Wednesday, January 18, 2012


This question is from R., a student in Ms. Jurkowski's writing club: We need to know what a writer does when you are writing a story and your train of thought just stops.

MY ANSWER: Usually walk away for a few minutes - go for a walk, or write another scene or something unrelated - give him a random word and have him incorporate into what he's writing now or have him just write something totally unrelated to what he is working on - for like 5 minutes - maybe that will spark his thinking back to what he's working on now.

Teacher's reply: Thank you so much for answering R. right away! He was near tears and ready to quit Writer's Club because he was stuck in that story. He had written a page and a half already and I hated the thought of him quitting. Your advice was great and he tried it. He was just wandering around the room but at least he didn't quit. He was so excited that you responded right away and I left him with the phone so that as soon as you answered he would be the one to read it. He thought that was wonderful!

My reply to teacher about quitting: Cool. Glad he is sticking with it. Sometimes we do start stories that we just have to put away for a long time and just move on to something else. Please tell him not to quit (although every author has been there), but to keep plugging away. The stories will come as they need to come, like the story I'm working on right now - it is really speaking to me and causing me not to work on my state stories.

I'm sure every writer at some point in time has come upon that proverbial brick wall and felt like quitting, but if you quit, you leave so many what ifs out there, that you may feel lost for a while. Quitting isn't the answer, but sometimes a story may fizzle and will have served its purpose of only getting you started on something major. Thanks for the great question, R., and I hope you keep up the writing. Mrs. E :)


Runaway Artists said...

I enjoyed reading this, as I am a writer (and artist) too, and get frustrated....
Please visit mine at
Jenny :)

elysabeth said...


Thanks for finding my blog. With this new feature of WWYWWQ I hope to inspire young folks to embark in the wonderful world of writing. Hopefully you will find some of the advice helpful as well. Hang in ther and don't let the frustrations get to you; perseverence is what it takes to get past those frustrating moments. Welcome to my blog - E :)

Carol Baldwin said...

Good answer, Elysabeth! I think just writing randomly helps me. Or right now I am beginning every writing session by writing a journal post from my character's POV. Feel free to pass that along!

elysabeth said...


Thanks for the tidbit. How's the "journal from the character's POV" going? Is it helping advance the story or are you using it just to get started with your writing for that session?

I hope more classes will participate otherwise I'll be out of questions very quickly - lol. The next WWYWWQ will be posted on February 1, since I have a guest speaker next Wednesday and it's a good one about chapter breaks. - See you in the postings - E :)