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Mary Beth’s 10 Suggestions to Get Your Writing Unblocked

Many people who contact WriteOnMBA are struggling with writing blocks. If you fall into that category, the suggestions below may help you.

  1. Write. Start with something you can do, such as 15 minute intervals of putting new words on paper (or computer screen). Try keeping a daily journal.
  2. If  just writing doesn’t work for you, start by drawing a web of ideas or making a list as a way to job your mind.
  3. Have fun writing. Put your thoughts down as poetry or “free write” to rekindle your enjoyment of the craft/activity.
  4. Prioritize. If you are serious about completing your book, article, story, poem, etc., you may need to see this as a job. Go “to work.” Limit your phone calls and social email time during writing hours. Consider telling people that you are “on deadline.” What kinds of nonverbal signals can you give other members of your household or workplace so they won’t interrupt you?
  5. Take good care of yourself. Balance your writing, a solitary activity, with the social interactions and emotional closeness you need. Enough sleep, regular meals, and daily exercise are not luxuries, but writing aids.
  6. Break your work down into doable pieces. They will add up. Concentrate on just one paragraph, page, or chapter at a time. Work from an outline or writing web. Set a times for writing intervals followed by timed, planned breaks.
  7. Give yourself positive feedback for the work you have done, rather than unending criticism or worry about what remains to be done.
  8. Join a writer’s group. Solidarity helps. Knowing you have made a commitment to have something in particular done by the next meeting may give you the drive to get it done.
  9. If you are feeling burned out, or you are not getting any joy from your writing, consider taking a planned vacation from writing (either all writing, or just “the work”).
  10. Get writing coaching help with the stuff that’s holding you back or with ways to get you going again.

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