24 August, 2021

Battling Writers' Block

I want to address a question from the comments.

For the last several months, I've only been writing my weekly flash fiction, and I've been very terrible - yes: very. terrible - at visiting other blogs, even my favorites. So naturally, there are only a handful of regular-ish readers on this blog. 

Since most of what I do is flash fiction these days, I thought I'd explain a little.

During the A-to-Z Challenge, I actively solicited suggestions from readers, and managed to write an entire month solely using reader prompts! Since then, although my concluding note always asks for prompts in the comments, there have been few. 

Sometimes, like this past Fiction Friday, I sit at my computer with a blank mind. No ideas, no characters, nothing. Writers' Block. There seems to be nothing to write.

However, I am dedicated to my weekly fiction commitment! What to do when the brain is devoid of ideas?

In cases like that, I force myself to sit down - there's a grace period, since I'm 12 hours ahead of the US - and just use whatever phrase or quote comes to mind. For my most recent flash fiction, I ended up editing out my opening line. It happens. I don't even remember what it was.

I have a list of prompts, gleaned from the internet and my verbose husband, but my favorite thing when I'm stuck is to follow a random phrase in my head.

Now, there is ALWAYS a song in my brain. Always. I can't stop it. But also, influences from nature, from TV, from daily life - what would someone else do? - or the illustrious "what if?" and those often feed these little flash fiction tales. 

It's quite freeing, to know that I don't need to follow the story through and actually answer the questions that come up. So WHAT happened to Paige? I don't know. Does she have amnesia? Was she at a resort that brainwashed her? Was it an alien abduction and replacement scenario? 

I don't have a lot of luck with this but...

...What do you think? Which direction should this story go?


  1. I'd try to help you here, but I am pretty fried myself. I spent the day reading "Marigolds" by Eugenia Collier with 9th graders. (It's been a rough start of the school year.)

    1. My bad. I thought I was explaining how I get past writers block by simply writing. But I appreciate the thought!

  2. According to your Blog Archive, you have articles dating back to 2011. Go through and pick out some of the good ones, update them, and repost. Worth a try - and fun to reread old articles.

    1. Good idea...

      I must have really miscommunicated in this post. I thought I was saying that it is totally easy to get beyond writers block by simply writing and going with it. But in two comments, both of you suggest solutions to a problem I thought I had just solved. Oh well. This is why I should stick to fiction.


I enjoy a good debate. Feel free to shake things up. Tell me I'm wrong. Ask me why I have such a weird opinion. ...or, just laugh and tell how this relates to you and your life.