15 responses to “Drano for writers: 10 tricks to get the words flowing again”

  1. Natalia

    I like it!

    The tip to take a notebook and pen with you everywhere is right on.

    Love the title. Reminds me of Hermes’ “Caribbean drano” (Futurama) and it’s very visual. Ha.

  2. Paula B.

    Stopping while the words are flowing has got to be the *worst* advice for dealing with blocks I’ve ever heard, Michelle. If I did that, I’d be blocked for hours! Days, even.

  3. Paula B.

    Here’s how I think of it, Michelle. You wake up in the middle of the night with a great idea, but you don’t write it down, so in the morning it’s gone.

    To me, that’s what stopping when you’re on a roll is like. Fiction, nonfiction, whatever.

  4. Michele | Writing the Cyber Highway

    Sometimes photos do it for me. If I have to find a photo for the article myself, I’ll stop writing and find that photo. There have been a lot of times that the perfect photo has inspired me and that’s all it took for the words to flow!

    Other times, I take a walk outside with my camera and just take pics of whatever: the clouds, flowers, insects. And after I’ve cleared my head for a bit, I come back and get busy.

    Great post! I tweeted about it and shared it on Facebook. 🙂


  5. Rebecca Laffar-Smith

    I think Lifehacker’s advice is about training your state. By stopping while you’re still ‘in the flow’ rather than waiting until you’re blocked when you come back to the page your mind has an easier time getting back into state. If every time you leave the page you’ve reached ‘the end’ or ‘the hard part’ then every time you come back to the page it’s unfriendly.

    Still, sometimes NOTHING much works. My current novel has been ‘waiting’ for me for what feels like months now and I still haven’t found a way to get past the block, on other projects it’s just fine. In fact, so long as I avoid all thought of my novel my writing flow is wonderful. If I start thinking about the book EVERYTHING jams up. Wish there was a more literal drano for that kind of problem. lol

  6. Style and Inspiration

    Hi Michelle,

    I love your blog! I’ve been making my way through all of your posts. I’m at December 08 so far and loving it all! Thanks for all of the useful info!

  7. J. Bentz

    I prefer any type of cognitive distraction – like throwing a baseball into a glove, for example. You can still think about your subject, but the mechanical action of throwing the ball forces your brain to be “doing” something else.

    That, and I’m a total baseball geek, so any excuse I can get to pull out the glove is good with me!

  8. David Hayes

    I mainly do longer feature writing. When I finish an interview, often combined with seeing a subject in action, at a “scene” of some kind, & am ready to transcribe, I first roughly describe the scene (clothing, environment, actions, etc). When I’m ready to write the first draft, I have several of these “scenes” already roughly written. Usually one of them is the opening. Maybe another is a scene I know will be used mid-way through the piece. I just copy-and-paste it into the first draft & begin fine-tuning. Presto, I’m not facing a blank screen, a major trigger for writer’s block. In effect, I started writing the story while I was doing the reporting & interviewing. I’ve found this to be very effective.

  9. The NaNo Plan – Ready, Set, Write! « Brainstorms & Bylines

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