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Goodreads asked Bernice Seward:

How do you deal with writer’s block?

Bernice Seward The method I use to break through writer's block depends on what's actually causing the blockage.

Am I staring at a blank computer screen--or a blank piece of paper--and my brain seems to freeze? Am I revising a big project, and I feel so overwhelmed that I don't know where to start? Am I working on the outline for a first draft, and I just can't get the plot line figured out?

Some of the tactics I used to overcome writer's block include:

1. Tackle one bite-sized portion. Work on a small section or one specific detail of the project.

2. Set a timer. Devote a specific amount of time (say 30-45 minutes) and be okay with accomplishing whatever gets accomplished--or doesn't get accomplished--before the timer goes off. This tactic often leads to a breakthrough that keeps me writing well past the timed limit.

3. Set the project aside for a while and work on something else (this doesn't work as well if you have a deadline, but it can be handy when a story isn't coming together yet and you need a breather). Sometimes we're just not ready for the story, or the story isn't ready for us. If it's a story that begs to be told, its time will come.

4. Ask for input. I often pose questions on Facebook or in person when I'm working out details for a story. This does two things--it invites other people to be part of my writing process and it opens the door for creative ideas I may never have considered. One example of this is a picture book I'm currently working on, which includes details from conversations with at least three different people and a Facebook query involving multiple people.

These, of course, are only a few ideas for breaking through writers block.
In my experience, the trick is to zero in on the underlying cause of the blockade and advance one step at a time.

Persistence will pay off.

Happy writing!

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