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  • Writer's pictureMali Bain

I'm Stuck! What to do?


We have all gotten STUCK when writing our life story or family history books. Book Publishing Cohort alum Judy McBride joined our "Getting Unstuck" webinars to share a few tips that she finds helpful. Here's her thoughts - enjoy!


1. Move: from your desk, to the kitchen table, the deck, to a café, to the public library (my fave!)


2. Move: walk, work out, yoga


3. Read writers on writing:

o Why We Write About Ourselves – Meredith Aran, ed.

o Burning Questions – Margaret Atwood

o Negotiating with the Dead – Margaret Atwood

o Storycatcher: Making sense of our lives through the power of story – Christina Baldwin

o and our faces, my heart, brief as photos – John Berger

o Understanding a Photograph – John Berger

o The Art of memoir – Mary Karr

o Writing Down the Bones – Natalie Goldberg

o The Storytelling Animal: How stories make us human – Jonathan Gottschall

o Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott (my fave!)

o The Wave in the Mind – Ursula K. LeGuin

o Trust the Process: An artist's guide to letting go – Shaun McNiff


4. Put the sticky piece aside and work on another section


5. Work on your images & captions


6. Share with your cohort. No guilt. You're not alone. Your cohort is your creative community. (See more about the Book Publishing Cohort here)


7. Share a piece of your writing (not the sticky one, rather, one that you like, and about which you feel confident), with someone who may or may not know your story. Ask for kind but critical feedback.


8. Indulge in mindlessness for a while: tidy your desk, take a nap, read poetry, fold laundry, paint your nails, watch the rain fall down...


Thank you, Judy, for sharing your tips!

Still feeling stuck? Join our next "Getting Unstuck" webinar to be re-energized and re-inspired to continue this important work.

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