When the Words don’t Flow

This is not an insurmountable problem. So great sentences aren’t forming. Make lousy ones. Pull the words out. Or push them out, if that’s how you visualize your writing process. If what you are writing is not coming easily, sit down and write something else. Write anything else. Write complete drivel. It doesn’t matter. Just put words on paper or in a document. They only have to be words. They don’t have to be great ones. String the words you have into sentences and the sentences into paragraphs. You’ll soon find it gets easier and before you know it, you have something you can polish into something. Or maybe you won’t. It’s hard to say one way or the other.

It’s how I wrote this blog. The words didn’t want to come out of my head, so I just stopped trying to make them come out as I wanted and then the words that wanted to come out, did. Sometimes that’s what happens. Sometimes I find when I can’t write a piece I’m working on, I just sit still and listen the words that are demanding to be released. Then I release them. So I sometimes get something I don’t expect. Usually it’s not worth letting anyone read them, not even myself. I read it as I write the words and lock them away in my private journal never to see the light of day. Other times, I bring the work out and publish them as blogs like this one. This one was a hard one to write. I fought for each word in it and they fought back.

When the words don’t fall over themselves to leave my mind, I force them. Sometimes that works. Other times it doesn’t. When that happens, it’s best to shelve whatever you are trying to do and go read, take a walk, or just watch TV. Play a game. Go to the gym. Do anything but write. Then the next day, see if the words want to come out and play. Nine times out of ten they will do just that.

So how do you know which technique will work? You don’t. That’s a sad fact, but it’s true. I typically try to force it first and if that doesn’t work, I move on to the technique of not writing. It’s my process and it may not be good for you. It works for me. Just try muscling through and see what happens. If nothing does, then do nothing. Sometimes that’s all you can do. Knowing that can save you heartburn and time.
So don’t let anyone tell you that writer’s block isn’t real. It is. Too many writers have it for it to be imaginary. If you force the words out, they will begin flowing. Maybe they won’t be pretty words arranged in sparkling prose. If that doesn’t happen, that’s how you know to relax and find something else to do. You will either write, or you won’t. It’s as simple as that.


I am not one who is comfortable talking about myself but here goes. I enjoy writing, family history, and reading. I decided to do this blog because I wanted to try something new. I decided to make it a weekly blog because I wasn't sure that I could keep up with a daily one, and monthly seemed like I was writing a magazine. I think I did ok with my choices. You'll notice that there are not a lot of graphics on my site. That's because there are graphics plastered everywhere on the Internet and those sites sometimes take forever to load. This blog is a place where you can kick back, relax and be ready to be amused. At least I hope I willbamuse you. This blog is on a variety of subjects from my ficitional cat agency, the FFL, which is monthly, to instructional blogs to editorials, which are my opinions only. I admit that I don't know everything and could be wrong -- I frequently am. Now, stop reading about me and read what I have to say!

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Posted in General Opinion, Writing Techniques

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© Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den, 2010-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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