Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Writer's Block: Week 3 in Review

I would like to express my gratitude to the authors who shared their stories this week on The Writer's Block. In case you missed it, here is a recap.

Monday, January 23, 2012: Our first guest-blogger on The Writer's Block, Regina Sunderland, offered "10 Ways to Beat Writer's Block".

Tuesday, January 24, 2012: Joanna Lee Doster (author of Celebrity Bedroom Retreats, Rockport Publishers)  shared how her love of racing led to her latest release Maximum Speed: Pushing the Limit.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012: Susan Ross, a former teacher and storyteller, told us of her journey to becoming a children's author. (The Great Bellybutton Cover-Up)

Thursday, January 26, 2012: Patricia Merker shared how she integrates New Thought (spirituality for children) into her interactive children's book series, The Grand Master/Little Master Series.

Friday, January 27, 2012: YA author Candice Bledsaw explained her decision to self-publish her novel Eternal Embrace with iUniverse, which went on to win their Editor's Choice Award.

Please take a moment to read about these authors and even leave a comment. You may be inspired to write something. You might learn something new.
Many thanks to The Writer's Block contributors! I salute you all.

Keep your pen to the paper! Remember, inspiration is everywhere...

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Writer's Block Interviews: Candice Bledsaw

1)      Welcome to The Writer’s Block! Describe your journey as an author/writer. How did you get started?

Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to tell my story. This is my beginning. You are witnessing my beginning baby steps. I hope this may help someone.

I started out writing poetry when I was about thirteen to deal with the troubles of my childhood. I did this instead of turning to drugs and alcohol. I've always been creative to various degrees since I was four when I discovered I had a talent at drawing. It wasn't until I was nineteen when I started working for a book distribution warehouse; Ingram Book Company, that I discovered I could possibly make writing a career choice. I had the active imagination for it.

    Working for a book company that housed well over ten thousand titles, I saw everything from main stream to self published. Some of the stuff that was written wasn't very good and some of the illustrations in these books weren't very good either. I thought maybe if a publisher could publish this...maybe I could do something a little better. That's when I decided to buy a few books on writing and learn the business a little further. My first few books were children's books. I wrote and illustrated three but honestly, I'm not sure how to present them to send them to a publisher. I'm still learning that process.

    I wrote Eternal Embrace about ten years ago. It started out as a vampire romance. It had some good points but it didn't feel right to me. It felt forced. It wasn't until 2008 when I started reading the "Twilight Saga" that I discovered my voice. Yes, I know a lot of people have various opinions about the saga but when I read the books, I was learning how I wanted to write. It was very inspiring to me. And I honestly enjoyed the story.

    Then I had a dilemma. I didn't want to write about vampires anymore. It seemed like a spent topic.  I still liked my title Eternal Embrace. At the time I came up with it, there were no other books with that title I could find. I started thinking about other beings that were eternal. Angels came to mind. I found a verse in the Bible, Genesis 6:2-That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. It sparked the whole background of the angels I created in my novel. I shaped the heroine after myself, sticking with the "write what you know" belief. I was so inspired, I wrote the first draft in five weeks. I balanced it between work and raising two sons.

    I came up with my own formula to structure my story around. I broke it up into sections so I could map out what I wanted to write. Then when the whole book was mapped out, all I had to do was fill in the blanks. I wrote during my break times on pieces of scratch paper and wrote after I put my sons to bed. A few months later, after several kind rejections (it doesn't fit our needs; nice story-send it somewhere else; we are so swamped right now we can't possibly take on a new author-rejections like these), I decided to go the self publishing route, It is a reputable company and I've seen many of their titles run through the book I wanted to let the publishers know how serious I was, how much I believed in what I wrote. I also wanted to make the investment in myself. So, after the editing, re-writing, and more editing, Eternal Embrace was born March 30, 2010, my first creative work. I was proud. But I had the next Not my forte. That's how I started. I'm still new. I still have much to learn.

2)      Do you specialize in any particular genre(s)?

I like to think I specialize in children and young adult. I feel comfortable writing in this genre.

3)      What was your first published work?

Eternal Embrace is my first published work. It won the Editor's Choice Award through

4)      Tell us about Eternal Embrace. What inspired you to write it? Where can our readers buy it?

