The First Secret To Overcoming Writer’s Block

manuscript with thorns,The First Secret of Overcoming Writer's BlockWriter’s block gets in everyone’s way but fortunately overcoming writer’s block is not all that hard if you learn a few tricks. The truth is, almost anything is easier to do than to begin a 350 page novel. At least with non-fiction you have a subject. But when you start writing a novel, you only have a blank computer screen and your imagination, and that’s a recipe for writer’s block.

Writing is the center of my life, yet every morning, I get up, turn on my computer, and think of other things I could do instead. Before I start, I could tidy up my desk. Think how much  more efficient that would make me! Or better yet, I could bake a pie since the reviews from my family are always good, and I don’t have to wait to find out if if my effort has been a success. I could even give in to the greatest temptation of all: go online and answer emails, update my Facebook page, and read the latest news to see if anything catastrophic has happened since I went to bed last night. When I find myself cleaning the oven, I know I’ve hit rock bottom.

So how do I overcome writer’s block and scale the wall of seductive activities which tempts me every morning? The secret is that I don’t think about writing a novel. I only think about writing a page. Yes, a single page. That’s all you or I have to write on any given day. No one, myself included, can face an entire novel all at once. It’s too long and too scary. So sit down today and write Page One of your novel. You’ll have taken the first step to overcoming writer’s block, and as I often remind myself as I peel off my rubber gloves and back out of the oven: a page a day is a novel a year.

Come back soon to The Writer’s Journey Blog for more secrets to overcoming writer’s block.


  1. Bruce Wright says

    I have two fiction books started. Each has one completed line. I started decades ago. Well, one is not even a whole sentence. “I don’t know when it was that I first realized…” Well maybe it is non-fiction waiting to be written. The other is “One day there was a guy walking down the street…” Oh may, that is not a whole sentence either. Maybe I should try just finishing the sentences, giving up on the illusion that I can write a whole page.

    • TWO! incomplete lines you started decades ago, ha?! They’re very good incomplete lines. You’re definitely off to a good start. And I must say, from what I’ve read so far they work nicely as incomplete OPENING lines. But are you really saying you don’t have any more incomplete lines? Okay then, how about words? No words? How about incomplete words? Nothing?! DANG! I can certainly imagine how much you’ve been straining.

      I want to help. I can help. Pay attention with your eyes, please.

      Assuming you want to write and you’re hunting more lines or words to put in your fiction or non-fiction book(s) (or possibly one of each), do this. Find work as a word processor. It won’t be hard, they’re in demand. Not hi-paying, but what the hell, you’ll have an endless river of words and lines. They come to you non-stop. Honest. The toughest part is gathering them all in. But if you work hard, as hard as you’ve been working at your writing, and you’re really good at grabbing the little things (they wiggle and they’re slippery and they sometimes scatter and hide), you can quit the word processing job PDQ! You’ll have enough lines and words for a book or ten in no time!

      You can thank me when you’re published.


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