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Writer's block is the worst. The worst! When it strikes and I find myself sitting at my desk, staring at nothing, I often feel like my white laptop screen is snickering at me and sending me horrible thoughts. You suck, Maria! Who are you to think you can be a writer? Why don't you just give up?

Is that how you feel when you get writer's block? If so, isn't it awful? I truly hate it.

A friend of mine is a creative director at an advertising agency, and we recently had a conversation about the brainstorming process, which we agreed is similar in many ways to the writing process. She told me that when she encounters a mental block, she finds it helpful to break her pattern.

For example:

  • Make yourself get up a half-hour early.
  • Go to your office via a new route, whether it's driving/bus/subway/walking.
  • Listen to a different radio station on your commute.
  • Buy your morning coffee somewhere new.
  • Go for a walk with your head on a swivel, and look for things you normally wouldn't notice.

My friend said it's human nature to fall into a routine, and that shaking things up even a little bit can help unlock that creative energy. I liked her suggestions and plan to try some of them the next time I find myself facing the dreaded BLANK screen of my laptop, willing my brain to come up with something, ANYTHING. Usually when I'm stuck I go for a run or to the gym, but those things are part of my regular routine, so perhaps my friend is on to something.

Do you have a proven strategy for dealing with writer's block? If so, please share in the comments so we can all learn from each other.

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at

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