Writer's Block

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 I
really 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.


Discuss this exercise

Feel inspired? Share your story below.

Similar Exercises

Get your creative juices flowing with these similar creative writing exercises.

Writer's Block

Telephone Directory

It is commonly known that a telephone directory might be the most boring text in the entire world. Here is your challenge: write a page of a telephone directory and figure out SOME way to …

Writer's Block

Flowers

Pick one of the following flowers: Camellia, Azalea, Persimmon, Marigold, Holly, Elder, Ulmus, Verbena, Zinnia, Jonquil. Now locate it in the list below to find out the symbolism behind your flower. Write a short story based …

Writer's Block

The Story Swamp

Sometimes writers think up a character and jump straight into writing, without fully fleshing out the concept at a foundational level. This then means they falter and end up writing a very confused draft. I …

Writer's Block

Gossip Around Town

How people perceive your character may be markedly different from who your character really is. Think about what the average stranger might think — or hear — of your character. What’s the gossip around town …

Writer's Block

Batman versus Superman

Comic books don't have the luxury of prose, so what's said out loud needs to be both relevant and authentic. Take any conversation in your manuscript and try to transport it into the pages of …

Writer's Block

Fear Factor

Nothing can create conflict for your characters like good old-fashioned fear. Take time now to define your protagonist's biggest fear. Is it something physical (e.g. tight spaces or flying in an airplane) or internal (e.g. …