Writing on the Run™

The Natural Way to Write Any Time, Any Place

The May ’05 Writer’s Digest magazine named Writing on the Run
as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers.


                                                                                                                                                  Life is Your Page

Practice Exercises to Overcome Writer's Block

1. On an index card write “For my eyes only.” Post within eyesight of where you are writing – above your computer, inside the covers of your notebooks, in the spaces where you keep your writing materials. Writer’s block is often because you forget that you don’t have to share anything if or until you’re ready.

2. At the top of a piece of paper write the words “What is the worst that could happen if I write this?” Then brainstorm with yourself about what could happen. In history and in places where there is not freedom of speech, people have been jailed or executed for writing something critical of the powers that be. So that’s the WORST that could happen. Put that at the top of your list -- DEATH. Then cross it off. Not likely. Now keep writing your list of the “worsts” and ask yourself if you could endure this. For example, you may say that writing whatever you want will reveal too much of your true thoughts. Go back to exercise No. 1 to find the remedy for that fear.

3. Examine why you are not writing. Are you trying to be too perfect with your first drafts? Are you not as interested in this topic as you thought you would be? Could the timing for this piece not be right? Are you fearing how others will react? Is there something fundamentally wrong (for you) with what you’re writing? What is it? Should you give yourself permission to abandon it or put it aside and come back later? Try to be as specific as you can with your reasons. Then think about and ask others to help you find solutions for the stumbling blocks that are preventing you from writing.

4. Set a timer for a specified amount of time, such as five to ten minutes. At the top of the paper, write a word that represents a subject that interests you. Then write about this subject until the timer rings. Do not take your pen or pencil off the paper or your fingers off the keyboard. Keep writing even if you’re only writing your name over and over. If you’re still writing when the timer rings, keep going. This will start to train your subconscious mind to write -- no matter what.

5. Get a set of crayons. Seriously. Pick out your favorite colors and draw anything with them, realistic or abstract. Really enjoy the colors. Then, looking at what you’ve drawn, start writing colors. Write about the reds, the oranges, the blue-greens, the blacks, etc. in your life and the lives of others. Write about characters and their personalities in terms of the colors on your paper.






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