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5 Tips for beating writer's block

What do all writers fear? The dreaded Writer's Block. "Writer's Block" is a catch-all term for whatever it is that keeps the words from flowing out of our fingers like they normally do. Sometimes it's very tough to get past this road block. These 5 tips will help you moving again.

1. A Simple Outline: Nip it in the bud before it can grow. A simple outline will go a long way to keeping you on track and give you an end goal to work for. My outlines are made of five parts:
i.   Introduction to the characters
ii.  Initial crisis is introduced
iii. Bad guy gets the upper hand
iv. How the good guy triumphs (or does he?)
v.  Conclusion/setup for next book

2. Write first, play later. The easiest way to get my writing done is to do it first thing, before I even check my email. If I don't, distractions are way too tempting. Do you find that sitting in front of your television is too tempting? Unplug it. Don't let yourself plug it in until you meet your word count goal.

3. Get away. Leaving your usual writing area can give you the spark you need to keep going. Find a new coffee shop, take your laptop outside, rent a hotel room in the next town over. Anything that will break the monotony of your routine can get your gears moving again. I get my best work done in my hammock, believe it or not. I don't know what it is about laying in the shade on a warm day, away from my big computer, that increases my ability to write, but if I'm stuck and can't get away for a couple days, the hammock is my go-to writing spot. So get up and move, even if you just move to another room.

4. Utilize your tools. There are several tools I use for writing. One is yWriter (http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter5.html), which lets me set up my book in scenes. If one scene is causing a sticking point, I'll leave it alone for awhile and move on to the next. Writing the end can often help me fix the beginning. I also use Write or Die (http://writeordie.com/), a program that makes me shut off my editor brain and gets my creative brain communicating with my fingers.

5. Get help.  Sometimes I'm so stuck, I can't get myself out of the rut I've created. Talking through the problem is very important. I have several writer friends I can moan to when I get really stuck. They're very good at giving me what I need to break through, whether it be a sympathetic ear, new ideas to work with, or tough love (Suck it up, Buttercup). 

The Iron Locket
Samantha Warren is an indie fantasy and science fiction author who spends her days immersed in dragons, spaceships, and vampires. In the name of research, she enlisted the help of her pet dragon Anethesis and together they built a Noah's Ark-like space ship. Three trips through a hole in the time-space continuum allowed the pair to explore the universe decades into the past and eons into the future. They discovered how life would be without Earth and were forced to run from alien law enforcement when their ship was deemed unspaceworthy. In the long run, the constant demands of space travel and repairs cut into Samantha's sock fetish fund, so she was forced to sell her ark for half-price to a slimy creature that made Jabba the Hutt look like Brad Pitt.

After her years of traveling, she returned to her roots. When she isn't writing or reading, she is milking cows or trying to feed them Pop-Tarts and FiberOne bars (they like neither). She also spends a lot of time in her weed patch (aka: garden), drinking lattes at the Village Cafe, or watching any show featuring Gordon Ramsay. Anethesis remains by her side, sleeping away the day and hunting evil cat-eating coyotes by night.

Interested in contacting Samantha?
Email: samantha@samantha-warren.com
Twitter: @_SamanthaWarren
Blog: http://www.samantha-warren.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorsamanthawarren

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