How to get the Words Flowing Again

Jerry WalchStarred Page By Jerry Walch, 26th Feb 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/4288dg2p/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Writing

There are times in every writer's life when the words just stop flowing freely. The dreaded “Writer's Block” strikes more often than we like to admit, especially those of us who have a reputation for being prolific writers. “Writer's Block” is the bane of every writer, no writer escapes it, and it always strikes when we can least afford it. The good news is that all is not lost. There are some things that we can do to get the words flowing again. Here are five of those things.

It Happens to Every Writer

The idea for this article was actually germinated after reading Peter B. Gilberts article: Thought of the Day for February 26th - ...and Get it Going Again! And some of the comments made in response to the article. Writer's Blocks can come in many different forms and does not always mean that the writer cannot think of anything to write. For me, a writer who is never without something to write about, writer's block comes in the form of my not being satisfied with what I have written on a given subject. No matter how many times I rewrite the article, it just does not satisfy me in one way or another. That was a real problem for me as a young writer, but over the years I have discovered a few tricks that always gets the fingers moving on the keyboard again and I want to share them with you in this article.

Have several articles in the works at the same time.

I learned very early in my writing career that it pays to have several projects on the table at the same time. Writing is a process that does not always run smoothly. When I find myself coming to a standstill on one project, I move to another of my writing projects in the queue, giving the problematic a cooling off period. More often than not, just getting my mind off that project solves the problems I was encountering. The idea is to always have several projects in different stages of the writing process i.e. researching, writing, fact checking, and rewriting.

Take a break from your office.

When moving to another project in the queue does not help start the words flowing again, take a break from writing and do something else that you need to accomplish. Anything that is productive and makes you think about something other than writing is good. Hobbies are a necessity for everyone, especially for writers. For me, an avid DIYer, I spend a few hours in my workshop, finishing some woodworking project or do some needed repairs on my home or on one of my friend's homes. Housecleaning, laundry, cooking, sewing or anything else that is constructive will work great. Exercising is good too.

Put pen to paper.

Some people, my ex-wife is one of those people, never really become one-hundred percent acclimated to working on a computer and they find it easier to write and rewrite their articles in longhand. If putting an actual pen to actual paper is what it takes for you to get the words flowing again, do it, there is nothing wrong with writing everything out by hand on paper. I am one-hundred percent comfortable using word processing programs but when I find myself having problems with a rewrite I print out a hard copy and do my edits on that and then use those edits to correct my computer copy. As I said earlier in this article, writing is a process and every writer needs to find the process that works best for him or her.

Take a Trip Down Memory Lane.

When writing is really becoming hard for you and you feel like throwing in the towel, remember your past accomplishments—the short stories and article that you have successfully published, the compliments on your writing that you have received from the editors that bought those articles, short stories, or poems. The odds are that none of those successes had come easily and you will remember the obstacles and how you overcame to obstacles to achieve success. Remembering the obstacles you overcame in the past to achieve those successes will give you the courage to face and overcome the obstacles currently facing you. I can remember how discouraged I was becoming when the only things I received from editors were rejection slips. After a year I was ready to throw in the towel. I was an unpublished writer and no one wanted to give me a chance to write the kind of serious nonfiction articles that I had spent a year querying editors on. Just when I was ready to toss my old Royal typewriter in the garbage, a helpful editor added a personal note to his form rejection letter. I still remember that note as vividly as if I had received it yesterday and not some forty plus years ago: “You apparently have skill and talent as a writer, your query letter testify to that, but no editor is going to commit to working with you until you have shown them that you are both knowledgeable and reliable, as well as talented. I suggest that you start out by writing short stories and submitting them on spec.” I figured that I had nothing to lose, so I wrote a short story based on my experience during basic training and I sold it to the very first action/adventure magazine that I sent it to for $500 which was damn good money for that day. The moral of this true story is that we as writers cannot always start out writing what we want to write. We have to be flexible. That first success kept me writing and today I write the kind of stuff that I wanted to write from the very beginning.

Finally, you need to know when to give up on a piece.

Writing is very personal for any writer and no writer likes to throw something that they created in the trash, but there are times when something just does not work and is beyond repair, times when the only sensible thing to do is to throw it in the trash and start over. It can be unbearably painful at times but if we are to succeed as writers we must learn when it is time to let go.

