Monday, September 28, 2015

Writer's Block

Writer's block - do you ever get it?


I have had it a couple of times - at least!

I have been working on a new middle grade novel, a sequel to one of my other ones I have written. I started on it a couple years ago - at least!

I let it set for a long time, and then recently brought it out, dusted it off and started writing again.

It is moving along at a slow pace. I took it to my writer's group and we put our heads together and came up with ideas on what, when and where.

I write a monthly column for kids. I usually come up with ideas pretty easy. I like to have the subject matter have something to do with the month or time of year.

This gives me more leeway than you think.

One of my April topics was the Pony Express (established in April 1860). Did you know February was National Blah Buster month? You would if you read my February 2011 Column. And, I love giving kids fun crafts and easy recipes to try.

But, for some reason, I was coming up blank for November's column. I have already written about turkeys, how the pilgrims celebrated, that November is National Peanut Butter Lover's Month, the history of pulling on the wishbone, food ate by the Pilgrims and how you (children) can help with the meal, National Novel Writing Month and PiBoIdMo (writing for picture book writers), and how writing letters helped establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday (the many letters that Sarah Hale wrote to presidents) and presidential pets and Tad Lincoln's beloved turkey named Jack.

I thought and thought and thought.
I came up with different ideas and started to write - but nothing clicked. Nothing clicked.

One night when we were walking, I asked my neighbor for ideas. She came up with some good and some not so good ideas. One of her ideas had merit, so I gave the topic a try. It didn't click.

Then an idea popped into my head. I did a little research and found out some interesting fun facts that I turned into a column I thought my readers would enjoy.

What is the topic?
You will have to wait until November to find out. But, like I told my neighbor, it is very different from her suggestion -- very, very different.

Mark Twain's suggestion:

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”

My suggestions:

Brainstorm, just write and see what comes, write on paper, try a new place to write,  have an idea book - write down ideas whenever they come to you - go to them when you are stumped as to what to write about and googling is always an option. But, my most important suggestion is never give up.

What are your suggestions?


  1. You left us hanging. :) Seriously, isn't it amazing how we can think and think and try different things and nothing works, until suddenly, or maybe slowly, it comes to us, what's just right.
    I write thoughts down in a notebook. Sometimes, I go to a different story and work on it, giving my mind a break. I like to go for a walk too and just enjoy the outdoors. Often the solution to my problem appears when I'm not even thinking about it.
    I'm a slow writer, too. But like that old turtle, I eventually get there. And you're right. Never give up.

    1. Hi, Beverly :) Yes, it is amazing. And, thank goodness, the ideas do come.

  2. Ideas come from the oddest places and at the oddest times. Thank goodness they do come. I'll be looking forward to your November post.

    1. Hi, Rosi. How true about those ideas. It takes a good imagination to be a writer.

  3. That sounds like a fun column to be privileged to write.

  4. That sounds like a fun column to be privileged to write.

  5. Although I am not a writer of books, as you, I still get "blocked" when it comes to designing something new form my embroidery work. I usually find long walks are always helpful. You column sounds wonderful and I am sure your young readers look forward to it each time.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment. I agree, no matter what you love to do, I suppose you get "blocks" sometimes. But, thankfully, they do go away and the creative gates open again.


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