It's pretty much covered in question one. It can be purchased in various online book retailers., Barnes & and

5)      Describe the steps you took to publish your novel. Who is your publisher? and Kindle Direct Publishing. I hold the rights to my novel.

6)      Is being an author a career choice for you? Why or why not?
At this time, it is more of a hobby but, of course, I'd like it to eventually become a career. I still have to keep my day job.

7)      Tell us about your current projects and what is next for you.

I'm currently working on the second book that is the sequel to Eternal Embrace. When I decided the book was going to be about angels, and I was truly inspired, I had enough in my brain to work out a trilogy. So, there are two more books to follow Eternal Embrace. I also have a few more story ideas after the trilogy is complete. Even if I'm only writing for myself, I plan on continuing to write. It's become more therapeutic to me than anything else.

8)      How do you promote your work? What strategies have been the most successful?

Facebook is a huge tool for me.

9)     What advice would you give to budding writers?

Perseverance and persistence. If you truly love to write...don't ever give up. Even if people are telling you your writing is no good and you are a failure because you haven't sold very many copies. Never give up. Always continue to learn the process and believe in yourself.

10)   What is your definition of success as a writer?

I feel successful just completing a novel. Just to be able to say that I had the discipline to sit down and complete a project feels like success to me. It's more than a lot of people in the world can say.

Author Bio

My name is Candice Bledsaw. I was born sometime in the seventies when disco and bell bottoms were cool. I'm an Aries. I'm a country girl. I believe I can survive the coming zombie Apocalypse. I love Zombie, Vampire, Romantic, Comic Book, Angelic, horror movies. Not all at the same time. I have been told I'm a very silly girl. I am also an artist and I work in a variety of different mediums, whatever inspires me at the time. I have also just received my first blue belt in Hikari Ryuza Bujutsu, which I'm very excited about. I worked so hard for it I almost died! Just kidding but seriously, it wasn't easy.

After writing Eternal Embrace I have a new passion for studying angels. I have a strong belief in God and Jesus and I feel I am still learning how to listen to His voice. I'm not overly religious though. I respect other peoples belief systems and I feel there are many ways to God. I have two sons, been through two divorces; (one civil, one not) and I am still on the path to discovering my true self. I feel I'm on the right path this time. Life is a learning process to our true destinies!

Eternal Embrace

Eternal Embrace on Facebook

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Writer's Block Interviews: Patricia Merker

1)            Describe your journey as an author/writer. How did you get started?

Hi Raychelle, thanks for the invite to be here today!  My idea for this series came about over 10 years ago when my daughter was just eight years old (she’s now 21!).  My search for a publisher spans over a decade and it’s an interesting story that I hope is an inspiration to all budding authors out there.  For anyone who wants to read about it, from ‘idea’ to book, I’d like to suggest that they go to and delve into the archives.  My first ten or so posts are about this journey, how I felt, how I gave up, etc.  But I knew, deep in my gut, that this series was meant to be published.  I made some bold moves and kept the end result in my head.  I had no clue that I had any ability as a writer.  I tell people that prior to this series; the only thing I’d ever written was an excused absence for my children from school!  And yet, when my fingers touched the keyboard, I was typing faster than what my brain could think.  I believe I knew then that it was meant to be.

2)            Do you specialize in any particular literary genre(s)?

New Thought, spirituality for children, which is not religious and many people get confused about that.  It’s about having children connect with Source; that ‘something bigger’ that resides inside each of us, which is deeply spiritual but not religious, so to speak.

3)            Tell us about The Grand Master/Little Master Interactive Series. What inspired you to write it?

The Grand Master/Little Master Series was written out of a need I felt to create a character that was alive. I wanted my children to work on their own fears, concerns, and daily challenges, rather than read stories about how other children handled theirs.

This game/story came into being one morning in 1998 upon the realization that there was little I could do to calm my eight-year-olds fear of a karate competition.  Wishing I could give my daughter some confidence, a sense of Self, I began a game that showed an immediate transformation.  Unlike any other books of its kind, this series is interactive.  Minimal parental participation allows children to address their own childhood fears, concerns and self-esteem issues.  Universal Laws are presented in ways that give children an opportunity to experience their magic rather than simply hear about it.  This series promotes conscious parenting through the interaction that is stimulated by the weekly lessons. 
Grand Master is a wise and wonderful character who symbolizes the Divine Master-Teacher that lives within each of us, waiting only to be recognized. The books don’t have to be used in an interactive way, but if so, there are three letters from Grand Master to the subject child (that can be printed from my website) that deal with the lesson/topic for each story ; each one suggests something different to do during the week.  I recommend that parents/guardians place letters, one week apart, under pillows.  Parental Guidelines can also be printed from my website.

