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Writer's Block

Every writer gets it. There are no exceptions. How to beat it varies with each writer.

If you've explored my website, you'll see I haven't published a book in the last few years. It's not because of writer's block, but that's a different post for a different day. There are times I wanted to write something but couldn't think of anything. And that's the problem. That's writer's block.

So what do you do?

One of the most common pieces of advice is to just write, no matter how bad it is. I agree with that. In fact, I'll go even further.

A week before I launched this website, one of the things I wanted to do is to write flash fiction in case I couldn't come up with a blog topic. My first attempt turned into an incomplete short story, but that's okay. Since I couldn't think of anything, I decided to use flash fiction prompts and just wrote. I didn't expect the story to be anywhere near good, but it was. Other flash fiction prompts gave me other ideas and this post was born.

What does this have to do with beating writer's block?

It's about starting the writing process again. So let's get started.

Find a writing prompt, any prompt. Go in with the idea that it will suck. Remember, all first drafts suck, so if you can write anything, you're in business. Tell you what. Here's one: You're 21 years old in 1990. The next thing you know, you're standing in a mall during the Christmas season of 2017. What are you thinking? What do you see? When you realize what the date is, do you search for family and friends? How would they react?

If you're younger than your mid-forties, then go in the opposite direction. You're 21 or whatever age you are in 2017 and you end up in a mall during the Christmas season of 1990. Now write!!

If time travel isn't your thing, then go in a different direction. You're sitting down at your table to eat dinner. But there's a knock on the door. You open it to see your hero (or a loved one who has passed) who wants to have dinner with you. If your hero is dead, then that person is alive and well again. If your hero was old, then he or she is young and healthy again. What would you do? What would you say? Write!!!

If you want, you can write all three prompts. This is flash fiction, so it doesn't have to be long. Your first draft doesn't even have to make sense. Just write something. Anything. Take the challenge.

Now that you're on your way to beating writer's block, finish what you started. Remember that somewhere in your mind is a good story.

Go for it!!

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