Heather Vogel Frederick
Q: What do you do when you get stuck?
A: Ah yes, writer’s block. It happens to us all. To be honest, I simply don’t put up with it. I’ve been writing for a living one way or another for over 25 years now, so writing is my job. I wouldn’t get cashier’s block if I was a checkout clerk in a grocery store, would I? So I refuse to succumb to writer’s block. It may rear its head occasionally, but I’ve found ways to pull the wool over its eyes—I’ll take the dogs for a walk, maybe, or do the dishes. Scratch around in the garden. Bake something. Busying the hands often frees the mind to work out whatever snarls have arisen. If nothing else works, I’ll skip to a different part of the story and tinker with that instead. Just something to keep the wheels turning. If I’m persistent, eventually the logjam breaks and things start to flow again.
Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
A: Read.  Write.  Read some more.  Write some more.  Repeat.

There are no shortcuts. Just as it takes time for, say, a dancer to be ready for the stage, or for a lawyer to be ready to argue a case in court, or for a violinist to play with the symphony, so it takes time to grow a writer. Hours and days and weeks and months and often years go into growing a writer. Be patient. Persist. Have faith in yourself.

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