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Write Articles Article Writing, Writers Block, Writers Life, Writers Resources, Writing, Writing Articles, Writing For A Living, Writing For Money, Writing Skill, Writing Skills, Writing Tips, Writing Tips And Tricks, Writing Training, Writing Web Content

Meet the author

author avatar Jerry Walch
Jerry Walch is a 70 year old freelance writer for hire living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has been writing since the late 1970s, and writes for both the print and online media. He specializes in

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Comments

author avatar Buzz
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Yes, essentially I lost touch., Nothing more to relate more than that. This is an unfair article.

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author avatar Buzz
26th Feb 2012 (#)

I suffer from double comparative. What I meant was I lost mine, never mind what it was for the sake of .....

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author avatar Buzz
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Sorry, Jerry, no offence. Just feeling tired, nothing to do with your article. Been commenting since early this morning. Oh, just tired....

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author avatar Jerry Walch
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Buzz, I'm afraid you have lost me with that comment. How was this article unfair?

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author avatar Denise O
26th Feb 2012 (#)

All you have written is so darn true, I hear ya my friend. Great advice for all of us that write. As always, thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Jerry Walch
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks for dropping in, Denise. Your presence always brightens my day. I just got off of Skype with my son and daughter in-law and seeing their faces always brightens my days too.

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author avatar Denise O
27th Feb 2012 (#)

Oh I bet Jerry. I am so happy you had that time with them, I know you miss them. Tristan's daddy (my son Marcus) just came and picked him up. Lordy I am getting old, he has me plum tuckered out. LOL
I am loving every minute though. Have a blessed day.:)

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author avatar Delicia Powers
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Very helpful, thanks Jerry...

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author avatar Jerry Walch
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks for the read and the kind comments, Delicia.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Wow! And I didn't even have to ask if I could get an "Amen" Brother. Thanks, David.

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author avatar richellet
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks Jerry. This is a wonderful advice. I had these blocks too sometimes I just face the monitor for hours and not write a single sentence.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
27th Feb 2012 (#)

Thank you for the read and the comments, richellet.

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author avatar Jules, The Cowboy
26th Feb 2012 (#)

i'll take note of this advice

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author avatar Jerry Walch
27th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks for reading and commenting, Cowboy.

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author avatar Songbird B
26th Feb 2012 (#)

I can certainly relate to this jerry, and like you, keep several articles in draft so if I stall on one I can try another..Great advice, and great Star Page...

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author avatar Jerry Walch
27th Feb 2012 (#)

Thank you for dropping in, Songbird.

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author avatar Teila
27th Feb 2012 (#)

Great tips!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
27th Feb 2012 (#)

Thank you for reading, Tella.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
27th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks Jerry

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author avatar Jerry Walch
27th Feb 2012 (#)

You're welcome, Peter.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
27th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks Jerry for the encouragement and tips we all need to stay in the game. Frankly, I have not given up on any piece I have written. I leave to the readers. I have received some brickbats too, but some which I feel not up to scratch get positive comments too! But I am still a newbie - rather an older one of such species! siva

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author avatar Jerry Walch
27th Feb 2012 (#)

You can leave it up to your readers if you like, Siva,if you write for content sites like Wikinut, but if you write for more professional sites and/or for the print media, you don't have that option. If you are writing for a publication that's paying you $500 or more for an article, you cannot afford to submit anything that isn't the best work that you are capable of producing--if you do you may not only lose that one sale, you may lose that editor and their publication as a client for future articles. Besides that, t should be a matter of professional pride to never submit anything that isn't the highest quality work that one is capable of producing. I have thrash-canned many articles and short stories over my 40+ years as a writer and I'm proud to admit it. For me it doesn't matter whether I'm writing for a publication that is paying me $1000 for a 1500 word article or for a content site where I'm being paid on number of views, I will still not submit anything that I am not 100 percent satisfied with as being the best work that I'm capable of producing in that format.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
27th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks, Jerry. I have never been paid yet! But I have never submitted anything that is below my best effort. I know how tough it is to produce work which is paid for. The market is cut-throat out there. Though I don't get paid, I do have professional pride. Thanks for making it abundantly clear, but my comment was tongue-in-cheek, and I do agree I have to go far to make a breakthrough in the real world! siva

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
27th Feb 2012 (#)

I think buzz was buzzed when he commented.

