Tag Archives: mindset

Writer’s Block, Part 2

Practical Tools to Deal with Writer’s Block

Last week we talked about writer’s block and viewing it through a different lens. Sometimes all you need to do is shift your mindset.

But in case that’s not enough to get the words flowing smoothly again, here are a few practical tools.

1. Consider writer’s block a luxury.

Writers, such as Tim Grahl (Running Down a Dream), Steven Pressfield (The War of Art), and Natalie Goldberg (Writing Down the Bones), have all written a variation on this advice. Goldberg even suggests that you open a notebook and write “I don’t know what to write” over and over until you’re bored enough that you begin to write something else.

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Pantsers and Plotters

Are you a pantser or a plotter or a planter (should that be pottser)?

Pantsers are writers who do not write with a plan. Outlines feel like handcuffs. They sit at the keyboard just to see what happens next, or who will show up.

Plotters are the exact opposite. They come ready to write, plan in hand. They already know what happens next, and next, and next, and there will be no surprise guests in their character roster.

Then there are the rest of us: some combination of pantser and plotter who has at least a loose plan in their head and enough flexibility to meander down a creative stream when it appears.

Which is better?

To be clear, there isn’t a “right” way to write. No extra brownie points, or fans leaving reviews, if you plot over pant, or vice versa.

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Time to Write

An hourglass with blue sand sits at a tilt on pebbles.

Last month I asked what writing problem you would solve if you had a magic wand, and several of you said you’d magic up more time to write. Last I heard, the Ministry of Magic still isn’t loaning time turners to Muggles, so what else can you do to find time to write?

Last month I asked what writing problem you would solve if you had a magic wand, and several of you said you’d magic up more time to write. Last I heard, the Ministry of Magic still isn’t loaning time turners to Muggles, so what else can you do to find time to write?

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Welcome to the Teaching Corner!

Nicole is wearing a brightly colored flowing dress and sneakers. She stands in an open door. She is smiling.

I’ve always been a teacher at heart, and I love sharing what I know about editing and writing to help authors grow. This is why I created the blog “An Editor’s Teaching Corner for Writers.”

Each post will contain a writing tip from one element of the Teaching Corner Framework, which consists of Mindset, Content, Mechanics, and Feedback to help you grow as a writer. So what kinds of things will I be teaching?

Mindset: Mindset tips will cover everything from imposter syndrome to defining success, to creating a writing practice that works for your individual style.

Content: Content tips will dive deep into story elements and other ideas that make your writing unputdownable. Nonfiction folks, don’t worry, I’ll explore content areas for your growth, too.

Mechanics: Mechanics tips will cover ways to improve your writing at the word and sentence level. Think all things punctuation, grammar, spelling, formatting, etc.

Feedback: Feedback tips will explore how to source feedback and what to do with it once you’ve received it.

What kinds of things will I not cover? The Teaching Corner won’t explain publishing or marketing tips. That is not my wheelhouse, and there are other folks who are doing a great job with this already. However, I promise to share helpful resources in these areas whenever I run across one.