Thawing Your Writer's Block

Written by Mary Anne Hahn

When I go through bouts of writer's block, my fingers stiffen, and my brain goes as blank asrepparttar snowy screen of a television onrepparttar 129654 fritz.

I don't know about you, but I picture writer's block as something cold--likerepparttar 129655 frozen engine of a car inrepparttar 129656 dead of winter, orrepparttar 129657 way your PC sometimes "freezes up" on you when your system gets too busy.

Looking at it that way actually helps to overcome it. Rather than feeling like you are grasping at fog, visualizing writer's block as something three-dimensional can provide you with bothrepparttar 129658 strength to confront it, andrepparttar 129659 weapons to conquer it.

How can you thaw your writer's block of ice? Try any or all ofrepparttar 129660 following:

1. Chip away at it. No need to write "War and Peace" in one sitting; Tolstoy certainly didn't. Fifteen minutes a day are all you need to give your writing dream some life and structure. Use them to write anything, anything at all--as many article ideas as you can think of, a synopsis of a story idea, a climactic scene in your novel, a limerick, a character sketch, step by step instructions for makingrepparttar 129661 perfect omelet or what you would do if you wonrepparttar 129662 lottery.

Have some fun with these 15-minute exercises, and you'll probably rediscoverrepparttar 129663 truth inrepparttar 129664 adage that "time flies" when you do.

2. Light a match to it. By this I mean, don't think aboutrepparttar 129665 fact that you are not currently writing; rather, think about why you ever wanted to be a writer inrepparttar 129666 first place. Better yet, *write* about why you want to be a writer. Do you have stories burning inside you that need to be told? Or do you see writing as your key to personal fulfillment or freedom? Melt away writer's block by reigniting your passion for writing--the old daydreams,repparttar 129667 past feelings of triumph or accomplishment when you finished a piece of work.


Written by Mary Anne Hahn

One ofrepparttar most important lessons I've learned about writing--and one of its most difficult aspects for many of us--is what I've come to callrepparttar 129651 "simmering process."

You've just finished an article, story or query letter, and you get that adrenaline rush that comes withrepparttar 129652 completion of a job well done. Your prose sings. That opening paragraph,repparttar 129653 one you'd struggled with for days, is perhaps one ofrepparttar 129654 finest things you've ever written. Not one word wasted, and nary a dangling participle. You simply can't wait to ship it off torepparttar 129655 editor, or your agent, or your customer.

But that's exactly what you have to do--wait. In other words, let it simmer a day or two.

But why wait? The sooner you send it out,repparttar 129656 sooner you'll getrepparttar 129657 acceptance,repparttar 129658 byline,repparttar 129659 paycheck, right?

Well, maybe. Onrepparttar 129660 other hand, you might be sending your work out before it's truly finished. The piece might still be undercooked, a little raw onrepparttar 129661 inside. And at this point, having just put what you thought wasrepparttar 129662 final touch on your creation, you might be standing too close to it to spot its imperfections.

I have learned to let my essays and articles simmer, like a pot of stew onrepparttar 129663 stove, before submitting them. And it constantly amazes me, what I see in an article or essay I've written, after I've stepped away from it for a while. Typos and poor word selections seem to jump offrepparttar 129664 page at me, which I can now correct and improve. That wonderful paragraph that I once believed I could not live without appears unnecessary now, so I remove it. I replace that original lame title with a perfect one, one that will more likely beckon an editor to read it.

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