Your points are especially valid in my case. I need input to generate output. My wife can seem to pull things out of the air and is more of a natural that way than I

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author avatar Jerry Walch
28th Feb 2012 (#)

Mark,there are a plethora of free e-newsletters out there covering every conceivable subject and I subscribe to over 200 of them. They are a great source of idea for things to write about. I don't always have the time to read all of them as they arrive in my inbox but I store them in files by subject matter and then read them when the time becomes available.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Brenda is a very versatile and talented writer.

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author avatar rama devi nina
28th Feb 2012 (#)

Great star page--good tips and pics too. :)

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author avatar Jerry Walch
28th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks, Rama devi nina.

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author avatar Retired
29th Feb 2012 (#)

Great advice Jerry especially the one i like under the heading of "Take a Trip Down Memory Lane". If you are a creative person, you may understand the idea of writer’s block in some form or fashion. You don’t have to necessarily be a writer to experience this, in fact software engineers, artists, or anyone that has to create things for a living is susceptible to the horrible affliction of writer’s block. There are a ton of ideas out their on how to get over this creativity stumbling block, but they all come back to a standard tome.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
29th Feb 2012 (#)

You are absolutely right, Waleed, every creative person experiences a block to their creative process at one time or another. It may differ slightly depending on the creative persons form of expression, but the principle is the same.

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author avatar Tranquilpen
29th Feb 2012 (#)

To echo Mark's comments, my wife often pulls topics out of thin air for me, for example, writing about Songbird B since I often listen to her soothing music, she suggested why not pay her a good compliment by writing something "NICE" about her. She even had somewhat to do with the angle in which I finally approached the article. So I guess, Why not honor my fellow writers from time to time by showcasing them via an expose' similar to the one I mentioned. Jerry,thank you as usual for sharing your great wisdom with me.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
29th Feb 2012 (#)

It is always a pleasure for me to share my experience and expertise with my fellow Wikinutters and my fellow writers no matter what site they write for.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
1st Mar 2012 (#)

Wow - nice one, Jerry. My sentiments exactly. Great star page. Love the kitty pic!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
1st Mar 2012 (#)

Thanks, Sheila.

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author avatar D in The Darling
2nd Mar 2012 (#)

"For me, a writer who is never without something to write about, writer's block comes in the form of my not being satisfied with what I have written on a given subject. No matter how many times I rewrite the article, it just does not satisfy me in one way or another. "

I think that's where most of us fall! Nice article and very well deserved star. God bless.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
2nd Mar 2012 (#)

Thank you D.

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author avatar Denise Larkin
3rd Mar 2012 (#)

Great article. Thanks.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
3rd Mar 2012 (#)

You are welcome, Denise. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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author avatar Tess Irons
8th Mar 2012 (#)

This is a great article, Jerry. Writer's block comes in to me too, once in a while. Thanks for writing this.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
8th Mar 2012 (#)

Thank you, Tess, for reading and commenting.

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author avatar Rathnashikamani
10th Mar 2012 (#)

I'm learning a lot from your articles on writing techniques. They're immensely useful to me, since you're just pouring down the ideas from more than 4 decades of your writing experience.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
10th Mar 2012 (#)

Thank you for reading and commenting. I'm sincerely glad that you find these articles helpful.

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author avatar orange3
10th Mar 2012 (#)

Thanks for the great advice Jerry. I like the idea of starting more than just one topic at a time. Sometimes if I get 'stuck' on just one topic, it just sits there for awhile.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
10th Mar 2012 (#)

I like to think of that as an incubation period, Orange3. The need to let an article set and incubate happens to every writer from time to time.

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author avatar forlan
15th Mar 2012 (#)

my problem is grammar.I am a non native speaker and I am also worried to grammar.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
15th Mar 2012 (#)

English grammar is probably one of the most difficult grammars to learn. A good place to start is with Strunk and White's "Elements of Style." You can buy a copy on Amazon or access a free copy online at Bartelby Books. The link is http://www.bartleby.com/141/ I recommend purchasing a copy from Amazon so you can make notes in the margins making it your own.

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