February 27, 2006

Why Dave Barry and Liz Don't Get Writer's Block

published this at 10:52 am

We Agree

Dave Barry and I agree.

Dave Barry Blog Logo

I believe “writer’s block” is the normal state of writing; that is, you rarely have anything just flow easily from your brain to the keyboard. And if it does, it’s usually pretty bad. Good writing is almost always hard, and what I think sometimes happens is that writers forget how hard it is, or don’t want to do the work anymore, and they call this “writer’s block.”Dave Barry, The Writer Magazine

When I researched that quote I was staying with a lifelong friend in a boy scout camp that my older brothers had gone to when we were kids. The camp had been turned into a bed and breakfast. Our room was cabin that had once been the poolhouse. I had an article to write before we could break out the wine. So I went through my warm-up to avoid what folks call “writer’s block.”

Preparation: Accessing the Subconscious

To my friend, Nancy, I probably looked like I was in hyperfocus. Actually, I was. I was doing two kinds of things at once. I was preparing a space to work, and I was preparing my brain to write–accessing my subconscious to see what ideas I might have.

What the heck does that mean?

Ever notice that you get ideas when you’re driving . . . or in the shower . . . or doing something other than trying to have one?

I always start my writing with a warm-up that involves some physical activity like ordering my work area, getting my coffee, or taking a walk around the block. Doing that gives the subconscious the room to let those ideas bubble up.

At the cabin I needed a place to work efficiently, so I went through setting up what I think of as an “endangered writing space.” That’s one where writer’s block is not permitted by protected writers species laws.

Checklist for Endangered Writing Spaces

This is the checklist writing spaces I use.

When my space was ready. So was I.

Fanning the Flame

I didn’t have a whole idea, but I did have a spark. Here’s what I did to fan that spark into a flame. This part went bing, bing, bing, quickly.


That’s what I did that night in the cabin to earn several glasses of my favorite white wine from Italy, Ronco Cucco. Boy, I do like that stuff.

Why Dave and Liz Don’t Get Writer’s Block

We just don’t call it “writer’s block.” We call it writing. Staying stuck is not allowed. So like an actor or a musician who once had stage fright, we do writing warm-ups before we step on stage.

The good news is writing warm-ups work like scales for a musician or stretching for an athlete. They keep you at your best game. If you stick to it, warm-ups for writing actually make the writing get easier. Just like an athlete–a skater–you break through that wall and start skating with more speed and grace.

Imagine yourself writing when you no longer worry about writer’s block.

–ME “Liz” Strauss

Related articles:
Writing: Ugh! 10 Reasons to Get Jazzed about Writing
How To Beat Writer’s Block
Questions about Burnout and Writer’s Block
Editing for Quality and a Content Editor’s Checklist
Introducing Power Writing for Everyone

Filed under Business Life, Checklists, Motivation, Productivity, Successful Blog, Writing | 106 Comments »

C'mon. Let's talk!

106 Comments to “Why Dave Barry and Liz Don't Get Writer's Block”

  1. February 27th, 2006 at 12:21 pm
    DavidC said

    I’ve read a ‘ton’ of these kinds of posts on how to break out of writer’s block, and I really have to say that this is about the most useful one I’ve seen. Great tips here, and a useful workflow process to boot.

    Thank you

  2. February 27th, 2006 at 12:31 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi DavidC,
    It’s great to see you back here. Thanks for the encouragement. I’ve had a few years to do the research on this piece to get the kinks worked out. :)


  3. February 27th, 2006 at 7:12 pm
    Mike said

    That was simply amazing !

    No wonder people pay you to write !

    Too bad writers are so damn poor, or you could get paid to teach them.

  4. February 27th, 2006 at 7:48 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Why thank you, Mr. Sigers.
    I only told what really happened.
    I hear that the market for teaching business writing is a 3.2 million business. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that? 😛


  5. May 10th, 2006 at 4:55 pm
    Bright Meadow » How to Survive a Sci-Fi Film said

    […] Once again, I’m the girl with a million things to say, but with a chronic case of laryngitis preventing her from saying it. Writers-laryngitis that is. More traditionally, I’d say writers block, but Liz would probably come after me with pointy sticks (in a nice way of course) if I did that. She has a point – getting the words down on the page is always the hard bit, even when it is enjoyable. I’m just being remarkably lazy right now. Ashamed though I am to admit it, vegging out in front of Desparate Housewives or some Farscape is vastly more appealing after a day’s work and session at the gym than sitting in front of another computer typing. […]

