A Conversation about Writer’s Block

Thank you to D.A. Kori Prier, author of Colorado Drift for writing this blog. In a conversation between two writers who are discussing Writer’s Block, one writer realizes how they have to change. One writer is a “plotter” (someone who outlines and organizes their manuscript before/during the writing process) and the other writer is a “pantser” (someone who writes by the seat of their pants). Both paths work, but sometimes, you need to change your process for a certain manuscript in order to get past a block.

 

Wow, so you’re a writer huh?

Yep.

I’m writing too, but I’m in a funk.

Yeah, why’s that?

I’m stuck. I’ve got Writer’s Block. So, you ever get blocked?

Nope.

Really, how do you keep from losing your train of thought?

I prepare.

What do you mean? How do you prepare?

Well, first I do a shovel full of research on my topic.

So, you research everything?

Not quite everything, but most of the story’s plot.

Then what do you do?

Well, I organize the research into an order that formulates into my plot.

Really?

Yep. Then I write an outline of the story with all the parts (research and ideas) flowing through my diagram. This way, I know where my story is going and what I have to write next. I can always adjust the outline if something doesn’t fit or if I come up with a brilliant idea.

And this works for you?

Yep.

Would it work for me, too?

Yep, but you have to be disciplined and do the research, organize your thoughts, and outline your plot.

It sounds like a lot of work.

It is, but it keeps my creative processes juiced and always flowing. Besides, how long have you had your Writer’s Block?

A couple of weeks now.

Well, in two weeks you could have done most or all of your research and developed an outline.

I see your point. I think I need to start doing a better job than just writing from the top of my head.

Good for you.

 

We all get stuck once in a while. Here are a few things you can try to help yourself get out of Writer’s Block.

  1. Get away from your story. Find a hobby and relax. Avoid thinking about your manuscript. As your body relaxes, your brain will, too, and it will naturally figure out the problem you are having with the plot—if that’s the reason you’re stuck and getting Writer’s Block.
  2. Set up a writing routine and do it every day, 6 days a week. Structure will help form positive habits that lead to positive creativity.
  3. Work on your research. A new idea could strike. Changing your process techniques could help the flow of ideas.
  4. Talk your problem out with a writing buddy or an editor. They may be helpful in getting you to the root of the problem.
  5. Go on vacation. Take a few days and do something you’ve never done before or go somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. Get away from the stresses of everyday life for a few days. This could help your creative process because you’ll be experiencing different emotions through your new experiences.
  6. Laugh. Spend some time with someone who makes you laugh. Laughter will help release tension.
  7. Pamper yourself: see a massage therapist, get a manicure or hair cut, or go to a spa. While you’re focused on yourself, your body will naturally relax and you’ll be able to figure out the problem.

 

New Release - Colorado Drift by D.A. Kori Prier

 

D.A. Kori Prier was born and grew up in the two-mile high town of Leadville, Colorado. Now retired, he lives in Northern California with his wife, Snuz. Colorado Drift is the first book of a new series. Mr. Prier’s extensive knowledge of the mountainous geography lends credibility to the story and makes the adventure feel real and possible. Kori and Snuz enjoy traveling with their three four-legged girls: Becca, Tessa, and Bella.

 

Colorado Drift takes the reader on a snowy, modernistic science fiction adventure inside a Rocky Mountain avalanche.

 

If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends who may find it useful. Thank you!

 

 

Thanksgiving Day: An Excerpt from News from Lake Boobbegone

Sometimes we need to look back at where we’ve been to move forward in life and in our hearts. Here’s an excerpt from Carolyn Redman’s News from Lake Boobbegone: A Breast Cancer Memoir from the Heart which became a #1 New Release in April 2017.

November 27, 2014,
Thanksgiving Day

 

So, these are the top ten things I’ve had to let go of this year: (1) my left breast, (2) 15 lymph nodes, (3) all of my hair, (4) my immune system, (5) my idea of beauty, (6) the illusion of control, (7) cocktails, (8) a plethora of tears, (9) a few extra pounds, and (10) wondering why me.

