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Magic #50

At the root of all writer's block? Fear. You'll recognize it by the questions you ask yourself when you sit down to write: Can Ireally finish an entire story? Am I a good enough writer to pull this off? Will this story matter to anyone? Or am I wasting my time? And what if I sound dumb?But the specific fear doesn't matter if you know how to soothe it. Here's what to do: Lie down. On the couch. In bed. In the tub (Hey, don't knock it! Sometimes it's the only place writers can find some time alone!). Lie down where it's comfortable and quiet, and write fifty words.That's it.Either the exercise helps you break through the anxiety, and you keep writing. Or you have fifty words more than you had yesterday, and you try again tomorrow. Either way, lie down and write fifty words.

3-2-1 Gone

Your protagonist opens a purse or a desk drawer and finds three objects. By the end of your piece there's only one item left. What happens to the other two?

Change Up The POV

Write about a well-known scene from a popular story - but write it from a new perspective. Write about Romeo and Juliet's death from the perspective of the vial they drink from. Write about the scene where Bilbo finds the ring in¾The Hobbit from the perspective of the ring. Write about the ghost of Christmas Past taking Scrooge on a walk down memory lane from the perspective of the ghost. You get the idea.

Beginnings

Getting started is one of the most difficult tasks that faces every writer. Julie Parsons is an international bestselling author. For this exercise, she's giving you the opening lines from some of her books. Take the following lines and use them to write the beginning of your own chapter:

  1. You could say it began with a phone call."
  2. Michael had watched them both for weeks."
  3. She remembered the way it was the first time she saw the prison."
  4. Midsummer, no time to be in New Orleans."
  5. With the dawn came the light."

Break Through The Block

Think of writer's block as a symptom, not a condition that can't be remedied. When we're stuck and can't get to our creative work, there's usually a reason - and therefore a way to move forward.If you're experiencing a block and can't seem to work on your novel, try the following:

  1. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths. Connect.
  2. How do you feel?
  3. Nervous because you're coming up on a tough scene?
  4. Starting to wonder why you embarked on this project?
  5. Bored with sticking to your thorough outline and not wanting to admit it?
Feel what you're feeling without attaching or rationalizing or arguing. Now, refocus on your breath. Imagine gentle snow or waves. When you're calm inside, grab a notebook and pen (computers can amplify pressure instead of opening room for free scribbling) and write without stopping for three minutes, starting with the prompt, "I'm not blocked becauseÄ" After that, go for another three minutes, using, "The path back to my writing looks likeÄ" Let yourself go. Let your hand tell you whatever you need to hear.