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30 Days Of Writing Tips – Day 4 – Just Keep Writing

solutions for writer's blockWhen I first ran a 30 day freelance writing tip series Matt Keegan who blogs at Matt’s Musings suggested that the way out of writer’s block in the middle of a project was to keep writing.

I couldn’t agree more. In fact the way out of any writer’s block is to write, or to keep writing.

Sure, as the article suggests, making sure you’re rested, not hungry, etc. helps, but until you begin again to put words on the page or screen, not much will change.

It’s odd, but even typing out a phrase like I can’t thing of what to write here… is often enough to break up the mental log jam.


In fact, we freelance writers can usually write our way out of any writing problem if we just keep at it.

Of course, stepping away from the problem for a while can also help. I find I’m often able to solve difficulties with my prose in the shower! Or sometimes I’ll wake up with the solution.

But my body and mind know that I will write – usually daily. I think that’s the main reason I don’t get serious writer’s block. I just keep writing.

What about you? What do you do when the words slow or stop?

Got a tip? Share it in comments.

30 Days of Writing Tips Archive

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • AKAIK yovu’e got the answer in one!

  • I find that if I don’t know what to say, I engage in a little throat-clearing before I start, putting down whatever is in my head while trying to relate it to what I’m doing. Eventually, I hit on a beginning, and then I can go back and delete the irrelevant junk I put down first.

    Another thing that helps a LOT is to start in the middle. I do this for novels. For some reason, I block up worse at the beginning than anywhere else. If I begin with a later scene, then skip around, the first draft goes much faster.

  • I am an instrumentalist, so I merely get back to my music or take a walk for a half hour or so. When I finally get back to work, I’m as good as new! But as you said, Anne, you merely have to stick with your writing, irrespective of that seeming writer’s block! 🙂
    Priya Viswanathan recently posted..Android Market Vs Apple App StoresMy Profile

  • It may seem odd, but I find that doing menial, repetitive things helps my mind free itself up for writing. Mowing the lawn, riding a bicycle, walking on the treadmill – if I do these things without music or other unnecessary external stimulation, my mind will begin to wander. Invariably it will gravitate in the direction of the project I’m working on, and ideas begin to form.

    Admittedly, it may not seem like a glamorous or sophisticated solution, but it has always worked for me. Even when I’m really stuck for some reason, I know how to get the juices flowing again. And the lawn gets the attention it needs, besides. The upside is, I get a few more pages written, and the neighbors appreciate the shorter, more tidy lawn as they pass by each day.

    • Jamie, that actually makes sense to me… there’s something meditative about menial repetitive tasks…

  • Hi Anne,
    This is a great idea! What better way to learn than to share our tips and tricks…*smile*

    Here’s a tip that I find very useful….

    Done writing, now let it sit!
    When you first complete a writing project, don’t rush to send it off. Now that it’s finished, let it sit for awhile. Wait an hour, a day, a week, however long it takes to get the finished piece off of your mind. Then take it out and read it again. With a little time and distance, you regain some of your objectivity and can find flaws or errors that you’d otherwise have missed.

    Shelly
    PS: Don’t know if you’ll want to add it, but I discovered when I read Stephen King’s book “On Writing” that he does this too – the first thing he does when he finishes the new draft of a book is to throw it in a drawer for several months until he’s nearly forgotten about it. Then he takes it out to start the review process.

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