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Fixing the Blockage: Tackling Writer’s Block

Published on 25/10/2023

Illustration by Astound US Inc. illustrator Bao Luu 

Fixing the Blockage: Tackling Writers Block
Teacher: Lil Chase, Caroline Wakeman Literary Agency Senior Editor

There are two types of writer’s block: there’s the type where you need inspiration for something new. (We’ll deal with ‘finding inspiration’ in another post.)

Then there’s the type where you’re working on a story and you run out of steam mid-flow. That’s a tricky one to handle, and that’s what we’re going to look at now. Try these tips next time you hit writer’s block in the middle of a project.

  • Take a break. A week or two off the project, then returning with fresh eyes, will do you a world of good.
  • Write a plan. It’s never too late to write – or rewrite! – a storyline. Then you know what’s going to happen next.
  • ‘Don’t get it right, get it written.’ Often what’s holding us back is the worry that what we produce won’t be any good. So free yourself from that worry! Accept that the first draft will almost certainly be a load of dross… Fix it later.
  • Have a goal. By this, I mean your protagonist must have a goal. It’s hard to stay enthused as a writer (let alone a reader!) if your character is drifting around with stuff happening to them. But if they are going after something, and things keep getting in their way, you have a target, and a place to get to.
  • Reassess. If you’ve done all this and you’re still struggling, then it might be that your original idea isn’t good enough. (Sorry!) If you’re not excited by it as the writer, then a reader isn’t likely to be excited either.But don’t despair, shelving a project is never wasted work. You can reuse characters, situations, and worlds. At the very least, you have worked out what you don’t like to write – now get to work on something you love and watch the words come pouring out of you!

Try these tips the next time you get stuck with writer’s block in the middle of a project!


For more free tips for how to improve your writing for children’s books subscribe to our ITSme Learning Newsletter!

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