Writer’s Block

This week we’re talking about how to deal with writer’s block. Writer’s block is a funny thing. An author will be writing along with everything going well, and all at once she hits a wall. No more words will come. It’s a very disconcerting thing when it happens.

I’ve had writer’s block before myself. Happily for me, it did resolve itself. One thing I did was to step away from the project for a time. Then, when I’d go back I could see the manuscript in a new light and was able to proceed.

Another thing I’ve done is to just write through it. I wrote some pretty awful stuff, most of which had to be thrown away, but the simple act of writing something seemed to help.

The third thing I’ve done is related to the first. I set the work aside and read other people for a while. I’ve always been a reader so I found new enthusiasm for writing when I found a new book I enjoyed.

I think that sometimes authors get writer’s block when they get discouraged. There’s nothing like working and slaving over a book only to have people ignore it once it’s published. If I ever felt discouraged I’d think of all the people who wanted to write a book but couldn’t. I’d also think about the fact that some publisher thought my story was good enough to send me a contract. I’d also feel thankful for my small fan base that seems to enjoy most of my stories. I started writing mostly for myself. It made me happy to create a new place and people. I hope I never forget that if my books make me happy it doesn’t matter if they’re on a bestseller list or not. (Although that would be fun!)

Authors, what about you? How do you deal with writer’s block?

About Elaine Cantrell

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She has a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America. Her first novel A New Leaf was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Press. When she isn't writing you can find Elaine playing with her dog or maybe collecting more vintage Christmas ornaments
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8 Responses to Writer’s Block

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I think I’ve tried all three of your suggestions, and they’re all great. Depending on the project and my state of mind, they all work. But I especially like your final paragraph. It’s good to remember that we’re doing something lots of people would like to do, but haven’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Stepping back is good. I find that I can tie things in together better.
    READING is something that every writer has to do. I heard that agents and publishers ask what a would-be client reads and if they say that they don’t much, they know that their work is no good. I learned that the hard way in interviewing. If they tell me that they haven’t read much in the genre or read much for children lately,(and want to write for children), then it really shows in what they have written…and it isn’t good.
    You keep doing whatever you are doing, Elaine! It’s working.


  3. Jeff Salter says:

    stepping away for a spell has worked for me. Also, “writing through” — when a deadline is involved — can work. And there are combinations. Lots of variables in life that affect my ability / involvement in creative writing.


  4. I Needed to read that last paragraph! What an amazing way to look at it when writer’s block comes from an outside source. That last paragraph was like a little peptalk. Thanks.


  5. Elaine Cantrell says:

    It’s a good thing to remember. I’m glad it motivated you.


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