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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > April 2018 > BEAT writers’ block

BEAT writers’ block

Can’t write? Struggling to find words or inspiration? Follow Sophie Beal’s advice to make writer’s block a thing of the past

WRITERS’ SURVIVAL GUIDE

Professional writers will often tell you they don’t believe in writer’s block. Everyone has days, however, when they feel deprived of motivation or inspiration. For some people the days extend into months and even years. At its worst, this thing that isn’t supposed to exist makes them question their sanity. JK Rowling found it a particular issue writing Goblet of Fire, under pressure from her publishers and readers to produce a book at least as good as the last three. That was the period where I was chewing Nicorette,’ she told TIME magazine in 2005.

‘And then I started smoking again, but I didn’t stop the Nicorette. And… I was going to bed at night and having palpitations and having to get up and drink some wine to put myself into a sufficient stupor.

The symptoms of writer’s block

The term ‘writer’s block’ is misleading. It’s more a mismatch between what you think you should be achieving and what you feel capable of, leading to a feeling of being overwhelmed. Like a cold, it can barely affect you, or make you feel like death. Symptoms include:

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BUMPER ISSUE including your 2018 Competition Supplement with details of writing prizes worth over £450,000 Inside, read our writer's survival guide to discover how to beat writer's block, learn what you need to do to make your writing dreams come true, and how to make the most of London Book Fair. Discover what made Michael Bond's beloved bear Paddington such a popular character, and keep up to date with all the opportunities to get published in Writers' News. If you want to know how to take readers on an rollercoaster ride, read our star interview with Dorothy Koomson, the bestselling author of unputdownable emotional thrillers.

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