  6. May 19th, 2006 at 10:26 am
    Half Arsed Ideas / Journal » Some silly ideas are actually good said

    […] Liz has written a couple of posts a few months back along similar lines but heaps different, with more substance and less jibberish titled Why Dave Barry and Liz Don’t Get Writer’s Block and Creative Wonder 101 as Promotion and Problem Solving. Both posts are “must reads” for idea creators. […]

  7. June 8th, 2006 at 4:52 pm
    Shananagan said

    simply amzaing! I tried a couple of your ideas the other day and I was back to writing! I’ve told all of my friends who are writers about your page and they’ve loved it too! I think another problem with us writers is that when we get a good idea in our head we can’t get it out until we’ve written it down! For instance, you’re writing in the middle of your second chapter and you can’t think of the next thing to say and all of a sudden your idea for the end of your book pops into head. That’s when you have to open another document and write out the scene to concentrate and often it works but other times you end up continuing on with the other scene that popped into your head which is a huge distraction even though you are writing your story.

  8. June 8th, 2006 at 6:18 pm
    ME Strauss said

    What a fun way you explain your process. It sounds great! I get so easily distracted I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t have many windows open.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and for sharing my page with your friends. There’s lots of writing stuff here. Let me know if I can point you in other directions. :)

    Let me know how that book is going!

  9. June 9th, 2006 at 2:31 am
    Shananagan said

    My book is doing wonderfully right now I’m just taking a quick break from my late night writing session and thought of this site. I was also thinking of a good way to change an hour without saying an hour later, pretty soon after that, changing sections or points of view and I think I have it! I’m jamming to my writing music even though it’s nothing somebody should beable to dance to 😀 but it’s keeping me awake no harm in that write? (forgive the bad pun)

  10. June 9th, 2006 at 6:44 am
    ME Strauss said

    It sounds like you approach writing in many of the same ways as I do.

    Here’s something short from my writing blog that you might like


  11. June 9th, 2006 at 3:52 pm
    Shananagan said

    The link didn’t work! :) … I went to work today for an in service and found out it was only two hours long and I was soo excited! So I went home, eat, and I was writing ever since and now I’ve seen the clock and I was very surprised to find it was almost 2! Oh how the time flies when you’re having fun! 😀

  12. June 9th, 2006 at 3:56 pm
    ME Strauss said

    I’m so SORRY,
    I just moved to WordPress 2.0.3 and it started sticking in nofollow references. I unpacked the link and it works now. Darn it. anyway.

  13. June 10th, 2006 at 11:09 pm
    Shananagan said

    That was beautiful! I do think like that a lot when I write my book.

  14. June 11th, 2006 at 6:13 am
    ME Strauss said

    It did seem like we had the same writing techniques going on and that you might like that piece a bit. Welcome my writing blog. :)

  15. June 11th, 2006 at 11:56 pm
    Shananagan said

    Well, I’m a fantasy/ science fiction writer… what genre do you write in? Or do you just write for buisiness?

  16. June 12th, 2006 at 6:28 am
    ME Strauss said

    The link I sent you to the Joe Walsh piece is my writing blog. I write personal narratives, essays, so wild realistic fantasy fiction. I write to entertain myself and to inspire.


  17. June 13th, 2006 at 12:58 am
    Shananagan said

    Wow! There’s a lot of really beautiful stuff in that! It really is inspirational. 😀 I really love your work.

  18. June 13th, 2006 at 5:47 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Shanagan,
    Thank you. I wish I had more time to spend writing there. I say that’s where I keep my heart. I hope to see you there sometime. We’ll stop at the cafe on the way to “Walking on Water” and meet Doris and have a hot fudge sundae. :)

  19. June 13th, 2006 at 1:11 pm
    Shananagan said

    LOL that sounds fun! You know, I like to say that my inner writer writes for me when I need it to, but it seems for you that your inner writer is with you all the time! :)

  20. June 13th, 2006 at 1:15 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Yeah, I write pretty much all of the time. My brain has taken on thinking in the cadence of the written phrasing that I use. It’s annoying sometimes. I find myself reading with the same pattern that I write. I type to it too. I’m doing it right now darn it anyway, :)

  21. June 14th, 2006 at 12:28 am
    Shananagan said

    I really don’t have a cadence for my writing. It seems to stop and think a lot. I like things to be very detailed but I don’t write that way all the time so it’s difficult sometimes. Lately, it’s been getting easier though. I guess that old saying, “You’re not a real writer until you’ve written over a million words.”, is true! Now that I think of it, my book probably accounts for only 5% of them. It’s funny to think about, really. How many words you’ve written/ typed in your life. I’m probably barely over a million around now. LOL

  22. June 14th, 2006 at 6:12 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Shanagan!
    It’s kind of fun to meet here — sort of like having a writer’s tree house.

