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Stopping the Block

Updated: Dec 22, 2022

If you never experienced writer’s block, then you are not a writer.


By Michael Heath /

The above  picture was taken in 1994 after the two chartered a fishing boat in  Puerto Rico.

Writer’s block is that stall in creativity or inspiration that keeps us from moving forward with our writing project.

People often ask me about this dilemma and how to overcome it. My response is always, “Write through it.” What I normally get in return is a blank stare.

How Junk Writing Can Help Stop Writer's Block

When penning a short story or novel, the writer almost certainly has a vague notion of the beginning, middle, and end of the project. No one sits down to write a story without some inspiration and framework. My suggestion has always been to keep writing, even when writer’s block turns its ugly head. What I mean is to continue even if what you are writing is a bit of junk. Let the junk writing be a bridge to get you where you are more comfortable. You can always go back and rewrite “the junk.” The truth is that you will be going back to rewrite a lot of what you have done, anyway.

Mark Twain said "there is no such thing as writing, only rewriting".

Let’s say that you know in the middle of your story that the housekeeper falls in love with the handsome bachelor, but you have not ironed out all the details as to how she ends up working at his home, etc. Just come up with something that holds the place until you come up with ideas that the reader will find intriguing. Then go back and fix it later. The point is not to allow writer’s block to be a reason -- or excuse -- to stop writing.

If you never experienced writer’s block, then you are not a writer. All writers fall victim to it, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Sometimes it is important to step away and go for a walk. Find a little quiet time. Do not make a phone call, as you do not want other people’s words to fill in the void where your own words need to land. The creativity is in you. The fertile ground of inspiration exists. It is just a matter of turning the soil.

Good luck stopping writer's block and embracing junk writing!

More Tips for Writers in our SelfPublishingUS Blog

Initially published 7/18/2019

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