To date, there are three completed stories in the series.  Book one is titled, The Karate Tournament and addresses the basic fundamental universal law of Cause and Effect; what goes around comes around. You create your life. This story is also the child's introduction to Grand Master; it is therefore recommended that you read this book first if used interactively.  It is not necessary to read them in order after this.  At the end of book one is a letter to the subject child.  “It is no mistake that this book is in your hands, Little Master.  You have also been chosen to be a Little Master-in-training. Let us begin our adventure . . .”

Book two is titled Sink or Swim and addresses fear, how to view it a bit differently, and then move through it.  Book three, Love Has Many Faces, is about the 'less than loving' people in our lives, specifically a cranky teacher in this story, and suggests that this behavior is nothing more than a "bottled up version' of a love they don't know how to demonstrate.  This might be because they're sad, deeply hurt, or they feel unloved.  The point is, their behavior towards us has nothing to do with us. 

4)            Describe the steps you took to publish your novel. Who is your publisher?

Again, in the archives of my blog, one can get all the details and it’s a very cool story, but in a nutshell for this interview I’ll say that originally I sent all my manuscripts ‘snail mail’; it was time consuming and costly.  Also, back then, there weren’t any publishers who focused on spiritual, new thought books for kids so I was sort of shooting in the dark, trying to find something that might make a fit.  I received many hand written letters from publishers, telling me it was ahead of its time and encouraging me to keep trying.

I also had the support of Neale Donald Walsch’s non-profit organization, ReCreation. Before I even started my manuscript, I contacted them to see if it might be a fit with his NY Times Best Selling series of books, Conversations with God, except that it was for children.  They took a liking to the idea and encouraged me to put it in manuscript form.  Once completed, I emailed it off to them and they loved it.  They weren’t a publishing house so they couldn’t publish it but they were so much of a help in keeping me motivated.

I finally put the manuscript away and some nine years later, pulled it out of a drawer.  I decided to search one more time for ‘children’s spiritual publishers’.  To my surprise, I found Pick-a-Woo Woo in Australia.  I sent it off, they loved it and the rest is history.  But talk about Divine Timing, just two days after my acceptance with PWW, I got a call from Linda Lee Ratto who (at the time) had been working with Neale Donald Walsch for over a decade and was co-leader of his School of the New Spirituality.  Apparently my manuscript had been sitting on her desk for years!  ReCreation never threw it away and it drifted around.   Anyway, they finally started a small publishing house for Neale’s work and wanted to publish my series to be used as part of their teaching curriculum for the school.  Tough choice for me but it was decided by all that PWW had more to offer as a larger publishing house.  Linda graciously offered to write the foreword for my series and include a picture of her with Neale!

5)            Tell us about your illustrator. How much creative input did you have in the final product?

Lauren Wilhelm had been asked on many occasions (so I’m told) by PWW to illustrate some of their books.  She declined until she read my series so that was a nice thing for me to hear!  I loved her work and after looking at a number of other illustrators, she had it ‘hands down’ for me.  She sent me sample pages and it was uncanny.  She got everything right, other than the color of one of my children’s hair (which she changed!).  She had a gray cat in the pictures (how could she know?) and a series of other things that made my whole family chuckle . . . even my husbands ‘larger than average’ nose!

6)            Is being an author a career choice for you? Why or why not?

I would love nothing more.  I’m holding the vision of sitting in my moderate ‘log cabin type’ home in the mountains, continuing my series.  Why?  Because it’s the first thing I’ve ever done that doesn’t feel like work.  If I can earn a living doing it, then yes, absolutely.

7)            Tell us about your current projects and what is next for you.

I want to work on some deeper issues for children involving trauma such as loss of a parent or close friend, childhood disease and physical handicaps, this type of thing.  I believe we are all here to learn and make a contribution.  Faith in something bigger and a nurtured soul are key elements to moving through tough times gracefully and knowing that if we pay attention, we’re all guided.  Grand Master is that guide for children and while he/she/it is a fictional character, I believe he/she/it is real!

