Various Stages of Writer’s Block

12 Aug


The latest review of Take Me Tomorrow is in! Trials of a wanna-be-publisher writer states, “Take Me Tomorrow asks a lot of questions around thorny issues in today’s society without becoming preachy in its message…As I have come to expect from Shannon, this book is well-crafted, engaging and very well-written (pretty much a given for this author). While the genre may be classed as ‘Young Adult’, don’t let that fool you; Take Me Tomorrow is an intelligent and thought-provoking piece of writing and one I highly recommend you check out.” And I highly recommend you read her entire review by clicking here

Various Stages of Writer’s Block

Oh, the dreaded writer’s block. The horror of the static pen. The silence of untapped keyboards. The banging of your forehead against the desk.

We’ve all been there – some of us more than others – and that’s why we can all relate to it (and hopefully laugh at it). So I wanted to share the various stages of writer’s insanity.

Stage One: Staring (a.k.a. denial)

Oh, no. Oh, no. This is not happening. This cannot be happening. I have a deadline. An actual deadline! (Okay. So I set the deadline myself, but still!) I do not have time for this. I NEED to be able to write.

Computer Guy Meme

Computer Guy Meme

Stage Two: Pacing (a.k.a. panic)

Why is this happening?! ::breathes heavily for five minutes:: Okay. I got this. I will get through this. I just need to walk away for a little bit. Okay. Never mind. I need a drink. Drinking is good. Ernest Hemingway used to drink. “Drink write, edit subor?” Why can’t I write drunk? I can’t even spell! Oh, god. I’ll never be good at this.

Photo by Reddit

Photo by Reddit

Stage Three: Running away (a.k.a. more panic)

I just need to relax. How do I relax again? Reading! I love reading. I can tackle the TBR pile in no time. ::sits down with book:: Who is this author? Why do they write so…so perfectly? Why can’t I write like this? I’ll never write something this lovely. ::throws book across room:: I can’t read right now. Who am I kidding? I need to step away from the books. I know! I’ll go for a walk, and I’ll look at the stars. The stars are nice. ::goes outside:: It’s cloudy. Great. Of course, it’s cloudy.

Photo from

Photo from

Stage Four: Return (a.k.a. facing the problem; then, letting it go)

All right. ::sits down at computer:: What the hell is wrong with this manuscript? What is wrong with me? (Two hours pass, nothing changes.) ::finally puts computer away for the night:: I just need a break, a nice dinner, a good night’s sleep.

Stage Five: Acceptance (a.k.a. overcoming it!)

::wakes up in the morning after the worst day ever:: I feel rested. Why is my protagonist sitting in my computer chair? ::stands up and crosses the room. Protagonist types with one hand and hands you a coffee with the other as you stare over their shoulder:: “Oh! That’s what I did wrong.” I forced everything, but now it’s resolved. Writer’s block, you silly thing.

Photo from

Photo from

Time to sit down and write again.


26 Responses to “Various Stages of Writer’s Block”

  1. Rebecca Meyer August 12, 2014 at 12:40 am #

    I’ve been there! Writer’s block can be a tricky thing to overcome. I think sometimes I have to just make myself write, even if I don’t feel confident about the idea I have. As long as I have something written down on paper, I have made a bit of progress.

    • Shannon A Thompson August 12, 2014 at 12:59 am #

      Very true! I think staying positive and laughing about it can help, too. 🙂

      • Rebecca Meyer August 12, 2014 at 1:02 am #

        Good advice! I agree with that. It’s important to stay positive because writer’s block can be overcome.

  2. Phoenix Rainez August 12, 2014 at 5:38 am #

    You never cease to amaze and inspire me with your blogs. Just out of the blue your blog will hit on something I am struggling with, just as you described here in your writers block.<3
    I love your blog posts follow and tweet them regularly. Such helpful advice for us new writers. Thank you

    • Shannon A Thompson August 12, 2014 at 5:42 am #

      Thank you for your enthusiastic encouragement. That really means a lot to me. 🙂 I also hope your writer’s block gets easier. If you ever think of a topic you want me to blog about, let me know, and I’ll credit your website at the top.

  3. cup112278 August 12, 2014 at 5:56 am #

    Thanks so much for the great blog. I am a new novelist and I am scared of beginning the novel period, let alone getting stumped midway. But regardless, I am going to stick to my writing schedule and make my way through!

    • Shannon A Thompson August 12, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

      I’m glad you enjoyed this piece. You can do it! 😀

      • cup112278 August 12, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

        Thanks Shannon!

  4. Mishka Jenkins August 12, 2014 at 7:28 am #

    Writer’s block, it’s always an… interesting thing to deal with 😀

    But I think you pretty much nailed it in this post!

  5. Charles Yallowitz August 12, 2014 at 7:44 am #

    Sounds spot on. Though I sometimes hit an anger stage where I childishly yell at the book and characters. ‘You weren’t worth writing anyway’ is a favorite.

  6. spearman101 August 12, 2014 at 8:24 am #

    Reblogged this on Toni Spearman/Author.

  7. Michelle Joelle August 12, 2014 at 8:53 am #

    I know the feeling! My best strategy is to force my way through it, and write with the finesse of a lumberjack. This may include all caps notes to myself like “ADD A NICE TRANSITION HERE” and “SOMETHING LIKE THIS BUT BETTER”. Blunt force writing.

    • Shannon A Thompson August 12, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

      I can just imagine a cartoon version of writers at the bottom of a hill – the manuscript is at the top – and all the writers describe this is feeling of determination by shouting, “CHARGE!”

  8. Rachel August 12, 2014 at 10:53 am #

    Lol, I love this! It’s so true and you give great advice.

  9. Ashley @ Sitting In The Stacks August 12, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    So true! I’ve had a multi-year writer’s block when it comes to creative writing. My excuse — dealing with academic writer’s block takes enough energy. Thanks for sharing. This was a great morning laugh.

    • Shannon A Thompson August 12, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

      Always glad to share some laughter. :] Best of luck with your writer’s block!

  10. rmcalzada August 13, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    Thank you so much for the injection of good humor Shannon! I thought writer’s block was tough on the first go-around, but I’m struggling with it so much more now that I’m on to the fourth draft of my manuscript. But with that rehashing comes a more clear perspective and the chance for me to dive into my characters with so much more development. I’m taking your laughs as a cue to put a little more humor into my story too!

  11. Susannah Ailene Martin September 3, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

    Sounds about right.


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