Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Eleven Steps to Fighting Writer’s Block! by Amy Clipston

Welcome back to another Writer’s Journey Wednesday! (Dawn here!) As we move into spring, sunshine, and warmer temperatures, I’m getting more energized and inspired to work on my WIP. How about you? However, no matter what the weather looks like, or what deadline looms over our heads, there are days when a blank screen stares back at us. Author Amy Clipston joins us today to share her tips on how to deal with writer’s block. You might want to keep this list handy!

Eleven Steps to Fighting Writer's Block!

You’re working on your novel, the best book you’ve ever plotted. You’ve crafted a fabulous synopsis, and you fleshed out a detailed outline. The characters come alive, and the description flows from your fingertips. You quickly bang out 100 pages. Suddenly, the words stop.

It’s the dreaded Writer’s Block!

When I was writing A Promise of Hope, I experienced writer’s block. In order to get my writing back on track, I had to give up some old habits hindering my muse. While evaluating where I’d gone wrong, I comprised a list of rules to help fight writer’s block.

1. Turn off the TV.
My addictions include Diet Coke, popcorn, and chick flicks. I needed to force myself to turn off the television. It’s amazing how much more I accomplish when not only writing during commercials.

2. Write while the kids are sleeping.
I’ve tried to write on the deck with the kids in the yard. Usually, I’d find my voice and then a fistfight will break out between my angels. The lesson – don’t try to weave your best fiction in the presence of children.

3. Choose a quiet setting.
My favorite “office” is lounging on my bed with my lap desk.

4. Don’t stop at the end of a chapter or scene.
A bestselling author gave the best advice– never stop at the end of a chapter. Stop writing in the middle of a scene to keep your subconscious working until you return to the computer.

5. When stuck, review your work.
Unfortunately, #4 isn’t always successful. When that happens, reread a chapter or two to submerge yourself in the story to get your creative juices flowing again.

6. Don’t get bogged down in rewrites.
Be careful with #5 or you’ll find yourself trapped in the endless circle of editing. Worry about getting the first draft written and then go back and edit.

7. Start with small goals small and build.
Don’t push yourself to write 100 pages per week if five per day are most comfortable for you. Determine what works best for you and stick to it. However, give yourself a break, too. We all need to recharge our batteries once in a while. Find your balance so you don’t take a long vacation and wind up behind in your schedule.

8. Stick to a schedule.
If you do your best work early in the morning, set your alarm clock and go for it. My writing time starts once the kids are in bed. I’ve been known to stay up until midnight.

9. Stay off the ‘Net!
Two years ago my router died, and I was without wireless for two weeks. I was very productive.

10. Call for help!
If your ideas just aren’t flowing, call your best plotting partner. Your friend may offer ideas and angles to your stories that never occurred to you.

11. Read!
The best way to polish your skills and find inspiration is by reading other authors.

Bestselling author Amy Clipston has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her fiction writing "career" began in elementary school in New Jersey when she and a close friend wrote and shared silly stories. Amy’s book, A Gift of Grace, the first in her Kauffman Amish Bakery Series debuted with Zondervan in May 2009. A Promise of Hope, the second book in The Kauffman Amish Bakery Series, hit bookshelves in April 2010 and will be followed by two more Kauffman books in 2010, A Plain & Simple Christmas in July and A Place of Peace in December.

Amy is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She holds a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College and works for the City of Charlotte. Amy lives with her husband, Joe; two sons, Zac and Matt; mother, Lola; and three spoiled rotten cats, Molly, Rico, and Jet.

To learn more about Amy and her books, please visit these links:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks. Been suffering from Writer's Block for awhile now. You've given me some great ideas!


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