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2 Ways I Avoid Writer's Block by Jill Kemerer #ww

2 Ways I Prevent Writer’s Block {Updated}

It’s the final Wednesday of January! Where did this month go? Well, around here it was buried under snow and negative temperatures, but I’ve whined enough on social media sites, so I’ll shut my mouth!

I’ve been writing a first draft, and first drafts are the hardest stage of writing for me. I love plotting–adore plotting! Revising? Challenging, but I enjoy it. Polishing gets me excited because I know the book is THIS close to being finished. But the writing itself…

It would be terribly easy for me to get writer’s block. Every day. I wish I was kidding! For me, getting started is the tricky part. Thankfully, there are a bajillion writing blogs out there, and I’ve experimented with various tips. Here’s what gets me back into my story each day.

2 Ways I Prevent Writer’s Block

  1. At the beginning of each writing session, I read through the previous scene.
  2. At the end of each writing session, I sketch out the next 2-3 scenes.

If I didn’t do these two steps every time I sat down to write, I would stare at the screen for hours.

Reviewing the previous scene jogs my memory and gets me back into the story quickly. And since I have the next 2-3 scenes outlined, all I have to do is review my notes to pick up where I left off.

At the end of the writing session, I’m usually really tired. I’m always tempted to skip my prep work for the next day. But I don’t let myself. I know from experience if I don’t spend 5-10 minutes thinking of the next scenes, I’ll regret it. I’ll end up wasting time and creating more work for myself. No thanks!

**Update: 10-28-2019** Jerry B. Jenkins has a terrific article with plenty of other tips to help with writer’s block. You can access it here, “How to Overcome Writer’s Block Once and For All: My Surprising Solution.”

Here’s the companion video if you’re interested.

How do you prevent writer’s block? What gets you back into your story quickly?

If you’re dealing with the bitter cold like I am, try to stay warm! If you’re in warmer climates, I wish I was there!


Jill Kemerer is a Publishers Weekly bestselling author of heartwarming, emotional, small-town romance novels often featuring cowboys. She hopes to encourage readers through her books the way so many books have encouraged her. Jill's essentials include coffee, caramels, a stack of books, her mini-doxie, and long walks outdoors. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two almost-grown children. For more information, visit her website,

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Yes we are dealing with bitter cold also. This morning I woke up to -22.5 and windy. But the sun is out so that is great. I am not a writer, but I do get blocks when I quilt/sew. I have found for me, that before I even attempt to sew/quilt I have a short prayer time with my Lord. Most of the time it helps. Other times, I think He is telling me Not Right Now.
    Stay warm and safe.

    1. Brr! It’s currently -9 with -35 degree windchill here. It’s so cold! The sun is out here, too, and I’m thankful for it! I love that you quilt and sew and pray about it. I do the same thing with my writing. 🙂 Hang in there–only a few more days of this bitter cold!

  2. Great tips! I also reread the previous scene or two (or more if it’s been a long time since I was in a particular story I’ve got going) before writing for the day. While I don’t always plot out the next couple of scenes, I constantly have Post-Its scattered about my work area with notes for future scenes or things I must remember to bring back into play to wrap up a few threads.

    Jill, I hope the rest of this first draft flies by for you. Then you’ll be able to get to the fun stuff (since you said revising was more fun than first-drafting for you). You’ve got this!

      1. Great job! Epilogues aren’t typically very long, so you might have even finished that up by now. If not, I’m sure you’ll knock it out of the park soon!

  3. I have to visit my story everyday or I feel like I will be lost in the plot. There are times when I can’t work on the story and then, frustration sets in. One way to get back into the story quickly is to read the last few scenes. 🙂
    Chilly here in SC. Not cold like some places.

  4. I don’t get writers block often, because I toggle back and forth between projects. One of them is always fresh to me. Also, I’m trained in journalism, and there’s no room for blocks of any kind there. When the story is there, you do it. But fiction and creative nonfiction are different. It doesn’t just have to get done, it has to get done perfectly. So when I am blocked, or just “don’t feel like it,” I make use of the time-tested techniques: take a walk, take a trip, read a good book and aspire, read a bad book and say ‘I can do better,’ or, last resort, DON’T finish a scene or chapter and come back to it the next day. Right now I’m contracted for the first time in my life, so I’m getting used to publishers’ deadlines. This is not a life for the faint of heart–or the disorganized.
    Kathy Bailey

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