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12 key steps for getting unstuck as a writer

Trapped in the middle of your manuscript? Here’s how to move forward.

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Step away from the desk.

Sometimes, trying to force words is the worst thing you can do. You stare at your computer screen, determined to get it all done, but the words come out sullen, and you know you’ve written something awful. At times like this, the best thing to do is walk away. Not forever! Just for half an hour. Do a crossword puzzle. Watch House Hunters. Take a nap. Go for a walk. Let your mind relax. I’m always surprised at the ideas that pop into my head when I’m doing something else. Quite often, I’ve had whole plots pop into my head when I’ve been walking my dogs. You can trust your mind to do some of the work without you bossing it around.

Originally Published