Category: Writer’s Block

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Fear of the Blank Page

“How do I deal with my fear of failure? My fear of facing the blank page?”
—Britney Fears

Dear Britney,

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Common Structural Problems

From an independent editor’s perspective, there are common obstacles I see in writers’ work, and some of these are structural glitches.  Sometimes when this happens, a writer begins to lose faith. The work seems to have issues, and one suspects they may have to do with form rather than content.

As with a lot of things, when we can formulate the question, we almost always find the answer arriving right behind it. Below, I have compiled a list of six common structural problems, in the hopes that by recognizing a particular issue a little more quickly, the remedy will come with a minimum amount of heartbreak.

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Stop Writing Now

When a writer approaches me for a critique, there is always this no-man’s-land between what they have finished at that moment, and what they want to have finished by the time I look at their work. Quite frequently a writer will ask for a period of time, three weeks, say, to clean things up a little, or two months, to write the rest of what they have in mind. After that they will send me their work, what do I think of that? I tell them that if they want my honest opinion, it’s to stop writing now.

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Role of the Prompter

Writing teachers often say that finding your own unique voice is the most important thing to do as a writer. But what are you to do when you struggle to find your voice: Mimic authors you admire or write like the author you are reading at the moment?

The thing is, when people speak of voice in writing circles, they don’t often talk about what it is. It’s pretty simple, really. It is the voice you hear in your head.

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