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Writer’s block.

You hear so much about it. Writers complaining they are blocked, they cannot progress, they’ve been stuck on the same scene for weeks and just can’t seem to get it written. Writing it is like wading through treacle, and every time they try to write a bit more they end up getting nowhere.

I know the feeling. It is like repeatedly banging your head against a huge boulder, trying to smash the rock with your head so you can get past it. I’ve been there and done that, it’s not nice. But I have found a solution.

Don’t try to break through the blockage. Go around it instead.

That scene you’re stuck on – leave it. Just leave it half-written. Write something else instead – the next scene, the next chapter, a bit near the end of the book which you’ve had in mind for ages. Or if blocked on a short story, start another one instead. New characters, new problem, and see where you get to with that.

You can always come back to the unfinished scene/chapter/story later. You might then find it is easy to finish. Or even that it is no longer needed and you have thought of a better way of getting your characters where they needed to be at the end of that difficult scene.

Writing novels is all about forward momentum. But if there comes a time when going directly forward is not possible, you’re blocked, then deviate slightly to the left or right and find a new forward.

It works for me.