8)            How do you promote your work? What strategies have been the most successful?

I’m just beginning so it’s tough to tell you what’s working or not.  I believe social media is the best thing these days.  There are ways to market that I haven’t even thought of yet.  I spend every available hour I have on the computer, searching for outlets.  Reviews are good and interviews such as this are helpful too.

9)            What advice would you give to budding writers?
Don’t give up if you have something good.  Have other people read your work and get honest answers from unbiased people.  It’s a competitive business these days with so many self-published authors.  You’ll spend an immense amount of time marketing, make sure your work is worth the hours you’ll spend marketing it.

10)        What is your definition of success as a writer?

I don’t know if this is the best answer, but I’ll feel successful when I can give up my day job because my writing income can sustain me.  It’s certainly not all about money, there is so much more that excites me about writing.  But for me, that’s when I’ll have become a successful author; when I can live from that income.

Author Bio

Patricia Merker is a wife and the mother of two great kids, Haley and Jordan, who inspired her to write The Grand Master/Little Master series.  She was disillusioned with the lack of spiritual, New Age material available for children.  There was no shortage of parenting books, but little for children, on an interactive level, that was stimulating enough to hold a child’s attention.   Her wonderful family and supportive friends told her that the parents and children of the world needed to meet Grand Master; that the world would be a better place.

Patricia was born on November 20, 1956 in Columbus, OH.  She graduated from Ontario High School and went directly into retail sales, then retail management.  She served on the Board of Directors for a new charter school, Love of Learning, in Largo, FL.  Additionally, she was the Children’s Program Director at The Center for Conscious Living in Largo, FL. She wishes that she could boast some impressive educational credentials, but the truth is, she has never written anything other than an occasional note for an excused absence for one of her children from school.  It is precisely because of this, that she feels she was an instrument; a messenger of sorts; to introduce parents and children of the world to The Grand Master/Little Master Series.  It is her belief that she is no more an instrument than you, the reader.  The goal of this series is to make you believe it too.

Twitter: @PatriciaMerker




Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Writer's Block Interviews: Susan Ross

1)     Describe your journey as an author. 

I used to be a storyteller. One day a woman came over to me and told me I should write my stories down for my grandchildren (which I STILL don't have by the way). Years later I saw the movie "The Bucket List". So I decided I wanted to publish the stories I had told years ago before I "kicked the bucket."

2)     Do you specialize in any particular genre(s)? Why or why not?

I write children's books, picture books to be more specific, for children three to ten years old. That's always been my favourite age group. I used to be a teacher.

3)     What inspires your stories?

One never knows what will end up being the inspiration.The Great Bellybutton Cover-Up was inspired by a sheep shearing event at Fanshawe Pioneer Village. I thought, "What if one of the sheep didn't want to be sheared because everyone would see her bellybutton?" Say Please to the Honeybees was inspired by kids saying, "We want another book about Violet the sheep!!!!"

4)     Tell us about your most current project. 

I am working on a book called Emma the Mouse Brings Joy to the House. It is about a little mouse who lives in the dollhouse of her best friend, a little girl named Sydney. The original inspiration for this book was a corn event at Fanshawe. I made up a story about a little mouse who lives in a farmhouse of a little girl with the long blonde hair. The mouse wants long blonde hair, too. At the corn harvest she realizes corn silk looks just like the little girl's hair. She makes herself a wig.

Over the years I thought about this story and my friend Sydney, who was 12 when she succumbed to leukemia back in the 1960's. The ideas merged and now the story focuses on the friendship and love between the mouse and the girl. The girl gets cancer and the mouse helps her cope with the loss of her hair. It is meant to alleviate some of the stress children have coping with hair loss from chemotherapy. It is mainly a funny story offering hope but also offers a simplified explanation of why they are losing their hair. The book is geared to children ages three to ten who are dealing personally with hair loss or those whose family members or friends are dealing with hair loss.

5)     How did you become a published author? Describe that process.

I decided I would self-publish. My reasons were: very few publishers were accepting manuscripts: finding a publisher and getting to print could take years: and I wanted control of the art (publishers generally find their own artists unless the author is doing the art).