    A million words huh? hmmmm I think you’re not a real writer until you confess to being one and realize how much work it is. :) Then you know that you really wish you could do something easier, but you know you can’t.

  23. June 17th, 2006 at 12:22 am
    Shananagan said

    I enjoy meeting here too it’s becoming part of my nightly writing regime! :) I don’t really think I could ever stop writing. There are so many emotions and thoughts that I put into my writing that I think I might go crazy if I didn’t have an outlet for them. My writing seems to be a portal into my soul in that way. Writing is hard a lot of the time, but really rewarding when you see the look on somebody’s face as they read your stories. :) I’m addicted to it. It’s like a drug. LOL

  24. June 17th, 2006 at 6:33 am
    ME Strauss said

    Most people think that because they learned to put words together in school that they should be able to write a book. It’s hard to disabuse them of that idea. They don’t understand that it’s like wearing shoes — most folks have been doing that for most of their lives too, but they don’t necessarily believe they can make shoes.

    Writing a book is hard work that takes passion and practice. I admire you for having a regime and sticking to it. That’s how I started blogging — just so that I would keep to a regime. Now look where that’s gotten me! :)

  25. June 17th, 2006 at 10:39 pm
    Shananagan said

    Yes, persistance is difficult sometimes, especially with work and friends bugging you. Sometimes, I just want to tell them not to even think I’m online at anytime of the day until I decide to e-mail them. I love keeping them in the dark about the secrets about my book though! Does that make me evil? I like giving them the basic plot like: there was a boy and a dog and the dog got lost and then the boy found the dog (not part of my book). It really torchers them not to know until they read the book.

    I agree that people sometimes take writing for granted as I once did. They always say that if they can write one interesting sentence the rest will just come to them naturally, but really it’s different than that.

    Oh, I found an awesome quiz about writing the other day… it’s really good! http://www.hollylisle.com/fm/Articles/feature11.html

  26. June 17th, 2006 at 10:45 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Writing requires me to crawl so inside of myself that folks don’t understand what it is that they are interrupting. I can make room for that. Usually when I need to think deeply I get up to walk around so that I can and feel the thoughts at the same time before I write them down.

    I don’t have the problem of folks who are leaning over my shoulder trying to read what I’m writing about, because all of my closest friends are introverts and ready to wait until I’ve got it down and they can be alone with what I’ve written.

    I’ll check out your quiz. Good luck with your writing today!

  27. June 21st, 2006 at 12:35 am
    Shananagan said

    Thanks, I actually finished a chapter (by my standards that’s about 5 pages at least but often many more pages) yesterday and I’m REALLY happy with it. The problem with my friends is that if they read over my shoulder I end up having to explain some of the things I’m writing about that I haven’t gotten to yet, so it gets rather frustrating. I do,however, have a few friends I trust not to ask a million and a half questions about one sentence that has a lot to do with the end of the book. They are the friends that will still talk to me after my ignoring them for 8 hours if I’m writing. 😀 I wouldn’t say my writing is digging deep into myself even though I put my soul onto my paper (or computer in this case). I would say it’s more like climbing a mountain to find every word I write

  28. June 21st, 2006 at 6:26 am
    ME Strauss said

    I would say it’s more like climbing a mountain to find every word I write.

    That’s a lovely metaphor.

    Wow how hard it must be to have people asking your to explain something not written yet. For me that would make it not writeable, or at least take some of the life from it. My writing involves so much discover, which seems yours does too (based on your metaphor). I don’t want to discover parts of my thoughts/feelings too early. I want them to be fresh and the words to be the first ones. THEN, I can change them and mold them and fix them. But not before, not before.

    I read what you’re writing and I’m so glad to be part of your process. I have a book. It’s unique and wonderful. It’s 23 chapters fully drafted and in revision to chapter 13. I had to stop to make money to live. I want to get back to it, but I cannot, so I live vicariously through you.

    I believe this time to let it breathe is good for the book. I wrote it in four months. Those who read have great hopes for it. I wonder if my life will let me finish it.

    I wrote something last night that your mountain climbing sentence reminds me of. I leave you a link here. Then it’s off to the writing work that I do for a living.


