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How to overcome writer's block

According to Wikipedia writer's block is 'a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work, or experiences a creative slowdown. The condition ranges from difficulty in coming up with original ideas to being unable to produce a work for years.'

Many writers have suffered from this kind of creative constipation, and I have been asked at my talks if I indeed have ever experienced the condition. At present, with twenty two published crime novels to my name I am pleased to report I haven't and long may it last.

There are however times when I'm not sure how to develop a character or plot and therefore grind to a halt. When this happens there are three techniques I employ there might also help other writers.


I can choose to write through this barren spot, thumping out words on the keyboard knowing they are rubbish but that eventually I will come out the other end with an idea which can be developed and licked into shape.


Pauline Rowson on locationI go for a long walk, usually around the harbours where I live, or deep into the countryside. This is not only great for thinking through plots but also helps to give me more energy not to mention toning the muscles and keeping off the weight. And as my novels are set around the sea can at the same time stimulate plot ideas for future novels.



Pauline Rowson in character knitting for victoryI pick up my knitting, which is great for stimulating the creative juices and with knitting not only does it help when thinking through plots and characters but I also get a very nice cardigan at the end of it!

Here I am knitting while dressed in character for the last night of my 1940 set murder mystery Play, MURDER AT THE PELICAN CLUB performed by the Winterbourne Players, Bristol in November 2018.

So there you have it!

My three top tips for coping with or overcoming writer's block:

1. Work through it, keep writing even if what you are writing is rubbish.

2. Take some outdoor exercise, connect with nature, look around you, listen to sounds - or if the city of town is your preferred choice, or you have no other option then walk the streets, look at the architecture, watch people, listen to the sounds, don;t worry about your novel or your writing become absorbed in what is around you.

3. Take up knitting (or possibly another creative craft and absorb yourself in it). Knitting, however is very good for stimulating the brain as the hand, eye and mind work in unison, and there is something soothing and yet invigorating in the rhythm of the needles.  You also get a very nice product at the end of it!

Dead Passage a DI Andy Horton crime novel by Pauline RowsonDEAD PASSAGE no. 14 in the DI Andy Horton series.

A mysterious telephone call sends Horton on a complex and twisted investigation into the death of a local politician twelve years ago and uncovers a trail of lies, secrets and revenge with roots deep in the past.

"A detective novel in the tradition of Rankin and Harvey." Mystery People Magazine

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FEBRUARY 8TH, 2019 @ 7:26:41 GMT

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