This involved writing the book, testing the manuscript on its target audience, finding and working with an illustrator, getting the layout done, finding a printer, marketing and selling the book, creating a website, and on and on and on.

I found out that self-publishing is NOT as easy as it seems. The financial and time commitment are huge. It is not for the faint of heart.

6)     How did you and your illustrator come to work together?

I found Megan Stiver at a Beal High School in my city. She was in their post-high school art program, Beal Art. It took me six months to find someone who could draw Violet the sheep the way I envisioned.

7)     What are the benefits of author visits to schools?

Author visits encourage children to WANT to read and write. Meeting an author is very exciting for children and personalizes the writing experience. Children learn that writing is a process, not something a writer does in one shot: it involves multiple drafts, editing and proof-reading.

I introduce children to the world of publishing and take the mystery out of how books end up on their library shelves by explaining all the steps that go into getting them there.

Children get inspired to write and/or illustrate their own stories. They get to ask questions about the story or the author that would normally never get answered. They get to hear how the author reads and interprets her writing. It's exciting and educational.

8)     How do you promote your work? What strategies have been the most successful?

I'm certainly not the best person to ask for advice on promoting a book. Although I've sold over 5,000 copies in all, I haven't achieved near the success I am hoping for as yet. So far author visits, book signings, book fairs and craft shows have been the most successful but they are a crap shoot. Sometimes I do exceptionally well, sometimes not. The best thing to do is try an idea and see how it goes. I also do social media but have not been successful to date with my promotions in this media. Also I am constrained by a very limited budget so that narrows my options significantly.

9)     What advice would you give to budding writers?

The most important advice I would give is to test your manuscript on your target audience if you intend to self-publish. Having friends and family read it is not enough. Many of these people will not tell you their true opinion in order to spare your feelings. I had to scrap one of my books. What Megan (my artist) and I thought was a hysterically funny story, children found mean. You just never know how your audience will react until you try the story out on them.

10)  What is your definition of success as a writer?

Is it making lots of money? Is it selling lots of books? Is it notoriety? Is it personal satisfaction? Everyone defines success in their own way. For me it's when I get feedback from parents, teachers and children telling me my books are some of their favorites.

Author Bio

Susan Ross is a children's author living in London, Canada. She has four published picture books: The Great Bellybutton Cover-up, Say Please to the Honeybees, The Kit Kat Caper and The Rose and the Lily. She is currently working on two titles: Emma the Mouse Brings Joy to the House and This Place is a Zoo. Susan is a former primary education teacher and storyteller.



Twitter @susanrossca


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Writer's Block Interviews: Joanna Lee Doster

Raychelle: Joanna, Thank you for sharing your story with our readers.

Joanna: Thank you, Raychelle, for inviting me to be your guest on The Writer’s Block!

1)      Describe your journey as an author/writer.

Reading and writing has always been in my family’s DNA. My father had thousands of books in our home library so we naturally learned to revere books. My father and brother have written many books, although in different genres from mine. I have written profiles of people in Hollywood and legendary athletes. I also wrote interior design columns and had previously published a non-fiction book with a traditional publisher, Celebrity Bedroom Retreats (Rockport Publishers).

Lately my imagination has taken me on a different journey in the world of fiction, most likely because of a life-long love of mysteries and a desire to tell epic stories. I had these extraordinary characters rolling around in my head and they compelled me to write my first story of fiction. That story became the thriller Maximum Speed: Pushing the Limit.

2)      Do you specialize in any particular genre(s)?

Well, as I mentioned previously, I did publish a book on interior design my other love with a traditional publisher. But now that I am focused on fiction, my genres include mystery/thrillers and action-adventures.

3)      Who are your favorite authors? How do they inspire your work?

I am an avid reader and have a long list of favorite authors. A few of them include: Wilkie Collins, Mary Shelley, The Bronte sisters, Elizabeth George, Erle Stanley Gardner, Dashiell Hammett, Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly, P.D. James, Agatha Christie. Ian Fleming, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the latest crop of fabulously talented indie writers too numerous to mention.

4)      Tell us about your most current project, Maximum Speed: Pushing the Limit. Is it part of a series?