    Thank you for this writer’s chat. I so enjoy it.

  29. June 22nd, 2006 at 12:15 am
    Shananagan said

    I totally agree about the idea of staying in the moment of your book. We do seem to think a lot like each other in that way. I enjoy that. You wrote a book in four months? I honestly wish I had the time between work and everything else going on in my life to do that. It makes me sad that you had to stop writing to work even though you do have to eat. That is a very beautiful short story. 😀 It does remind me of it a bit. No, thank you for the writers chat! It’s honestly the highlight of my late night typing sessions.

  30. June 22nd, 2006 at 8:45 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Shananagan!
    I had DSL problems this morning and it’s so great to get here and find a friend.

    Yeah, the book is sort of a modern-day fantasy, first-person narrative that half takes place in the real world and half inside my head. It’s funky weird and cool. It lets me use my imagination and my bent for philosophy.

    I will get back to it at some time. I’m not too worried that someone else will wander on to the concept. It’s very Liz in its nature.

    I write from the characters and let them tell me what’s going to happen. Is that how you’re doing it?

  31. June 23rd, 2006 at 12:46 am
    Shananagan said

    DSL is evvvvvillll!!! Not that it’s bad I just don’t like it sometimes. As for your book, I would soooo love to read it. Imagination is key these days with so many popular subjects… mine being one of them.I hope your book turns out very well when you get back to it. As for me, I write in the character’s perspectives as it’s happening. I have a lot of well defined characters and I’m proud of it. It’s about another world entirely with 6 different nations and it involves a lot of controvertial subjects such as, rape, premarital sex, race, illegal immigration, and many other things like that. Overall, it’s hard to explain… would you rather read the summary I wrote?

  32. June 23rd, 2006 at 6:36 am
    ME Strauss said

    I just wrote this really long comment that I lost because my mouse was misbehaving. That’s okay I guess because I was just making up words to go with the letters DSL for most of it. :)

    I’ll send you a chapter of “Larry and the DOG” It’s a quest of a young woman’s search to find balance in side herself. I’d love to read your summary. You can send it via the email that I use when I send you Larry. :)

  33. June 26th, 2006 at 12:31 am
    Shananagan said

    okay… that sounds fun! I”m sorry I haven’t been online or even home all weekend I was out of town and I don’t have a lap top. Even though I would LOVE to hear about the million and a half acronyms for DSL I think I’ll be fine… LOL 😀

  34. June 26th, 2006 at 12:39 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Shananagan!
    I thought maybe you were out and about somewhere. I’ve been busy myself trying to get some new design into this old looking blog.

    And of course writing all kinds of things.

  35. June 30th, 2006 at 2:00 am
    Shananagan said

    Hey, sorry I got a new computer because my old one was getting out dated and I forgot all about the name of the website and it took me forever to figure out how to find this page… LOL bad excuse but it’s true… don’t worry I’m alive and I’m putting this on my favorites… talk to you later.

  36. June 30th, 2006 at 6:19 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Shananagan,
    Glad to know you’re well and that you’ve got a new computer. :)

  37. June 30th, 2006 at 10:06 am
    Shananagan said

    😀 the other one was a 1996 running on Windows 98 or something and it took half an hour to turn on, so I thought it was time for a change

  38. June 30th, 2006 at 10:09 am
    ME Strauss said

    Definitely time! You must feel like a whole new person!

  39. July 1st, 2006 at 12:55 am
    Shananagan said

    LOL yes, I do. It’s wonderfull having updated technology… I never knew all this time… I was like, “What’s a webcam?” when I got it and now I can make movies. Bad ones, given, but still I think I have this down now.

  40. July 1st, 2006 at 6:26 am
    ME Strauss said

    Wow! Now you’re a writer and a movie producer!

  41. July 1st, 2006 at 11:59 pm
    Shananagan said

    LOL my younger brother spent the night a couple days ago and I woke up to find the numa numa dance (rerecorded by him) on my computer… quite a surprise!!!! I laughed so hard.

  42. July 2nd, 2006 at 6:40 am
    ME Strauss said

    I can only imagine what a numa numa dance might be. :)

  43. July 4th, 2006 at 12:40 am
    Shananagan said

    lol It’s actually rather funny. I’ll send you the address to the original one… http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/206373 …all you have to do is click on Watch this movie. It’s either stupid or brilliant depending on the person watching.

  44. July 4th, 2006 at 6:58 am
    ME Strauss said

    Oh yeah, I’ve seen that. I just didn’t know that’s what it was called. I think it’s quite fun. I wish we had netcams when i was in college. It would have made a lot more of what we did even more interesting.

