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Writer Derailed! Curing Writer’s Block

Got writer’s block? Were you on a roll only to crash and burn? How do you get back on track when you’ve stopped writing?

Writer Derailed!

Marina Writing
Marina back in action!

When Board Advisory and Executive Coach Marina Cvetkovic joined my Bring Your Book to Life® Program to write her book, she dove into the Quick Start exercises and sent me a writing sample almost immediately. She continued to write in the flow. And then…

A 10 day vacation derailed her. The dreaded “Writer’s Block” set in.

“I just haven’t opened that word document since.”

There's No Time Like the Present to Shift Out of Writer's Block! Click To Tweet

I asked Marina to open the document while we were on the phone. “How long can you write for right now?”

“An hour to an hour and a half.”

“Great. Write now and call me back when you’re done to let me know you did it. We’re going to end that writer’s block now.

Marina and I both knew that she needed to break her new habit of writer’s block by just writing. And sometimes it’s easiest to do that with a little support and accountability.

So, if you’ve been putting off your writing, call a friend right now! Now. Don’t even finish reading this blog post. Just call him (or her) and say that you need some accountability to get past writer’s block. You’re going to write for an hour (or whatever time you want) and then call back to say, “I’ve done it.” If you get voice mail, leave a voice message. You can still call back in an hour with your triumphant message #2.

Now, Schedule.

schedule writing, get over writer's block
Photo by STIL on Unsplash

I’m going to assume you just finished writing for an hour. Have you?

Good. Here’s your next step.

If you’ve been reading this blog or my emails for a while, you know that I am all for scheduling specific writing times in your calendar, then treating that time like it’s an important meeting, one that you would hesitate to reschedule.

Marina shared that she hadn’t needed to schedule writing times before vacation. She always fit her writing in and the writing flowed.

I understood, but since she needed to regain momentum, I didn’t want to count on “fitting it in.” I suggested she schedule a couple of times during the week as her back up. If she found herself writing other times, she would not need to write during the back up times unless she wanted. However, if she hadn’t written before that, she’d need to write during the scheduled times.

Did it work? We’ll have to ask Marina in a few days. Will it work for you? You tell me. Did you write? If so, please share that as a comment below. Or make a commitment for when you’ll write and then check back here to say, “I did it.”

Enjoy the writing!

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

Reader Interactions


  1. Dr. James Zender says

    Great post as usual. It is all too easy to lose momentum. I could not get things going until I took 12 days off by myself in a new environment to regain mine after experiencing a significant loss. Now my writing is flowing more organicly and I am seeing some lights at the end of the tunnel. Working on an index and subject interviews helped me break through some blockage, as did doing a preface.

    • Lisa Tener says

      Thank you for sharing this, James. What a great reminder to tend to ourselves and our hearts in order for our writing to flow. Your sense to work on tasks with less “charge” to them to just get the energy moving is also a great tip for anyone feeling blocked. If you’re stuck on one area, move on to something that feels easy, compelling or you just feel excited to do. I am sorry for your loss.

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