Monday, August 18, 2008

Guest Blogger: MARY BURTON

Today we have another amazing and special author with us, the very talented, multi-published Mary Burton. Visit her website, and check out all the terrific titles she's already had released, and the next one I'm Watching You, which looks fabulous, too!! Mary's talking about the dreaded "Writer's Block" today and if you've experienced it, you know it's a writer's worst nightmare... So, over to Mary now....

Writer's Block

All writers fear Writer's Block. But there are going to be times when the words just won’t flow. Those days can be maddening and frustrating but I’ve come to accept them as part of writing. When I do find myself bogging down, there are a few tricks I’ll now try to get the words flowing again.

Change a key element in a scene. Change the point of view, move the setting or change the time of day. One modification creates a ripple effect that can really get your mind working.

Get away from the computer. I’ve known other writers that take a walk, do pottery or retreat to their gardens. If I’m really stuck, I head to the kitchen to bake. I don’t tackle anything huge, maybe a batch of cookies or a dozen cupcakes. Its amazing how doing something that stimulates the right side of the brain can open my mind and get the pages flowing again.

Reviewing research. Often the answer is in the research. Reviewing textbooks or interview notes often jogs my brain and before I know it I’m writing again.

Take a nap or meditate. Sounds silly but just a few minutes of shut eye or extreme silence can get my brain into a creative mode and unblock what’s holding me back.

Skip the tough part. Some days, with a deadline looming, I’ve got to get the pages in the computer no matter what. In these cases, I skip the part that’s giving me trouble and move on. Often writing ahead will answer story questions that had me stumped earlier.

The trick about writer’s block is not to get too worked up about it. It’s a fact of most writers’ lives. Try some of my suggestions and see if it gets your brain moving.

Mary Burton


  1. Thanks for the great suggestions, Mary! I find that my own writers block can bring on a stage of panic if I let it get away from me. I usually walk away from my computer and sleep on it overnight. Usually something will shift and I'll be back in business again. I do fear that there will come a day when it won't come back- I guess all writers feel this way! Congratulations on your success.

    Devon Gray

  2. oh yes the thing that all writers hate the most...For me I try to step away for a bit and destract myself, maybe watch something that is not writing related

  3. I definitely agree, especially the part about getting away from the computer. I found that to be true yesterday, and went out dancing where I found the rhythm of the music played with my mind and suddenly I was envisioning a whole scene being played out. Today I'm reworking that scene and it seems to be writing itself. Then again, I danced so much last night, I can't get up off this chair this morning -- my legs ache!

    Collette Thomas

  4. Hi Mary!
    Wow, your new book looks great! Scary!! : )

    When I have writers block, I have to walk away as well. I usually scrub my house, do some baking, work in the garden, or my favorite, discuss it with the horses while I clean out stalls. That actually works out better then the others. : ) They give great kisses in return. : )

    Thank you for some of the other suggestions! All very helpful!


  5. Thanks for hosting Mary today on her virtual book tour, Denyse!

  6. Great advice. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Elaine Cantrell

  7. What great suggestions, Mary! I'm just getting out of writer's block hell, so these ideas will really help!

    Jenny Gilliam

  8. Thanks for the advice, Mary. Sometimes I have a hard time deciding what I should write in a short email. I enjoyed "I'm Watching You" and am looking forward to reading Kendall's story.

  9. Nice article with some great advice. There are times when I just literally have to walk away to give my brain some rest. Forcing it never works for me.


  10. Hi Mary, great suggestions. Usually when I just go bake or do anything else, something aligns, and the words and the scene are there.
    Congrats on all your success!


Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.