    BTW I found out this week that Dave Barry and I have the same birthday. He’s older.

  45. July 6th, 2006 at 12:06 am
    Shananagan said

    Wow! That’s interesting. I would have never guessed you and Dave Barry had the same birthday. I mean out of all 365 days in a year that’s pretty cool. Yes, webcams make everything more interesting nowadays, but it seems a lot of things make life interesting; like brothers learning how to use a webcam. 😀

  46. July 6th, 2006 at 12:10 am
    ME Strauss said

    Yeah, I was surprised to find out about Dave Barry too. Weird that I wrote about him and then found that out months later.

    Did you get the chapters I sent you? Or did they get lost i the email when you switched over computers?

    Speaking of switching computers, you haven’t talked much about writing lately. I hope that doesn’t mean that you’ve stopped. :)

  47. July 12th, 2006 at 12:37 am
    Shananagan said

    No I haven’t stopped writing. Ha, it’s still there for me. I just haven’t talked about it lately. No, I didn’t get the chapters you sent me. That’s kind of weird I normally get bulky emails no problem. My writer friends send them all the time. My book is shaping up it’s just going slow right now. I’m trying to create 6 languages for it so it’s taking awhile is all. I don’t mind making languages but maybe I should stick to one language. Oh well, it’s a challenge i’ld like to take. 😀

  48. July 12th, 2006 at 7:58 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi there!
    Glad to hear you’re still writing. I’ve been so busy on my math stuff that my writing blog pieces for a while just became snippets of what it once was. I’ve decided to just stop that. I’m taking more time with my ideas.

    I’m thinking of working on my novel online on my writing blog starting on the one year anniversary. I’ve not made that a firm decision yet. It’s a good book — it kept readers interested. I think it might be the only way that I’ll be able to work on it for years to come . . .

    I sent the chapters to the email that you use to write here, but it was at the exact time that you changed computers.

  49. July 12th, 2006 at 1:40 pm
    Shananagan said

    The email should have still sent though. That’s weird. I’m sure whatever you decide to do for your book will work out it the end. I’ve been so busy with work lately that I haven’t been able to write more than one page a night. Work is so exhausting. 😀 Oh well, I’ve gotta live somehow.

  50. July 12th, 2006 at 1:44 pm
    ME Strauss said

    That’s really weird,
    I wonder who got it or if poor Larry is out in cyberspace alone somewhere.:)

    I’ll let you know what I decide. It will be by next week.

  51. July 12th, 2006 at 5:12 pm
    Shananagan said

    Hn, I wonder what happened. That’s okay Larry isn’t all alone I”m sure he’ll find the island of lost stories and live contentedly until the day he dies. I have a rather silly question. Do you think ‘hn’ could be used as a sentence? Because I’m using it in part of my book. It’s for a very seclusive character. LOL Anyway, I look forward to your decision.

  52. July 12th, 2006 at 5:20 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Yes. I think that you’re the writer and if it makes sense to you, then you should do it. No question about it. I had no hestiation with this answer at all.

  53. July 14th, 2006 at 11:25 pm
    Shananagan said

    Okay then. Thanks for the help with that decision. I don’t often use onomotopoeia as a full sentence so I’m very hesitant about it. I’ve been working so hard lately and I just want to write my book and not just in my spare time. Maybe I’ll have more time once school starts in August.

  54. July 14th, 2006 at 11:37 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Once school starts . . . hmmmm, does that mean that you’re a mom then, that’s the only way it sounds like you might have more time when school starts. :)

  55. July 14th, 2006 at 11:41 pm
    Shananagan said

    haha no, student, but a college student I’m a lifeguard during the summer so I work crazy long hours. During the school year I have much more time to write. In fact, I barely ever have time to write during breaks. They give us so much homework it’s almost impossible to find anyspare time that isn’t at three in the morning

  56. July 15th, 2006 at 12:20 am
    ME Strauss said

    And here I’d been thinking college student all along and then I thought, “how could school give you MORE time?”

    Go figure. I can always find a way to get things inside out, :)

  57. July 15th, 2006 at 12:25 am
    Shananagan said

    LOL Not inside out, I haven’t even told you I’m in college. Honestly, with free periods and staying up late and waking up early there is lots more time than during my breaks. I work during the lifeguard off season too, but that doesn’t pay as well.

  58. July 15th, 2006 at 6:53 am
    ME Strauss said

    That’s so fun — you work like a lifeguard. I swim like a rock.

