Writers Block: Getting Back into the Flow

Writers block is a problem that affects every author at some point in their career. It's that frozen feeling that overcomes you, as though your brain were paralyzed—pen frozen mid-air, fingers curled over the keyboard, staring at a blank screen or piece of paper—unable to think of another word.

Although books have been devoted to overcoming this issue, the best tool is preparation. If you know where your piece is headed, it is almost impossible to suffer from this syndrome. Only the authors who work without a plan and believe that each word must be divinely inspired, suffer from this problem.

While these drama queens are feigning real suffering, the rest of us have rolled up our sleeves and are writing.

As I said before, the best antidote for writers block is having a plan. You wouldn't go on a trip without a map and shouldn't forget a map when you are writing. Create an outline or skeleton of the action for your novel or direction for your non-fiction work. Embellish with information that will give you direction at every turn. Take direction and write fast and you will find yourself in the zone.

writers block

Creating an outline does not mean you cannot deviate from it. It doesn't destroy spontaneity, creativity or mean that your characters won't surprise you or that your story won't take a sudden turn.

Don't let the drama queens among us (all those suffering from writers block) convince you that a plan detracts from the joy and adventure of the writing process. An outline does not take away the magic of putting words on to paper—it just gets the work done. A plan will keep words coming when the writing gets tough. (If you have a plan and are still having difficulty with the words, take a one-week break from your project. You'll return to it refreshed and renewed.)

Leave the writers block behind. Always start with an outline—a map of how your story, book or article will unfold. Taking this single step, rather than writing blind, will give you a sense of direction and make the words flow easily and consistently.

About the author: Laura Ramirez is the author of the award-winning book, Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting and the ebook, Keepers of the Children: Companion Workbook Journal.

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