketing material for one of my books or start the research for another article.

Boost your ego. When writer's block bruises your self-esteem, do something you’re particularly good at to increase your confidence level.

It's easier to break through writer's block when you feel good about yourself.

Get active. Fresh air and exercise are extremely freeing and healing for someone with writer's block. Get out and walk, jog, bicycle, garden, swim or fly a kite.

Meditate. Writers typically feel blocked when they're stressed.

Whenever I feel overwhelmed and I can't focus on a writing assignment, I meditate. I close my eyes and sit quietly for a few minutes. I clear my mind of the clutter from the day. And I ask for clarity and focus. If meditation isn't your stress-reliever of choice, write in your journal for fifteen minutes.

You might be surprised by what you can accomplish when you consciously release the stresses of the day.

—Patricia Fry is the author of A Writer's Guide to Magazine Articles for Book Promotion and Profit, (Matilija Press, 2000) and Write On! Journal-Keeping for Teens (Liguori Publications, 2001).



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