  59. July 16th, 2006 at 1:52 am
    Shananagan said

    😀 I synchronized swim too, but I can’t go to practice during the summer because work gets in the way. Oh well…

    I want to work on my book but I work a 12 hour day today and another tomorrow. Maybe I’ll write when I wake up instead… yeah that would work! 😀 lol talk to you later.

  60. July 16th, 2006 at 7:22 am
    ME Strauss said

    Synchronized swimming too. Maybe you got my swimming gene. :)

    I hope you find lots of time for writing before the weekend is out.

  61. July 17th, 2006 at 1:15 am
    Shananagan said

    I have actually found a lot of time for writing and I have very few hours tomorrow so I think I’ll stay up late and write. 😀 As for your swimming gene as long as you have fun in the pool that’s all that matters genes have nothing to do with it.

  62. July 17th, 2006 at 7:03 am
    ME Strauss said

    Happy Monday1
    You have such a postive attitude. That’s a great attribute in a write, it allows you to be forgiving of your characters’ flaws. I’m most interested in your writing. Are you writing for Adults or teens?

  63. July 19th, 2006 at 2:18 am
    Shananagan said

    I think I’m writing more along the lines of older teens and adults. My book has some very controversial topics younger readers wouldn’t understand. Yes positivity makes the world (and the world of your book) work better in my opinion as well! 😀

  64. July 19th, 2006 at 7:12 am
    ME Strauss said

    When I worked for a company that distributed young adult books, I read all of the books in their line. I was amazed at the fiction. It better than most adult books that I read — the only difference no gratutious sex and no unnecessary violence. God they were good. Two made me cry while I read them.

    You right about positivity. I wear my feelings when I write. It shows in the words that come out on the page. :)

  65. July 22nd, 2006 at 12:26 am
    Shananagan said

    Yes, I’ve found three series so beautifully written that I’ve read the books to the point of falling apart. Those books are in the young adult genre. They actually made me cry! Honestly, I’m not a crier so that was a spectacle for my friends! 😀 I don’t know how to explain it but it seems when I write I become the characters and the characters seem real inside of me, in a way. Now I’m just rambling! haha Well, talk to you later.

  66. July 22nd, 2006 at 7:36 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Shanagan,
    I don’t think that trying to keep your readers at bay is evil. It’s nice to have a few secrets about your characters, epecially while they’re still forming.

    Thanks for the link, I’ll check it out.

  67. July 22nd, 2006 at 11:50 pm
    Shananagan said

    I think you just read a comment from the first page! 😀 heh but you’re welcome

  68. July 23rd, 2006 at 7:51 am
    ME Strauss said

    You’re right. That’s exactly what I did! [blush]

    My brain has had a good workout these past few days. I’ve been working on conceptualizing a project with a partner in crime. Writing is even harder when you do it together. Whew!

  69. July 26th, 2006 at 1:25 am
    Shananagan said

    Yes, I know exactly what you mean… if they don’t understand what you’re trying to say or what direction you want to come to be it can be quite a pain. And don’t be embarassed I do it all the time

  70. July 26th, 2006 at 7:31 am
    ME Strauss said

    Thanks for the “don’t be embarassed.”

    It’s a weird situation when I friend doesn’t understand where you’re going. They automatically thing that you are being defensive, even on that occasion when you are not and you just know that they don’t have/can’t get enough context to place things in the right perspective.

    It’s the same problem as a mother talking about her child . . . when the child is a genius, she can’t say something unbiased, because people won’t believe her, even when she’s telling the truth — she, like the writer, gets not slack, no leeway, no credit for an ability to detach and view things objectively.

  71. July 30th, 2006 at 1:34 am
    Shananagan said

    That’s a beautiful way of putting it! 😀 You’re welcome. I’m so exhausted i’m going right to sleep. I feel sorry for the characters in my book though. “Trapped in the moment” as they say… or something like that. Anyway, talk to you soon. 😀

  72. July 30th, 2006 at 6:18 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Sorry it took so long to answer. The hook up at Blogher was worse than dial up. I understand how you feel about your characters being “trapped.” I think they’ll forgive you until you get back. :)

  73. July 31st, 2006 at 7:26 pm
    Shananagan said

    Heh, I suppose they will. Don’t worry about it taking so long it takes me longer most of the time. 😀

  74. July 31st, 2006 at 7:31 pm
    ME Strauss said

    I’m just piled high with work now that I’m back and the only work I want to do is the stuff that doesn’t pay anything. Go figure. :)

  75. August 22nd, 2006 at 11:07 pm
    Shananagan said

    😀 LOL school has started and I’m already overwhelmed with homework and projects in the second week. I thought this year would be easy! Oh well, I just need more time in the day… Talk to you soon!

