Wednesday, June 22, 2011

When You're Stuck

Writing has been like the proverbial pulling teeth metaphor lately. I sit at my desk and try to compose something brilliant, but alas, nothing but meaningless gibberish spews onto the page.

Last night, however, I decided to try something different. I'm not sure where I read this idea, but it suggested that if the writing isn't going well, doing some other creative task might just do the trick to get you "unstuck."

In essence, we need to fill the creative well.

So! I figured I would give it a try.

My daughter wanted to do an activity together last night and she chose drawing. We got our paper and pencils and How to Draw Scooby Doo book out and set to work on the kitchen table.

I drew a pretty darn good picture of Scooby Doo, if I do say so myself, and had great fun doing it. My daughter, who is a fabulous artist, drew a much more complicated picture of the sleuthing dog, and stroked my ego by telling me, "See, Mom? You CAN draw!"

When I went up to my office an hour or so later, I turned on the laptop, opened my Word doc.,  and started typing. It was slow going at first as I tried to feel my way back into the story. It took me a few hundred words to get going again, but then something "clicked" inside my brain...and I was off!

I wrote over 2,000 words last night and had to make myself stop so I could get to bed. I'd call that a successful writing session.

My advice? Next time you're stuck, do something else creative that doesn't involve writing. Draw a picture. Sew something. Paint. Scrapbook. Arrange a bouquet of wildflowers. You might be surprised at how well your writing takes off!


  1. Great advice Melissa! And 2000 words! I'm impressed!!

  2. Good for you, Melissa! Congratulations!


  3. I'll definitely try this. When I think about it, taking photographs sometimes works for me, framing life in that lens and seeing things a little differently that way. It inspires the muse ...

  4. Okay, I'll try it. I'm stuck and I need unstuck! My daughter has been asking me to show her how to draw horses (the ONE thing I can draw!)

  5. Wonderful advice!! I will remember this and good for you on so many words:)

  6. Hi Melissa--I like the scooby do method of refilling the well :)

  7. Well done! I spent the morning baking, then came up with an idea while eating the spoils. Could be my Camp NaNoWriMo idea for the summer!

    Love that comic, btw... :)))

  8. Valerie - Thanks! I love it when I get on a roll and just churn out the words. :-)

    Thank you, Linda!

    Joanne - Oh yes. I think photography would definitely be the perfect activity for this.

    Margo - Go for it!!!

    Terri - Thanks!

    Daniel - LOL! I'll have to refer to it that way from now on - the Scooby Doo method! Thanks for stopping by. I'm really enjoying your "write better sentences" blog posts. Great stuff!

    Anna - Baking! Another great way to be creative. Plus, like you said, you can eat the spoils. Perfection!

  9. Awesome advice! And well done on 2000k in one writing session! ;-)

  10. Nicely done! (And how sweet of your daughter to compliment your drawing!) :)


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