My last radiation treatment, or as I liked to euphemistically call it, “light therapy,” took place on November 10th. But even weeks after the treatment ended, radiation had left me looking and feeling like I’d been microwaved on high for far too long. Next to the mother of all sunburns, the emotional fatigue of daily treatments was probably the worst of it. I had been living “cancerously” for nearly a year now, and it had taken all of my resolve. Unlike chemo, I had to face radiation therapy on my own. No one could go with me, hold my hand, or sit by my side and distract me from these treatments. I had to dig deep and find even more strength I wasn’t sure I could muster.

The “mean wells,” my term for people who say dumb stuff unintentionally, keep reminding me how great things will be once I get back to normal. I don’t see how that is even remotely possible. I am missing a body part, have been infused with drugs potent enough to damage my heart and make my hair fall out, have been microwaved on high for 30 consecutive days, and as an added bonus have been chemically catapulted into menopause. And those are just the physical ramifications. Mix in equal parts anxiety, fear, and sadness, and the cancer train I’ve been on misses all the normal stops. What a disappointment and missed opportunity it would be if, after all of this, I turned out to be the exact same person I was before I was diagnosed.

I can’t quite go as far as to say that I am grateful I was diagnosed with breast cancer, but I can say that I am grateful for all of the realizations that have resulted because of it. I was given the opportunity to tap into a reservoir of courage I didn’t even know existed. I witnessed people at their best as they surrounded me with their clinical, surgical, and scientific expertise, genuine concern, humor, compassion, energy, and love. The word friendship took on a whole new meaning with each chemo sitter who took time out of her busy life to sit with me for hours on end. And I found out that my marriage was indeed for better or worse.

This Thanksgiving would be like no other because I finally understood the importance and power of gratitude. I had gained far more than I had lost this year and for that I was extremely grateful.

 

News from Lake Boobbegone by Carolyn Redman, copyright (C) 2017 by Carolyn Redman.

 

The Visitor by Barbara Raffin, A Supernatural Romance

 

“Intriguing, surprising, amazing. Well worth the read.” —S. C. Mitchell, Author of The Blarmling Dilemma

 

 

Copyright (c) 2017 by Written Dreams Publishing

Nine months after he’s been cremated, Rebecca Tierney’s husband shows up in her living room…naked.

Rebecca Tierney, now a widow, returns to the family home situated on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula bluffs nine months after her husband’s death to scatter his ashes on the largest, coldest, and most unforgiving of the Great Lakes—Lake Superior, one that never gives up its dead. Unable to handle the grief of missing her husband and the romance they shared, Rebecca becomes a recluse.

She soon finds out that there’s more than just memories in the old Victorian house than of a love ended too soon. A Visitor from afar has appeared and searches the house for the key that will stop his alien race from dying on his home planet. Rebecca can either help the clone reach his goal of finding a shipwreck, or let him die. When a young girl goes missing and someone from the clone’s past surfaces, hard choices must be made.

Only the long-forgotten secrets of the old house can free Rebecca from her grief and teach a man of logic that love is worth more than eternal life. Will she open her mind, and he, his heart to the unlimited possibilities?

 

 

 

Award-winning author Barbara Raffin lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  When Barbara’s not writing, reading, or daydreaming, she hangs out with her Keeshonden dogs, Katie and Slippers.

 

 

 

 

Shaking the Family Tree: A Journey from Addiction to Recovery by Dallas H.

Self-Help/Motivational

 

Dallas H illustrates in a beautifully poetic way in Shaking the Family Tree the predictable pattern of addiction and its impact on relationships. She acknowledges the subtle role of alcohol as a Great Deceiver that is sometimes temporarily veiled as the Great Deliverer. An attractive invitation—through personal experience—into self-awareness, recovery, and healing.”

—Austin W. Houghtaling, Ph.D., LMFT, Sr. Clinical Director, Caron Treatment Centers

 

There was a boogie man in the closet and its name was alcoholism.

 

This story is not for the faint at heart. Shaking the Family Tree is an anonymous personal memoir of a recovering alcoholic. It is interlaced with poetic offerings that take the reader to the heart and soul of the ramifications of the disease of alcoholism. Dallas’s story is one of coming to terms with what has become her family’s unfortunate legacy. She and her sister were raised by two loving parents who did the best they could. As young girls growing up, they never doubted for one moment whether or not they were loved, and were infused with a strong sense of family values.