  76. August 22nd, 2006 at 11:09 pm
    ME Strauss said

    I understand completely. The easy stuff is always the stuff that is already done. :)

  77. September 3rd, 2006 at 4:01 pm
    Shananagan said

    😀 this is the first time in weeks I haven’t been online for school. School has gotten easier and I’m finally getting time to write. My story is shaping up but I’m in a bit of a rut because I have to rewrite an entire chapter because I contradicted myself! So, I’m both relieved that I found the error and angry at myself… here’s to rewriting!

  78. September 3rd, 2006 at 4:33 pm
    ME Strauss said

    You’re writing again! Congratulations! I’m delighted to see you back around and to hear that you story is shaping up. I’m working away at my other work.

    Don’t worry on that error. Your heart is already telling me how relieved you are to have found it.

    Readers never know how long it took, but a mistake lasts forever.

  79. September 3rd, 2006 at 11:10 pm
    Shananagan said

    you’re right I am relieved I found the mistake,but it doesn’t mean I’m happy about having to rewrite a whole chapter 😀 How has writing been going for you?

  80. September 3rd, 2006 at 11:13 pm
    ME Strauss said

    I’m in the middle of restructuring a reading program I helped to build 5-10 years ago. It’s kind of fun seeing what still works and what looks dated. Also strategizing what teachers need to bring their literacy stuff into the 21st century,

    I’m also getting involved in creativity and innovation work. It’s fun.

    Both are more fun than what I was doing 2 months ago. . . :)

  81. September 8th, 2006 at 10:45 pm
    Business Blog Hive » Getting Started As A Successful & Outstanding Blogger said

    […] When you get writer’s block, think Liz and Dave Barry. […]

  82. September 27th, 2006 at 10:30 pm
    Shananagan said

    Hi! Sorry I haven’t been on more. I would like to have more time to write and write to you of course but I thought this year would be as easy as last year and that changed! Well, I do have to go. Sorry for such a short message bye.

  83. September 27th, 2006 at 10:33 pm
    ME Strauss said

    No worries. No apologies needed. :) Let me know if I can help.

  84. September 28th, 2006 at 10:23 pm
    Shananagan said

    lol unless you can tell me the reason chemicals diffuse into cells and then explain it in lab format then I think I’m on my own. 😀 Thank you though.

  85. September 28th, 2006 at 10:30 pm
    ME Strauss said

    I probably could have once, but not too quickly these days — and not in a comment box. :)

  86. October 8th, 2006 at 6:14 pm
    Successful Blog - Great Find: List Your Writing Contest At Competizione said

    […] Related articles Writing–Ugh! 10 Reasons to Get Jazzed about Writing Why Dave Barry and Liz Don’t Get Writer’s Block Writing YEAH! 10 WHOLE NEW Reasons to Get Jazzed About Writing […]

  87. October 10th, 2006 at 11:17 pm
    Shananagan said

    haha! :d me neither. I just finished 6 hours of homework. I’m totally wiped out! I think I’ll go to bed and write later. Talk to you soon! 😀

  88. October 10th, 2006 at 11:20 pm
    ME Strauss said

    I remember days of 6 hours of homework . . . now I do 12 hours of work and do it at home. Doesn’t seem that much different. Even the pay. :)

  89. November 14th, 2006 at 8:38 pm
    Shananagan said

    sorry I haven’t been writing you much, I’m finally getting a lighter work load at la esquella (school- I think… in Spanish… no that’s not my foreign language) I’m in a rather good mood today and I’m going to try to write more tonight. I didn’t feel like writing last night but I did do some very productive things for the book. 😀

  90. November 14th, 2006 at 8:46 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Congratulations on getting a chance to write some. You sound like you’re going to get cooking with gas. Thanks for letting me know that you’re back at it. It’s fun keeping track. :)

  91. December 11th, 2006 at 7:50 pm
    Shananagan said

    I’ve written more! yay! and I also had another idea for a book in class the other day! I’ve been writing this one by hand and I’m having a lot of fun with it… My writing has matured greatly over the past few weeks. I can’t wait to keep going on this one :D. A friend I told about this new idea wants to do this book together. Should we? She’s a great writer but sometimes I don’t trust her style and I’m not sure if she takes correction well. Well, thanks for listening. Oh, how’s your writing doing? Anything new happening?

