The day when I switched my focus from launching a book back to writing.

In my head, this was the easiest switch in the world – I’d simply set a goal, open the file, and go. If I got stuck, I’d do some writing marathons with my CPs and I’d be pounding out words in no time.

Yea… NOPE!

Switching gears has proven to be this monumental task for me. Not so much with the project I have due to my editor in a month. But absolutely with the projects that lay beyond it.

So what’s wrong with me?

I mean, writers are supposed to, I don’t know…


Why can’t I seem to open the file on my novels and begin?

And more importantly, how do I move past it?

Lay it on me, guys…what are your secrets for moving past severe writers block?

Thanks in advance!!!


33 thoughts on “I Knew This Day HAD To Come…

  1. Don’t be hard on yourself. I find the first draft really difficult. Sadly, (for me) I always end up rewriting most of it. But it’s that second draft where the connections and fun really kick in for me. The first draft is just hard work. Stick with it, even if you’re not progressing as quickly as you’d like. You will get there in your own time.

    1. One of my CPs and I were talking about that too. I just have to stop freaking out and get to work, I think.


  2. the way I usually get passed is just by forcing myself to write SOMETHING. Even if I know it’s complete crap that will never see the light of day. Just that act of getting words on paper seems to “prime the creative pump” and usually gets me back into the swing of things. Writeathons with my CPs or Dr. Wicked’s writing lab are generally awesome for this. The sense of urgency those activities creates doesn’t allow me time to second guess myself or psych myself out of doing it. I just start typing.

    I always have a very hard time starting new projects, and I think, for me, it’s because I get overwhelmed by everything I know a new project entails. Finishing the first draft, brutal crits and endless revisions, queries and rejections….it’s enough to make me want to chuck my computer out the window and go back to cross stitching (which I rather enjoy…I’ll have to start doing that more…)

    Anyhow, if I try to just focus on that exact moment in time, focus on the joy of meeting new characters and telling a new story, and put all the stuff that is to come out of my mind, I find I can actually sit and write….you know, instead of staring at the blank screen in sheer terror LOL

    1. THANKS!!! I was hoing someone would say if they liked it or not… MOstly I switched the blog to make it a bit easier to read. HUGS

  3. I try two things that work for me.

    Sometimes, the best thing for me to do is just take a day completely off and do nothing writing-related whatsoever. I do laundry, catch up on other housework, go to the grocery store, hang with my kids, and I don’t promote, check email, blog, or do anything like that at all. The computer is a no-go zone. Then the next day, my brain is itching to get back to creating.

    Other times, when my one day off has stretched into two or three, I just need a kick in the pants, and I found that listening to music appropriate to my WiP helped get me in the mood. Then I just picked a place in my WiP to write and I sat down and wrote it.

    Good luck! You’ll get past this; we always do.

    1. I’ve not written for about 2 mos – so no days off for me. And once I finish this ms under contract, I will have to plow right in and see what happens

  4. As you know, I’m not a writer (my psy Will tell you I am…) but I create music. Of course, it’s just a hobby, just for the pleasure of création, and so, I’ve got no pressure and no deadline.
    But a trick that works with me is to go out, walking, running or biking. I let my mind running free and often pop the ideas !
    Don’t put pressure on your head, it’s anti-creative. You could also try to write after a good special beer or some special Jen’s gluten-free wine !

    1. I used to run regularly – and tat really helped. A few too many knee injuries later, I had to stop running. But I “think” I’ve found the replacement…we’ll see if it works. Thanks Benoit

  5. I haven’t had this problem yet. Almost makes me glad I’m not published if that’s the consequence. Maybe that’s why I write (edit) while on vacation. That way I don’t loose the habit and end up with writer’s block. 🙂

    1. yea, I’ve never been blocked like this…and I know its an internal thing. Just haven’t sorted it all out yet. HUGS!

  6. Ien here.

    I’ve messaged you on FB re this post, but here’s something worth knowing: It takes 21 days to create a new habit. So if you write consistently for three weeks (even if it’s 21 days’ worth of crap, as Michelle says), it will get you back in the groove of writing. After that, it will be easier to write than not to write. The reason it’s hard to get back to writing fiction is that you’ve been away from it for more than 21 days, so you’ve established the habit of not-writing.

