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15 of the most common causes of writer’s block – and how to cure them

Feeling stuck in your manuscript, craft, or career? Here are 15 of the most common problems that can stall a writer’s progress – plus key strategies for overcoming each one.

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When all else fails…

  • Go to conferences! It helps to meet like-minded people with similar goals and challenges.
  • Success builds on itself. Have you had success in the past? Do you have wonderful acceptance letters or even encouraging rejection letters? Read over these. Post the most encouraging ones where you can see them.
  • Have gratitude for what’s working. Celebrate when you meet one of the small goals you set for yourself. If you don’t celebrate the small successes, it can feel hopeless, like you are having no success at all.


What to read when you’re stuck


Dana Shavin’s essays have appeared in Oxford American, Psychology Today, The Sun, Bark, Fourth Genre, Alaska Quarterly Review,, and others. She has been a lifestyle columnist for the Chattanooga Times Free Press since 2002. She is the author of a memoir, The Body Tourist, and is a certified professional life coach. A complete list of publications can be found at

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