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Getting the Best of Your Block

Ten Ways to Start Writing Again

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7. Work on more than one project at a time.

Some writers find it helpful to switch back and forth from one project to another. Whether this minimizes fear or boredom, or both, it seems to work for many people.

8. Try writing exercises.

As much as it may remind you of your high school writing class, writing exercises can loosen up the mind and get you to write things you would never write otherwise. If nothing else, they get words on the page, and if you do enough of that, some of it is bound to be good.

9. Get away from the desk for a while.

If you’ve been trying to work for a long time and feel yourself getting frustrated, take a walk or do your dishes. At the very least, get up and stretch. If you leave the house, though, remember to take a pad and pen with you. Chances are that loosening up your limbs and changing your perspective will inspire the breakthrough you’ve been waiting for.

10. Remember why you started to write in the first place.

Once you start thinking of writing in terms of a career, it’s easy to forget the pure fun of it. Look at what you’re writing and why. Are you writing what you love, or what you think you should be writing? Steve Martin gave himself a few years off from working, and in that time, ended up writing several plays, a series of sketches, and two screenplays. The point is, he let himself do exactly what he wanted, and it ended up being one of the most productive times in his career. The writing that feels most like play will end up delighting you the most, and this is the writing your readers will instinctively connect with. At the end of the day, writing is too hard to do it for any other reason. If you can continue to touch base with the joy you first felt in writing, it will sustain you, not only through your current block, but through whatever the future holds for you and your work.

Exercises to Help with Writer's Block:

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