Writing Tip #5: Talk it Out

Tip: When you’re stuck, find a friendly ear to listen as you talk through what’s gone wrong.

I’ve been stuck so many times writing Chapter 2 that I’ve lost count. Most recently, I’ve been revising with writing partner comments so I can send the draft to my advisor. But something wasn’t working. I wasn’t even sure what. So I enlisted my half-asleep husband to nod at me while I talked through why I might be stuck.

For some people, freewriting works to figure out how to get unstuck. For me, all the freewriting in the world won’t get me out of some knotty problems. I’m at my best when I’m processing verbally, and I don’t even need the listener to be fully conscious.

On Monday night my husband did actually fall asleep as I was talking, but I also figured out the big connection between the theory and the chapter content–at least enough to get started revising again.

How do you best process stuckness? Verbally? In writing? In doodles?

One thought on “Writing Tip #5: Talk it Out

  1. My partner totally thinks through things out loud, and most of the time I basically tune her out because she’s clearly just processing and doesn’t need me to be so aware of what she’s saying (which is good, because thinking out loud can be very useful to the speaker but is not always interesting to listen to). I’m not sure I’ve ever actually fallen asleep while she’s talking … but it’s definitely possible. Glad to hear that Chapter 2 is unstuck!

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