I could have written about something a little less challenging, but I followed where my characters led me. In the case of Maximum Speed, this exciting group of characters was from the world of auto-racing. Now, I’m a big fan of motorsports. I first caught the bug when my husband took me to see a few races. I have been enthralled with the sport ever since. It was a surprise to me, being a city girl more at home with the shops on Fifth Avenue, but I couldn’t deny my alter ego’s desire to become a female racer, daredevil, and stock car racing fulfilled that urge in me.

So Maximum Speed became an adrenaline-charged thriller about three generations of an extraordinary stock car racing family who get caught up in a web of danger when suspicious things begin to happen to their DMS racing team: their twenty-three year old racing champion son is almost killed in a fiery crash and another teammate is brutally kidnapped. Someone or several someones are hell-bent on preventing the Devlin family and their DMS motorsports team from winning their third championship. There are many surprise twists and turns in the story: murder, switching alliances, family intrigue, romance, heroics, sabotage and just plain fun. The characters are multi-layered and tug at your heart strings whether they are good or evil.

People always ask me what happens to them after the book ends and I’m working on the sequel to address those questions. Maximum Speed will be a series. Ultimately, there will be a third book to complete the series.

5)      How did you choose your publisher? Describe that process.

I knew that it would be an easier journey if I published this book with an indie publisher. I had gone through the process before when I helped to publish my father’s book, The Ancient Aztecs with the indie publisher iUniverse, who is now the indie publisher for other family members. Their process is very organized and caters to the authors. The people at iUniverse were always very helpful and dedicated to me and did a great job in bringing my book to fruition.

6)      How do you promote your work? What strategies have been the most successful?

Promoting a book is probably one of the most difficult things to do. I have tried using a publicist and did my best to get reviews in newspapers and other media. The one thing I have learned is, for some reason if your book is not published by a traditional publishing house, book review periodicals tend to ignore you.

So, the next best way to promote your book is through recommendations of word-of-mouth. I have greatly benefited from using social networks such as Facebook and Twitter and thank God for all the other talented indie authors who have been instrumental in helping me get the word out. I was astounded by the reach of social networking! I now have contacts all over the world.

7)      What else have you written/published?

I wrote Celebrity Bedroom Retreats: Professional Designers’ Secrets from 40 Star Bedrooms, an interior design book I published through Rockport Publishers.

8)      What do you plan to accomplish in 2012?

Since Maximum Speed is a natural for a blockbuster feature film or as an episodic television series, or made for TV movie, it is garnering interest in Hollywood where I have representation, and they are actively pursuing those avenues for me this year. I shall continue to write. I have several new stories in the works.

9)      What advice would you give to budding writers?

I would encourage writers to trust their instincts in writing and let their characters live and breathe and let them tell their stories. Just keep on writing. Write first and then edit after. Don’t keep polishing it first…let it flow then you can edit.

10)   What is your definition of success as a writer?

One of the hardest things about writing a book or screenplay or any writing project is to finish it. A successful writer is someone who conceives of an idea and takes it to its completion whether it is a book or some other written form.
Author Bio:
Joanna Lee Doster is a writer and author of the recently published book Maximum Speed: Pushing the Limit. Her previously published work includes Celebrity Bedroom Retreats and a series of nationally syndicated celebrity profiles that also feature legendary sports figures. She has held executive positions in cable television, communications and the entertainment industry. She and her husband live in New York.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Guest Blogger: Regina Sunderland Offers 10 Ways to Beat Writer's Block

***Today, The Writer's Block welcomes Regina Sunderland who offers some creative tips for breathing life back into your storyline and getting past the dreaded writer's block. Have some tips of your own? Leave a comment!***

Writer’s block is caused by feeling pressured or overwhelmed. When something stops being fun, the mind sometimes rebels. By shifting focus and doing something you consider either fun or challenging, you can overcome this short-term blockage. I would like to share with you the ten writer’s block breakers that have worked best for me in the past:

1) Have a written debate with yourself!

Take a real pet peeve of yours. Now open a brand new word document or reach for a writing journal, and start systematically arguing the points with yourself. Turn it into a debate trying to sway your mind into the opposite direction and counter it back. Once your mind is engaged (and it will be) you can return to your original project. The creative flow has returned and you have even opened up a new way of thinking in the progress.

2)  Create a writing challenge and share it with other writers!