Alcoholism wasn’t a stranger to the family. It could be traced back for four generations and continues to reveal itself in three younger generations of Dallas’s family. In her memoir, Dallas explains her battle with co-dependency, and the genetic predisposition for alcoholism being the single thread that ties it all together of what made her life a living hell.

Dallas didn’t give up. Although she wanted to kick the habit, it wasn’t easy. With the help of a loyal sponsor, a lot of determination, and several hard lessons Dallas now shares how she conquered her biggest demons and became a survivor of alcoholism.

 

 

About the Author: Dallas H. lives in a small friendly city in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. In addition to being a recovering alcoholic, she is a proud mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She is also a part-time employee at a local bank, a loving sister, a loyal friend, and a poet. Dallas considers herself to be just another run-of-the-mill alcoholic and refuses to allow that aspect of her makeup to define her.

In 2017, Dallas celebrates 30 years of continuous sobriety. And although she understands that this fact will not negate the genetic pre-disposition that curses her family, she hopes it may have a positive impact on those others, especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren who may be at risk.

News from Lake Boobbegone: A Breast Cancer Memoir from the Heart by Carolyn Redman

Self-Help/Women’s Memoir

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Question: Does the world really need another breast cancer memoir?

Answer: Probably not.

But writing is the only way Carolyn Redman knew how to process a heartbreaking breast cancer diagnosis and the year-long treatments that ensued.  These honest, heartfelt, and sometimes humorous e-mails and essays, written solely to keep family and friends informed of her medical condition morphed into the definitive exercise in self-compassion and healing. In the end, no one was more surprised or more grateful than she was to find purpose and meaning masquerading as cancer.

 

 

 

 

About the Author:  

Carolyn Redman has been writing poetry and short stories since junior high school, where she was erroneously labeled by her guidance counselor as having the wrong kind of imagination. She persevered, earning a BA (cum laude) from Mount Mary University in English / Professional Writing, while working full time as an editorial assistant at an academic medical institution. She is a Wisconsin state licensed massage therapist who believes strongly in integrative medicine and the mind body connection. She was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she lives with her artist husband Tom and their cat, Sophie. This is her first published work.

My Story: Faith, Family, Farm by Marjorie M. Beyersdorf

Christian Women’s Memoir

Coming in 2017!

Meet Marjorie M. Beyersdorf, Wisconsin farm woman.

After the tragic death of her mother, Marjorie and her older brother are placed into her grandfather’s care. At her grandfather’s Wisconsin home, her farm animal pets, a goat Nicky and a dog Teddy become her companions.

my-faith-ebook-1Marjorie marries and starts a family. She cares for her husband and children, and together they work on their dairy farm. Years later, and with the untimely deaths of her two oldest children, then two divorces, God’s comfort and strength is fully realized as He sustains Marjorie.

She continues to grow spiritually, her reliance and trust in the Lord helping Marjorie through her life’s trials. Now, for the first time, Marjorie reveals her life story in My Story: Faith, Family, Farm.

Author Bio: Marjorie M. Beyersdorf has spent her life caring for her family and working with dairy cattle. Her achievements of fortitude and hard work were recognized in 1996 when she placed as runner-up for Wisconsin Farm Woman of the Year. At present, she’s active in assisting in the milking of the dairy herd and feeding the baby calves on the home farm. Life for Marjorie truly shows the joy of the Lord is her strength. She lives in Wausau, Wisconsin.

 

WHEN DREAMS COME TRUE SHORT STORY ANTHOLOGY

ROMANTIC FANTASY

OUT OF PRINT

Cover Art © 2013 by Written Dreams.

 

We asked the 10 authors to write a romantic fantasy short story about the trials and tribulations we endure in order to make our dreams come true. Included are ten romantic fantasy stories written by Esther M. Friesner, Abby Goldsmith, Christen Anne Kelly, John Marco, Victoria Murray, Mickey Zucker Reichert, Laura Resnick, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Randy Tatano, and Tricia Zoeller with a special poem from Lessie DeGroot.

A special thanks goes to Kim Wickman for the amazing cover art, and to all the authors for giving us such great stories to include in this anthology.