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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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Don’t forget holidays.

Valentine’s Day is coming. Or Christmas or Thanksgiving. These are occasions that bring expectations. We want to feel loved on Valentine’s Day. We want to be with family on Thanksgiving. Or we don’t want to be with family. One of the things that makes holidays so resonant is that they force us to reconcile the reality of our lives with expectations. They also bring us together with people we might only see once a year. Weddings and funerals can also set off drama. They force people together. Secrets may emerge. Feelings are running high. That cousin of yours who seemed like such a loser is now the CEO of a big company. Or perhaps a man comes up to you at your mother’s funeral and tells you that he always loved her, and that they’d been in touch for years. Or maybe on Valentine’s Day, an unexpected present shows up on your doorstep. Who sent it? If you’re feeling stuck, look at the calendar. What holidays are coming up, and how might your characters react?

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