Steps In Between

Celaine Charles ~ My journey as a writer ~ Author site:

Writing Breakthroughs (25 Tips When You’re Stuck)

How many breakthroughs do you experience as an author? Foolishly, when I began this writing journey, I assumed it might be every now and then, or once in a blue moon. However, the deeper I dive into this world of authoring, the more I find myself regularly STUCK!


I’ve successfully published three books. When does this process get easier?

But the more I follow other authors, the more I realize, I’ve known the answer all along.


It never gets easier creating new stories from scratch…drafting them, revising them, editing them, querying them, revising and editing them more, and then there’s the whole business of marketing. Every part of this process—I mean dream—just becomes more! And the further I go, the more projects and facets of book-writing I venture into.

So, in a sense, I triple all the above!


The question now, how do I manage all the dead ends in my labyrinth of writing?

The answer I’ve come to…just keep moving forward.

Here are 25 tips I try when stuck in a project (in no particular order):

  • Take a walk (or some kind of nature bath)
  • Read a book in the same genre I’m writing in
  • Listen to writing podcasts
  • Visit a museum
  • Go to a movie in a movie theater
  • Go to the real theater and see a play
  • Complain to my writing critique group
  • Plan a field trip to research my characters (where might they go if they visited my town?)
  • Drown my sorrows in chardonnay and allergy-free chocolate
  • Reread all I’ve written again with fresh eyes
  • Read another author’s ARC
  • Read book reviews
  • Work out (I like Pilates)
  • Write or read poetry
  • Write something completely new (maybe an article helping other writers)
  • Pray (this one seriously works for me)
  • Find some fresh inspiration for my writing space (a new candle, vase of flowers…)
  • Plan a weekend or even just a day to NOT think about writing and just be
  • Spend time with loved ones or friends and just live a little (fill up the life tank)
  • Find a new flavor of tea or coffee to drink while I write
  • Try plotting a little—if you’re a pantser. Try pantsing a little—if you’re a plotter. The point? Do something different!
  • Read a writing craft book
  • Dress up when I write (or maybe dress in character), but sometimes dressing for the occasion puts me in the right mood.
  • Burn candles or use aroma therapy to set the mood…I like lavender and vanilla
  • Create mood boards to go with my stories (Pinterest is great for this)
  • Take my characters out for lunch…or dinner…or coffee…or dancing (whatever might work for the story). By this, I mean that I write a small scene that might never make it into the book, but maybe something to share with readers later.

If any readers out there have ideas to add, please feel free to share. Writing can be isolating, but it doesn’t have to be lonely.

Everyone gets stuck. Initially I thought that it wouldn’t be so often, so repetitious. My best advice, and the message I deliver to myself every single time—it will pass. It’s okay. Keep putting your best foot forward. Because the BREAKTHROUGHS feel amazing!

Happy Writing (because even when you’re stuck and breaking through, you’re still writing),

Celaine Charles, January 29, 2023

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4 replies

  1. Super tips, Shar!

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