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I want to be a writer, but what do you do when you have writer's block?!

Hi! I'm Ms. Eldridge at the International Community School. My 5th graders have a few questions and I'd like to share your advice with them. Thanks in advance!

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Ben’s Answer

The best way to cure writer's block is to keep writing. This may sound a little like "the best way to cure depression is to be happy." But the truth is that all writers suffer from "writer's block" at some point. This is because writing is hard. If you're writing for work or for pleasure, fiction or nonfiction, try writing a journal entry when you get stuck. It'll help get the juices flowing. But it may be that you just need to step away for a bit and then come back to your writing project. The important thing to remember is that writer's block is natural, and you'll get through it if you just persevere.

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Rachelle’s Answer

Hi this is Rachelle and I also have writer's block sometimes. I think many people do. What helps me is to step away from my writing and give myself a break. I also encourage you to create an outline before you start writing so you have an idea what you want to write. That way if you get stuck, you can go back to your outline to get you back on track. Also consider what gives you inspiration in life. Sometimes it helps me when I think about my favorites books or stories. I also go back to a book or article I read to help give me ideas. If anything, don't give up. Give yourself the space and time to work through your writer's block. There are You Tube videos with authors that may also give you some advice. Keep it up and good luck to you!! You can do it.

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Howard’s Answer

Writer's block seems to be shaped differently for each one of us. The overall reason for writer's block might seem obvious. You just run out of ideas. Or don't know how to correctly shape the ideas running through your mind on a given subject. I think it's deeper than that. Writer's block can mean that you're not an observant reader. Or that you might not be reading enough. Reading offers-up a myriad of ways to understand how to expose a story through a deliberate developmental process. Adapting some of those ways to inform your process can lubricate your own style and choice of topic. It also helps to find out - through the reading of your favorite authors - how to connect the head to the heart. This is important both in fiction or non-fiction writing. You need to care about what you're writing. When I began writing I was often told, "write what you know." I didn't quite understand what that meant. It didn't seem possible that I knew enough or had done enough to write about. Over time I realized I could give meaning to anything if I did the research and gave the writing fully over to my perspective about a topic. That took away the fear. And fear - I believe - might be the biggest culprit to writer's block.

Just be yourself. Be authentic. The rest will fall into place.

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Abby’s Answer

Hi 5th graders! My name is Abby Cooper, and I'm the author of Sticks & Stones, Bubbles, and Friend or Fiction, which are books for readers your age. When I'm blocked, it's usually not "ahhh I can't write AT ALL", it's more that I'm stuck with what I'm working on at that moment. That means I might need a short break from that story - but I don't need a break from writing, because I might have TONS of ideas for something else! So if you're stuck, try writing something completely different. Usually you'll end up having ideas for your original story, and poof! Writers block gone.

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