How to overcome writer’s block: Forget the chapter and start with a scene

Thinking you need to figure out chapter one…before you start typing away will only succeed in eating up a lot of time…[instead] write any scene you feel fairly certain belongs somewhere in the story.

Joni B. Cole

Joni Cole, a masterful writing workshop leader, taught me (and many other writers) how to overcome writer’s block using small and positive steps.

Thankfully you don’t need to be a writer or in her workshop to learn all the good advice she has built up over the years. You can find it in her book, Good Naked: How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier. (Please note the quote comes from the first edition of the book. I’ve already pre-ordered the expanded edition available on 9/1/22.)

In it, she reminds us that beating ourselves up doesn’t help. What works instead is receiving encouragement and developing one’s craft. And, best of all, she shares these lessons using candid stories that many writers can relate to. So the book is also an enjoyable read.

There are so many ways to get stuck–not just in writing but in other aspects of life. Time and time again I’ve witnessed that the best way to get unstuck is to start small and focus on something positive. Of course, when I write, I forget my own advice. Thanks to Joni for all the good reminders.

Gardening Notes

I thought the lavender bush I bought last year did not survive the winter. But, luckily, some parts of it grew back and some of the seeds from its flowers grew as well. While I don’t have as many flowers as I did last year, I was so happy to see these blooms.

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