writer's block

Piece By Piece: Writing Your Way Out of a Creative Dry Spell

Piece By Piece: Writing Your Way Out of a Creative Dry Spell

It happens to all of us at different points in our writing lives: we hit a stretch where we can’t seem to finish anything, or the ideas have dried up faster than morning rain on an Arizona highway. It happened to me this last year when I finished one novel and was excited to start a fresh project, except each novel idea I started fizzled out. They weren’t right. Same went for a few short stories I had rattling around in my head. I’d make it halfway through before casting each aside. Even poems felt forced. I felt stuck. I WAS stuck. And I was breaking Neil Gaiman’s wise and important rule: “Whatever it takes to finish things, finish.” It was a hollow, scary feeling.

But instead of sitting back and waiting for inspiration to strike, I tried a few of the methods below to jumpstart that old excited feeling, to help me start something I could finish. I picked these up from other writers, so it's not like these are fresh, original ideas, but they helped me out, bit by bit. I’m hoping that if they worked for me, they’ll work for you. 

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The Writer, Lost in the Woods

The end of April and beginning of May have been frustratingly slow in terms of writing progress. I wouldn’t call it writer’s block so much as being lost in the woods—figuratively for me, literally for my characters. It's not the type of situation where I don't know what to write, but I keep writing and getting deeper and deeperand what's worsemore lost.

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