Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Writer's Block Buster by Brenda S. Anderson

Tips for beating that dreaded writer's block. What could be better? Doing it in an entertaining way, of course! Today, Brenda Anderson gives her cure and something I'm going to try! -- Sandy

Brenda: If you’ve been writing for any amount of time, you’ve likely experienced the dreaded writer’s block. You stare at a blank page, fingers hovering over your keyboard, and no words, no story, no characters flit through your head, and you think your storytelling days are over.

Well, I have a surefire cure, a fun cure, one my entire family has participated in: Ten Word Flash Fiction. No, I don’t mean a story that contains only ten words, but a story that must use ten specifically chosen words.

The idea first came from an old elementary school assignment I discovered, one where I had to use all that week’s spelling words in a story. After finding that old assignment, I thought, “Why can’t I do that now?”

So I asked the family to shout out ten random words, nouns or active verbs work the best, and then I wrote whatever came to mind, paying no attention to writing rules. The story was obviously ridiculous and nonsensical and no one outside our house would ever read it, but it was completely fun.

You can even make a family game out of this. Instead of using ten words, use five words and give everyone five minutes to write. You’ll have fun while getting those creative juices flowing.

Let’s give a try right now. I don’t have family around, so I’m going to choose the first five words I see in my office. Take these five words and write the first things that come to you. I’ll give you five minutes. Please share your goofy story in the comments below.         






Here’s my goofy story:

Once upon a time there was a literary agent who was always hungry. She especially enjoyed lutefisk and made it for all her clients. But her clients hated lutefisk, especially the smell which took over her entire office, and they would never come visit her. But one day, Fanny Brice got brave and showed up at the office, a clothes pin pinched over her nose. While there, a rainstorm broke out and leaked through the roof into the agent’s office. The rain fell on the lutefisk making it smell worse. Then a Jurassic dinosaur, drawn by the stench, broke into the office and devoured the lutefisk. And the agent was no longer hungry.

Silly, right? And that’s the point. Ignoring all rules and constraints gives your mind freedom to roam, and once you’ve broken into that creative side of your brain, chances are your writer’s block will soon disappear.

Do you have a special way in which you bust that writer's block? Share it here.


Brenda S. Anderson writes gritty and authentic, life-affirming fiction. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and is currently President of the ACFW Minnesota chapter, MN-NICE. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, theater, roller coasters, and baseball, and she loves watching movies with her family. She lives in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with her husband of 28 years, their three children, and one sassy cat.

Readers can learn more about Brenda S. Anderson at


About Hungry for Home:
After a troubling encounter with a pregnant teen, Sheila Peterson-Brooks hurries from the crisis pregnancy center into the frigid Minnesota winter where she is mugged and left for dead. After a frantic search, Richard, her husband, finds her, and the police quickly nab the mugger …
A hungry, homeless teen.
The brother of the pregnant girl Sheila had just counseled.
The girl pleads for her brother, and Sheila and Richard choose not to press charges. Instead, they open their home to the boy, a move that could cost them their possessions, and their hearts.
           And, in the process, teach them the true meaning of home.