Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Guest Post: Barbara Bretton author of Laced with Magic

Barbara Bretton, author of the new book Laced with Magic, stopped by to share with us a piece she wrote.

10 Ways to Fight Writer's Block
by Barbara Bretton

Writer's block is real, it's powerful, and it can sneak up on you when you least expect it. Block is the flip side of creativity. No writer wants to admit her Muse has gone MIA. I've been there. I know how it feels when the words just won't come. Here are ten tricks I've discovered to lure her back to work.

1. Don't fight it. Writer's block feeds on anxiety. Recognize that block is a temporary condition. There are enough things in life to feel guilty about. This isn't one of them.

2. If you see you're in serious trouble with a deadline. Call your editor immediately! Better to face embarrassment asking for an extension than to find yourself with 400 pages to write and 24 hours in which to do it.

3. Vary your routine. Nothing deadens creativity like boredom. Try writing outdoors, in a room other than your office, in front of a crackling fireplace or on a sunny beach. (Laptops are a boon to restless writers, but a notebook and pen will do just fine.) Try writing something different: a mainstream novel, a mystery, the book you've always dreamed of writing. Promise yourself some time each day (whatever you can spare) to work on it, and then relax and enjoy it.

4. Don't go into hiding. Guard against isolationism. Even the most fertile imagination needs a boost from time to time. Catch up on all the movies you've missed; listen to your favorite old records' go to lunch with the non-writing friends you've shamefully ignored. Refill the well against another drought.

5. Remember you can burn out without damaging your ability to think up terrific plots and wonderful characters.

6. Everything and everyone that puts pressure on you is a source of creative block, but pressure isn't all bad. Some of us actually do better under pressure.

7. If you're burning out because you're constantly pushing to meet impossible deadlines, you may be over-committed. Only you know the answer.

8. Can you control block or burnout? Yes, within reason. Make sure you get regular exercise and enough sleep. Eat properly. (Except for the occasional chocolate binge!) Remember that you have a life apart from writing. Get away from your desk and live it. Learn to "read" your psyche and body for signs of impending trouble before it clobbers you.

9. The most effective way to avoid writer's block is also the most difficult. Determine as cold-bloodedly as possible whether your current career goals are realistic and/or good for you creatively. If they're not, change them.

10. Can you prevent block or burnout? Absolutely. Just give up writing and take up something less stressful.

Neurosurgery, anyone?

About Barbara:

Barbara Bretton is the USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of more than 40 books. She currently has over ten million copies in print around the world. Her works have been translated into twelve languages in over twenty countries.

Barbara has been featured in articles in The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Romantic Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Herald News, Home News, Somerset Gazette, among others, and has been interviewed by Independent Network News Television, appeared on the Susan Stamberg Show on NPR, and been featured in an interview with Charles Osgood of WCBS, among others.

Her awards include both Reviewer's Choice and Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times; Gold and Silver certificates from Affaire de Coeur; the RWA Region 1 Golden Leaf; and several sales awards from Bookrak. Ms. Bretton was included in a recent edition of Contemporary Authors.

Barbara loves to spend as much time as possible in Maine with her husband, walking the rocky beaches and dreaming up plots for upcoming books.

You can visit Barbara’s website at, her blog at, or connect with her on Twitter at

If you'd like to pick up a copy of Barbara's book Laced with Magic click on the cover image below.


Barbara Bretton said...

Beth, thanks so much for being part of my blog tour!

Lisa said...

Hi Beth! You were one of the winners in my giveaway!

I have also emailed you, please send me your mailing address.

Storyheart said...

A really interesting interview, from a terrific writer about a great book


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