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What do you do when you're stuck on a certain section, you
can't get past it and all you want to do is pick your
computer up, throw it out the window, and go work in an
investment bank for millions of dollars a year? I guess what
i'm asking is-what do you do to avoid writer's block?  

Kevin, you have asked the wrong person! From time to time I am so afflicted with writer's block that I can barely write in my journal! However, I can share with you some things you might try:

 1.  Put the work away for a while, until you can figure out whether the problem is with you or the story: are you able to work on other projects? Or are you blocked completely? If the former, it is the story, if the latter, it's you.
 2.  If the problem is with you, are you feeling all right? Eating right, getting exercise, enough sleep? Is some other problem preying on your mind? If something resonates, get it taken care of.
 3.  If it's the story, come back here. Without knowing whether you're writing fiction or non-fiction, stories, comics, essays, etc. there's not much more I can tell you about a story problem.
 4. There are also some tricks you can try: leave off the previous day's work in the middle of a sentence. Try automatic writing to get started. Pretend you're writing a letter to a friend. Get started with a journal entry of one page, then switch to your story.
 5. What it comes down to in the end is self-discipline (I have none, that's why I have writer's block!). Take a leaf out of Stephen King's book: no matter what, he goes to work at 9:00 in the morning and writes until 5:00. Not every day - he likely takes a couple days off once in a while - but he has trained himself to do this, and he does it. If you are a working person, you get up 5 days a week and go to work without even thinking about it. You don't call your boss and say, "I don't feel like working today." That's the kind of self-discipline I'm talking about. Pretty soon you're in the habit, and if you don't do it, you'll feel funny.

I hope this has helped. If it has, a nice rating would be appreciated. I am proud of my "straight-10" record over 120+ questions!

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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