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    7 Secrets for Beating Writer's Block

    Most people can easily identify with the dreaded "writer's block". It is a well-known phenomenon that just about everyone has faced at one point in their lives.

    I used to suffer from writer's block, big time! Thus, I know through personal anguish and suffering, that it is definitely not a pleasant experience.

    Especially when the due date for one's project or paper is getting closer by the day, and the boss asks you "how's that project going" every time you don't manage to avoid him/her when you're sneaking down the corridor.


    Writer's Block is Fear-Based

    Writer's block is a fear-based feeling. For whatever reason, many of us have this incredible fear of committing ourselves in writing whenever we are faced with a blank page or computer screen.

    Fear no longer! I'm here to tell you that writer's block can be beaten!

    Just realizing that writer's block is really an irrational fear that keeps us from putting pen to paper is half the battle. It's actually a fear of the unknown, often coupled with a fear of failure.

    We secretly wonder just what exactly is going to come out of this pen/keyboard, and when it does, will we be revealing some kind of incompetent idiot who doesn't know what they're talking about?

    On the other hand, if we have done the proper preparation, our rational mind knows that we can do it just like we did it all of those other times before.

    Unfortunately, fear often wins the day when it comes to writing.

    As I stated above, I suffered from writer's block for many years and it was not the most enjoyable of experiences.


    The 7 Secrets

    Fortunately, somewhere along the way I did manage to develop a few tricks to overcome writers block. Some are obvious, others are not.

    Here are my personal hard-earned secrets for overcoming writer's block:

    1. Don't Write Too Soon
      Before trying to write, it is important to prepare mentally for a few hours or days (depending on the size of the task) by mulling the writing project over in the back of your mind. (Just as athletes don't like to peak too soon, writers shouldn't write too soon either!).

    2. Do The Preparation
      Read over whatever background material you have so that it is fresh in your mind. I read through all background material carefully marking important points with a yellow hi-liter and then review it all before I start to write.

    3. Develop A Simple Outline
      Before sitting down to write, put together a simple point form list of all of the key points you want to cover, and then organize them in the order in which you are going to cover them. (I know, I know... your Grade 6 teacher told you the same thing... but it actually does work).

    4. Keep research Documents Close By
      When you sit down to write, make sure that all of your key background materials are spread out close at hand. This will allow you to quickly refer to them without interrupting the writing flow once you get going. I keep as many of the source documents as possible wide open, and within eyesight for quick and easy reference.

    5. Just Start Writing
      Yes, that's exactly what you do. Once you have prepared mentally and done your homework you are ready to write, even if your writer's block is saying "no". Just start writing any old thing that comes to mind. Go with the natural flow. In no time at all you will get into a rhythm, and the words will just keep on flowing.

    6. Don't Worry About The First Draft
      Once the words start to flow, don't worry about making it perfect the first time. Remember, it's your first draft. You will be able to revise it later. The critical thing at the outset is to write those thoughts down as your mind dictates them to you.

    7. Work From An Example
      Get an actual sample of the type of document that you need to write. It could be something that you wrote previously, or it could be something from an old working file, or a clipping from a magazine article, or a sales brochure you picked up. As long as it is the same type of document that you are writing. Whatever it is, just post it up in your line-of-sight while you are working. You'll be amazed at how it helps the words and ideas flow. The main thing is to have an example to act as a sort of visual template.

    In my experience this last one is the ultimate secret for overcoming writer's block.

    To help with this, be on the lookout for good examples of writing that you may see in newspapers and magazines, and clip out the useful ones for future reference.

    Copyright © 2002 Shaun Fawcett

    Shaun Fawcett is webmaster of writinghelp-central.com and author of the new eBook "Instant Home Writing Kit". His FREE e-mail COURSE "Tips and Tricks For Writing Success", offers valuable tips on home/business writing. Sign-up for FREE at http://www.instanthomewritingkit.com/free-course.html.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ



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    Grab a copy of WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! from Amazon.com and receive 2 free e-books to encourage and nurture the writer in you. You'll also receive Write Memories, a journaling workbook available for free only to WEEKLY WRITES book owners. And finally, as a WEEKLY WRITES book owner, you'll have free access to e-mail courses such as JOYFUL WRITES: Celebrate Your Life through Writing

    For excerpts, reviews and what you need to do to receive the 2 free e-books, Write Memories and sign up for free e-mail courses, just head on to the Weekly Writes Book Official Site. (Clicking on the link will open a new window.)

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