Create a timed writing challenge or exercise and share it with fellow writers on a forum or writers group. Make sure you do your own challenge as well and share the post. It is also a great way of sharing thoughts and building traffic with and for each other. So it has multiple benefits! I love that!

3)  Get a “word-a-day” calendar and work your way through it!

Part of honing your writing skills is learning new words. The “word- a-day” calendars are great for this. It is also a great writer’s block breaker as well. Gather seven days of words for the week and try to write a story using the words. Make sure the story flows easily and makes sense.

4)  Interview your characters!

Have your main character interview your supporting character and you may just notice that there is a lot more depth to both characters than you ever realized.

5)  Go for a walk!

Sometimes you just need to get away from it all in order to flow again. It is called finding inspiration! Take a notebook and a pen with you just in case it strikes.

6)  Play a puzzle game!

Playing a free puzzle or match-3 game actually helps you unlock the mental doors to your problem-solving mind. As the little pieces slide into place and you see the fun explosions of colors and sounds you’ll grow more relaxed and will be able to pick up your writing where you left off.

7)  Work on a rewrite!

Dig out something you wrote a long time ago (at least 1 year prior) and work on a rewrite from your more experienced perspective. I don’t just mean experience as in writing either, but the life experience you have gained since then as well. It works because you are not forced to come up with a new theme, but it will get you writing.

8)  Left-handed writing!

If you are right-handed, take a piece of paper and a pen. Put the pen into your left hand and start writing the following sentences: “My mind is fully engaged and I have no blockages anywhere! I can overcome anything and I am wide open to the flow of creativity.” Write them a couple of times, put the pen down, and see if this didn’t just unlock your right-brained (creative) thinking.

9)  Put on some music and dance!

Don’t worry, nobody is going to watch. You can do it in your living room and be as silly as you wish to be. Shake those cobwebs out of your body and release the tension in a fun way. I have some of the best ideas come to me when I dance around my house like a little puppet on a string. The joy that bubbles up in you, releases feel good endorphins and the silliness might just give you the needed boost for the story you are stuck on.

10)  Turn off the computer and step away!

If all else has failed, I turn off the computer, walk out of my office, and go into the bedroom with a journal and a pen. Instead of forcing myself to write a story, article or blog, I pour my writing woes out into my journal. Ironically this “whining” session eases me out of the writing block. I get it off my chest, I am writing (ironic isn’t it?), and I feel better.


Regina Sunderland is a 41-year old freelance writer, artisan and life coach. She is the author of several books and magazines which are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Lulu Marketplace. She writes under the Pen Names: Regina Kamrud, Regina Sunderland, Shalamar or Goddess Bella Donna.

Originally Regina is from Germany, but has made her home in the USA since 1988. She is a mother of 3 fully grown children and happily married. She currently resides in Las Vegas, NV where she runs her online businesses. Learn more about Regina's freelance work at

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Week 3 of The Writer's Block: Who's Up Next?

Many thanks to all who have participated in and supported The Writer's Block thus far. I hope that you are enjoying the great advice and insights that each of the authors and illustrators have provided through their interviews. So far, we have heard from traditionally published authors as well as Indies who write in a variety of genres. It has been great reading about their creative processes and their journeys to becoming authors. Soon we will feature interviews that focus on the business side of writing which includes every author's favorite subject: promoting and selling your book.Giving interviews is a great way to build an author's following. Here is this week's lineup:

Monday, January 23, 2012: Our first guest-blogger on The Writer's Block, Regina Sunderland, will offer "10 Ways to Beat Writer's Block".

Tuesday, January 24, 2012: Joanna Lee Doster (author of Celebrity Bedroom Retreats, Rockport Publishers) will share her latest release Maximum Speed: Pushing the Limit.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012: Susan Ross, a former teacher and storyteller, tells about her journey to becoming a children's author. (The Great Bellybutton Cover-Up)

Thursday, January 26, 2012: Patricia Merker shares how she integrates New Thought (spirituality for children) into her interactive children's book series, The Grand Master/Little Master Series.

Friday, January 27, 2012: YA author Candice Bledsaw explains her decision to self-publish her Eternal Embrace with iUniverse.

Be sure to stop by, read their interviews, and even leave a comment! Your feedback is important.

Keep the pen to the paper! Remember, inspiration is everywhere...