Showing posts with label encouragement for writers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label encouragement for writers. Show all posts

Tips for Writer's Block

I imagine every writer feels blocked or stalled at some time.  Are we intimidated because our goal is too big? Writing in short bursts, a paragraph or one scene at a time could well bring the flow back. We need to make a friend of adjusting our goals to doable levels. It’s not a failure; it’s smart. 

Periods of heightened stress and anxiety exhaust our energy and disrupt creativity. Take a break, visit a museum, arboretum, or kick back at a coffee shop—overheard conversations may spark ideas,.
Tip Suggestions:
  • Set aside more time to read; read a lot, read what you like and what inspires you.
  • For a few weeks write a little every day but for you only—forget production, just write and love it.
  • Instead of “blocked” think “stuck”. Stuck is fixable. Refer to “A Writer’s Book of Days” by Judy Reeves pages 142-148. Judy wrote about boxing ourselves into a corner, caught rehashing the same things over, and over, and drained of ideas. She makes suggestions for the way out. It’s fixable.
  • Plan projects in bite size pieces and write whether you want to or not.
  • Consider switching to write, to outline or to research one of your other projects.
  • Try free writing.
  • Listen to music. Create a play-list for writing—classics for background, movie themes for high action, or sentimental songs for story.
  • Exercise—get moving. 
  • Reset by playing a video in your genre or one of your favorites.
  • Ask yourself “What If” questions and note your answers.
  • Do some people watching at the park or coffee shop far enough away that you can’t hear their conversation. Interpret their body language and write that scene.
  • Make a list of the reasons you write.

Many of you have a favorite “unstuck” method. Please share with us in the comments section. Thanks

Deborah Lyn Stanley is a writer, artist, and editor.  She is a retired project manager who now devotes her time to writing, art and caregiving mentally impaired seniors.  Deborah writes articles, essays and stories. She has published a collection of 24 artists’ interviews entitled the Artists Interview Series.  Careful editing preserves each artist’s voice as they share their journey. The series published as monthly articles for an online news network, can also be found on her web-blog: Deborah Lyn Stanley - Writers Blog.  Her “How-To” articles have appeared in magazines. 

“Explore, Dream, Discover”

Taking Stock

The end of the year is upon us. Where did our time go? What happened to our goals? Our dreams?

All too often our ability to procrastinate has a way of getting us off track. All too soon the new year will be here, so now is a great time to review 2015 - and prepare for 2016.

If you had established goals last January, dig them out. If your goals were specific, you should have no difficulty determining how well you did. If they are more general, the answer may be more unclear, but it will provide guidance for next year's goal setting.

Review each goal and give your self a grade, then grade your work overall.

If you did not set goals last year, you can still review 2015. How did you do specifically in the following categories:

1. Writing:
     a. New work: Did you start at least one new long project? Many short projects each month?
     b. Editing: Did you work on editing your latest novel? Did you spend significant time editing your short pieces?
     c. Submitting/Publishing: Did you submit to magazines, agents, publishers your finished work(s)?

2. Marketing:
     a. Social Media: Did you work to keep your fans updated on your work on a regular basis? Posting to a variety of social media sites?
     b. Did you explore and develop places to share your writing in person? Local bookstores, libraries, or coffee shops?
     c. Did you keep your author's portfolio updated?

December is a great time to complete some of your unfinished projects and clear away the old to get ready for January and the new. Happy Holidays to all of you,

D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and a co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. Her latest book, House of Glass, Book 2 of The Exodus Serieswas written with coauthor, Austine Etcheverry.

D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole, and Perception.The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.

She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at

You can also follower her at or on Facebook.

Encouragement for Writers

We are mothers, sisters, and daughters.

We are wives, friends, and co-workers.

And we are writers. Writers with personal lives. All the roles we have in life can keep us busy, distracted, disappointed, or discouraged. It can even pull us away from writing if we are overwhelmed.

Here are some inspirational quotes I hope will encourage you!

Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

Problems are not stop signs. They are guidelines. - Robert Schuller

If you have other things in your life-family, friends, good productive day work-these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer. - David Brin

A wounded deer leaps the highest. - Emily Dickinson

One may walk over the highest mountain one step at a time. - John Wanamaker

Photo credit: s-a-m / Foter / CC BY
Feel a bit better? I hope so.

Next month: ways to balance your personal life with the business of writing. 


After raising and homeschooling her 8 children and teaching art classes for 10 years, Kathy has found time to pursue freelance writing. She enjoys writing magazine articles and more recently had her story, "One of a Kind", published in The Kids' ArkYou can find her passion to bring encouragement and hope to people of all ages at When It Hurts

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