Do you have special writing rituals to avoid writer’s block?

First, I don’t believe in writer’s block as an existential crisis. Sometimes writers need a break—after a serious illness, the death of a loved one, a protracted series of deadlines that have led to burnout. As a general rule of thumb, I try to take good care of myself to avoid the worst pitfalls of writing. This means a good night’s sleep, regular refilling of my creative well ala Julia Cameron, and the basics of good fitness and nutrition. If the words aren’t flowing then I’m procrastinating for a reason–maybe I don’t have the characters as fleshed out in my mind as I need them to be, or perhaps I haven’t figured out why these two people should be together, in love, in their own happily-ever-after or happily-ever-after-for-now. Sometimes I need to take out a pencil (and sharpener!) and brainstorm on a legal pad, or go for a long walk. When I’m putting the words down, however, I can do that anywhere–I take my iPad Pro everywhere and write in all kinds of fancy and not-so-nice coffee shops. I’ve been known to get words in while sitting in my car, waiting on a child at drama or sports practice. Now that I’m an official empty nester, I’m able to write for longer stretches at home or out and about. But it always comes back to knowing my hero and heroine (and villain if applicable) and forging ahead with the next scene.

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