Unblocking the Writer by Jane Godman

We have author Jane Godman this week talking to us about how to deal with Writer's Block. She has a new book out, Colton and the Single Mom. 




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“Plumbers don’t get plumber’s block, and doctors don’t get doctor’s block; why should writers be the only profession that gives a special name to the difficulty of working, and then expects sympathy for it?” Philip Pullman

Writer’s block is a miserable feeling. Put simply, the ideas dry up to the point where writing becomes painful. But, instead of staring at a blank screen, there are practical things we can do to unblock our thoughts and get the ideas flowing again.
1.       Writing your way out. Either by plowing relentlessly on with the current work, or turning briefly to a new project.
2.       Do something else. Go for a walk. Mow the lawn. Bath the dog. Forget about writing for a while.
3.       Switch off from the internet and other distractions. Give your brain a break.
4.       Write backwards. Focus on the happy ending instead of getting bogged down in the middle.
5.       Record yourself as you read out loud. Remind yourself what you love about this book.
6.       Write the juicy bits. Come back and fill in the rest later.
7.       Change your environment. Find a new place to write.
8.       Raise the stakes. Make an announcement about your deadline. Once other people are invested, you have to up your game.
9.       Set yourself targets and give yourself rewards.
10.   Don’t use stimulants while writing. Avoid alcohol, coffee, chocolate etc. Save them until you’ve reached your daily goals.

These are just a few ideas. Some you may love, others you may hate. Either way, I’d love to hear what you think, or find out if you have anything to add to my list. 

Colton and the Single Mom (The Coltons of Red Ridge)


This Colton cop falls for a ready-made family
A Coltons of Red Ridge story

A serial killer is on the loose, and true-crime filmmaker Esmée da Costa is on the case. K-9 cop Brayden Colton, the prime suspect’s half brother, works hard to stop her prying, but sparks fly as he falls for Esmée and her son. When Esmée and Brayden’s little family comes under siege, can they save all they love?

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18 comments:

  1. Nice tips for getting around writer's block. I've done many of them, and they do work.

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    1. It's nice to hear you've found a way around the dreaded writer's block, Elizabeth. I always find switching another project helps (unless a deadline is looming, of course!).

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  2. Loved the quote. And great tips on writer's block. I like doing something else and reading to help me get through those challenges.

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    1. Reading is always a great way to relax the brain, isn't it. Natalie? And I find walking helps. I read somewhere that green, outdoor spaces are the most soothing. Maybe taking a book outside is the best solution of all?

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  3. I don't get blocked – I just have periods whe I'm extra lazy.

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    1. :) That's a great way of looking at it, Patsy!

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  4. I have a thing I call my writer's block workshop. It's basically a journal. I write about what's blocking me. I write about what I want to write and I whine about not being able to write it. It's funny how that untangles my thoughts sometimes.

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    1. I'll have to try that, Liz. Sounds like a form of therapy :)

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  5. Well, let's not do anything crazy (referencing tip #10). ;) Those are some great tips, Jane!

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    1. Ha! I didn't say I always follow my own advice :)

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  6. Some good advice and can definitely apply to blogging as well. Sometimes I just need to step away and take a break and it helps a good deal.

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    1. Definitely, sometimes staring at the page doesn't help but walking away can get the words flowing again :)

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  7. Hello, Jane! Good luck with your latest.

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  8. Lots of great tips, Jane! Usually getting out in nature and taking a walk helps me to get my brain going again. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. Yes, there's nothing like a bit of fresh air to get the brain working again. I also think putting some physical distance between myself and my laptop helps!

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  9. I’ve been dealing with burnout toward writing much of anything for a long time. I’ve tried all the usual writer’s block tips. I’ve been trying many things like journaling to get words down, writers meetings for inspiration, and writing nonfiction. It’s all a process. One step at a time.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that, Chrys. Sadly, there will always be extremes and it sounds like you're in one of those right now. As you say, one step at a time. It will work out for you. Sending a virtual hug your way. X

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Join the discussion. What do you think?