  92. December 11th, 2006 at 7:55 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Writing with another person requires a lot of trust and is tougher than a partnership in business. Both writers have to be able to set aside their egos in favor of the work. It requires being a grown up.

    I’m doing great! Things at my writing blog are really fine.

  93. December 11th, 2006 at 7:59 pm
    Shananagan said

    That’s awesome! Okay, I think I can make a better decision now. Thank you!

  94. December 11th, 2006 at 8:00 pm
    ME Strauss said

    I’m glad I could help!

  95. January 30th, 2007 at 12:46 pm
    Liz Strauss at Successful Blog - Writer’s Block: Unblanking the Blank Screen said

    […] Related Why Dave Barry and Liz Don’t Get Writer’s Block Don’t Hunt IDEAS — Be an Idea Magnet 10 Ways to Start a Blog Post — 01-29-07 […]

  96. February 5th, 2007 at 6:34 pm
    Bestseller Interviews » Blog Archive » How to Conquer Writer’s Block — The Ultimate Guide said

    […] Why Dave Barry and Liz Don’t Get Writer’s Block – Good Writing Is Almost Always Hard […]

  97. February 11th, 2007 at 6:27 pm
    Jing Jok - a little gecko » Writer’s Block? said

    […] Why Dave Barry and Liz Don’t Get Writer’s Block – Good Writing Is Almost Always Hard […]

  98. February 14th, 2007 at 5:32 am
    Don’t Wait - Stop Writer’s Block Now - Healthy WebDesign - Developing and Building Successful Websites for Independent Professionals said

    […] Why Dave Barry and Liz Don’t Get Writer’s Block – Good Writing Is Almost Always Hard […]

  99. February 28th, 2007 at 10:52 am
    Executive Coaching - Media » Blog Archive » Writer’s Block said

    […] Why Dave Barry and Liz Don’t Get Writer’s Block – Treat writing like physical exercise – do the warm ups! […]

  100. April 30th, 2007 at 11:16 am
    How To Beat Writer’s Block - Liz Strauss at Successful Blog - Thinking, writing, business ideas . . . You’re only a stranger once. said

    […] articles: Why Dave Barry and Liz Don’t Get Writer’s Block Writing–Ugh! 10 Reasons to Get Jazzed about Writing Questions about Burnout and Writer’s […]

  101. October 9th, 2008 at 1:22 pm
    A Thinker’s Workaround to Conquering Writer’s Block - Liz Strauss at Successful Blog - Thinking, writing, business ideas . . . You’re only a stranger once. said

    […] Why Dave Barry and Liz Don’t Get Writer’s Block Don’t Hunt IDEAS — Be an Idea Magnet 10 Ways to Start a Blog Post — 01-29-07 Tags: Power […]

  102. June 3rd, 2009 at 9:28 am
    Still Chuggin’ « Linnea Writes said

    […] 3, 2009 Here is more advice on writing from someone who’s doing it better than me right now. Posted by linneawrites Filed in […]

  103. September 20th, 2009 at 2:07 pm
    Alette said

    Thanks for a great website with lots of helpful tips. :)

    “Amateurs think that if they were inspired all the time, they’d be professionals.
    Professionals know that if they relied on inspiration, they’d be amateurs”
    – Philip Pullman.

    Sums it all up for me, basically. It helps me going when I’m stuck :)

  104. September 21st, 2009 at 7:10 am
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Alette,
    Thank you and welcome!
    Lots of folks think that because we wrote all day in school that it should come easy now. Writing is labor intensive work. If it wasn’t we’d all be doing it. heh heh

  105. July 2nd, 2010 at 4:48 pm
    suzanne said

    I don’t believe this, the best writing post ever, I think I’ll read it over and over again, thank you so much for sharing, this is a changing moment on my writing life.
    English is not my first language and I don’t write in English, but what you said works really well with me.
    I can’t thank you enough, and I’ve been I reader of yours for a year now

  106. March 20th, 2012 at 3:42 am
    How to Survive a Sci-Fi Film | Bright Meadow How to Survive a Sci-Fi Film | girl + internet said

    […] saying it. Writers-laryngitis that is. More traditionally, I’d say writers block, but Liz would probably come after me with pointy sticks (in a nice way of course) if I did that. She has a point – getting the words down on the page […]

Name (required)

Email (required)


C'mon Let's Talk!

High Quality Image of Interior Design and Architecture Design