    That’s a long-winded way of paraphrasing the Nike ads.

    1. LOVE it! And yea, I’ve committed to writing a little on my projects EVERY DAY. Gotta start somewhere. THANKS

  7. Baby steps work for me. Just open the file and do something else. Set a timer or reminder on Outlook or something. Fifteen minutes later, write for five minutes only. Or one paragraph only. If it takes a day, two days, three, to build up…it’s OK. For me it’s all about getting back into the habit. Give it a try.

  8. If I can’t get inspiration, I try to make my own. I go for a walk or go to a museum or something that gets me outside and in a new environment. And then I scribble everything I’m thinking about my WiP in a journal until I come up with something–it usually works. Good luck!

  9. It’s always hardest to start writing again after a long break – which is why I just don’t take them anymore, no matter what else is going on. Barring that though, I wanted to remind you that there’s a very cool thing starting up Nov. 1st that has the uncanny knack to knock out my blocks every single time – and you could surely use it to jump start a non-fic project too, I’m thinking…

    So…wanna at least start NaNoWriMo with us? If you don’t finish, no big deal (heck, you don’t even need to formally sign up)…but it’s incredibly motivating (I’ve found) to sit down at your computer November 1st, stare at a blank file and know that all over the world, other writers are doing the same exact thing at that same exact time, and all plunging in with wild abandon even though it’s probably going to suck. LOL

    I guarantee next week will be filled with motivational “how to start and keep moving” blog posts by a *ton* of writer-bloggers…even if you don’t do NaNo, just go blog reading over the next week. The excitement is catching – I bet you get your groove back in no time. 😉

    1. I am signed up for NaNo (i’ve done it for a few years now) – and I was plowed over with a new idea…so yea…I may be writing something new. Just having this convo with all of you today has made my brain light up. Always a good thing!

  10. Yeah, so I’ve been kind of stuck too. Mostly becuase I’ve been wondering what to do with my Dystopian (thankfully, I have a new direction and hopefully I’ll be working on it this weekend *fingers crossed*). So, for three weeks I haven’t written hardly anything on my MG adventure. *sigh*

    Enough about my work…

    I find writer’s block happens when I’m anxious about another project OR when I’m getting burned out, either from writing, or from “life.”

    As counterintuitive as it may sound, I think it’s important to STOP writing and TAKE A BREAK! Once refreshed, the writing picks up its own flow again and it’s much more enjoyable than if I tried to push myself.

    Good luck! 😀

  11. THANKS GUYS!!! I have to say – for the first time in weeks, I feel like maybe I am ready to start digging back in! THANKS AGAIN!!!

  12. it can’t be easy to switch gears. But you can get through this. If I were there, I’d have a little writing party with you. Maybe start taking some notes? Sometimes, music or watching a movie or reading a book will help. Something about absorbing another good story makes me anxious to get started on my own. Also, turning off all distractions like the Internet. But you’ll get back into the swing of it. You’re just out of practice!

  13. I know this may not help, but I’ll try to throw in my own two cents. ^^
    The biggest thing for me in TURN OFF THE INTERNET. Sometimes I’ll sit staring at an empty page and think “Oh, you know, it’d be great to just talk out this writer’s block with my friends…” and instead spend hours procrastinating. Not that a good procrastination isn’t a healthy thing, but that tends only to be dead center of a project in the “monster” phase. XD
    Music also does a great deal for me, but I’ve talked to so, so many other writers and each one seems to have a different inspiration to carry them through. So, put on your favorite songs, cuddle up with a brilliant book, or even go for a walk to just get that little sizzle of inspiration. Or even just try something new when in need of a new idea till you start getting the “what if…” thoughts popping up. I even have a person in my writing trio that heads over to deviantART and just browses to get ideas/inspiration. So, pretty much, find what gets you fired up and use it. XP
    Sorry about the ranting (it’s my weakness), I hope something helped!

  14. Hopefully you’ve already greased the wheels and are off and running. If not, something that helps me to pretend I’m being interviewed about my story. Just going over the characters and plot, and explaining the world, helps me get unstuck. Lucky for me, I have time alone in the house to talk to myself like this. 🙂

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