Writer’s Block & Filling the Creative Well – #firstdraftproblems

Does walking away from your writing help when your creative well has gone dry? Many say just going for a walk, taking a shower or folding the laundry gives those seeds of inspiration planted somewhere in the back of your mind the space they need to flourish.

According to this post on Helping Writers Become Authors, when you’re stuck in the middle of your work-in-progress, two things need to happen in order to get that “light bulb moment”:bright-idea-light-bulb-vector-8842490

1) You need to have done the work.

2) You need to have walked away.

Check out this very useful checklist to complete before walking away from your writing: (More details on the website—click on the link!)

1. Check in with your manuscript

2. Try free-writing

3. Check if you’ve gone off-track somewhere

4. Spend time on world-building and character profiling

5. Don’t stare at the empty page for 15 minutes

If you’ve tried numbers 1-4 and your writing is still not budging, it’s time to walk away! Number 3 has been my kryptonite for a long while:

3. Check if You’ve Gone Off Track Somewhere

overcoming-writers-block-nonprofit-bloggingSometimes a writing block is caused by a wrong turn we’ve taken earlier in our writing, a spot where we forced a character to do or say something that didn’t fit. Read back over your writing to see if there was a point where your prose became laboured and your writing became much harder. If you find it, try starting afresh from that point.”


That was why I was having so much trouble in the revision stage, leading to endless procrastination. Finally some answers to my first draft problems have come to me and the “writer’s block” that’s been stifling my imagination has come loose!

What’s your kryptonite and how did you defeat it?


You can find the rest of my posts on the subject of writing, under the category The Writing Process, found in the right hand column of my blog.


About sharonholly

writer, reader, music-lover, glamorous facilitator of literacy... facebook.com/SharonHolly.Writer twitter.com/SharonH_Writes
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4 Responses to Writer’s Block & Filling the Creative Well – #firstdraftproblems

  1. Harliqueen says:

    A great post and great tips, sometimes it really does help to take a step back from work and come back to it with a different perspective 🙂


  2. sharonholly says:

    It does help!
    Sometime though, I just stubbornly sit in my chair and stare at the paper, trying to will it to write itself…Alas, it only rarely works 😉


  3. Jessica says:

    I’m so pleased to hear you’ve been able to move past your writer’s block on your first draft! 😀

    I believe it was William Faulkner who said that once his character stood up and began to move, all he could do as a writer was trot along behind him with a paper and pen. Sometimes when our writing stalls, it’s like that awkward moment as a child when you look up and realise the person you’ve been following isn’t your mummy! Once you backtrack and find your authentic character again, then you can move forward.

    Oh, and my kryptonite? Not checking in with my manuscript. It only takes a couple of days for the excitement and momentum to fade, and then it’s a whole lot of hard work to get it back.


  4. sharonholly says:

    I thought I was the only one who followed around strangers as a kid! You’re right though, it’s easy to lose your character to a stranger for a while. What a relief when you find them again.

    Honestly, probably everything on your list has been my kryptonite at one time or another, including misplacing that elusive inspiration from not checking in enough.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment Jessica!


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