As a creative, I have tons of projects in the works: two short stories, one short story that could turn into a novel, twelve quilts, three cross-stitch projects, one painting, one creative tool for an upcoming workshop.

I'm in no danger of running out of things to do anytime soon, obviously.

Why so many projects? Well, part of it is that I tend to engage in long-term projects (like a quilt). After a while, I lose my momentum or interest, and I go on to something else.

Another part is that I get stuck. I'm not sure where to go next.

What I realize is that stuckness stems from three causes: 1) I don't have clarity on the next step, 2) I've lost momentum, and 3) the next step seems too hard.

And so we creatives traditionally chalk all that up to Writer's Block or Creative Block. But it's not really a block; it's a pause.

Just like Wesley tells Buttercup in the Princess Bride, "R.O.U.S.'s? I don't think they exist."

Of course, in the movie they DO exist, but Wesley and Buttercup bravely defeat them and go on in their journey through the Fire Swamp and the Thieves' Forest.

In our world, as far as writer's block goes, I really don't think it exists, although being stuck can certainly rear its ugly head and cause a few problems.

For example, my biggest problem with my short-story-that-could-be-a-novel is that I've reached a point where I don't know where to go next. It feels hard. I think I'm stuck, but it's not really that I'm stuck... I'm just not clear on the next step, AND just trying to figure out that step feels hard.

I can wallow in feeling stuck. Or I can do something about it.

What I've learned from teaching writing and creative strategies to others (and occasionally taking my own advice) is just taking a step, no matter how small, does wonders.

Because, inevitably, that step encourages the one after it, and the one after that, and the one after. And so on.

So, since I've been unclear, I opened up my mind mapping software and started graphing the various directions I could go with the next scene in the story. I quickly figured out where I did NOT want to go, and then it was pretty clear where I should go.

Off I went to write.

We almost always come to a place where we get a little stuck. We might need to regroup and step back a little. It doesn't mean that we're doing something wrong, or (our real fear) that we're not real writers.

It's all part of the process. Writing doesn't always look like a finished product. Sometimes writing looks like staring out the window or taking pages of notes or writing down question after question that we're trying to answer in the writing piece. Sometimes writing is about getting clear about what we're doing, what we're trying to accomplish, what our message is...

To get back on track, follow these tips:

Remember your purpose: What are you trying to do?

Remember your audience: Information will change based on who you're writing for.

What does your audience NEED to know about a particular topic? And what do they WANT to know? These items can be different.

How does your book, article, eBook, or whatever help your audience? What problem does it solve? What will the audience be able to do after reading what you've written? Tap into how valuable YOUR content is - and take the next step from that place.

How can you play - truly play - with that next step to make it fun and easy?

When you get stuck, go back to the basics. Embrace what you're trying to do in the first place. Tap into your purpose. More importantly, step into your clarity and let that fill you up.

Look at being stuck a little differently... what if you had fun in the process? You're creating something near and dear to your heart, whether it's a book on financial health for couples or a short story. Embrace and honor the playful nature of your creativity. It should be a joyous process. Use programs, strategies, or ideas to jolt your creativity.

Know that when you do embrace the creative process, you are connecting to something deep within you. That will be attractive to your readers or whoever your audience happens to be. That is what we're all trying to do, whether it's writing fiction, nonfiction, an eBook; we all need to connect with our audience. The best way to do that is if we are expressing our inner authentic selves.

Play. Create. And forget about stuck. I really don't think it exists.

Author's Bio: 

Dawn Shuler, Content Creator Extraordinaire, helps entrepreneurs and authors convey their deep message into compelling words, whether it's marketing material or a book, as well as to create powerful content to increase their credibility, visibility, and profitability. Her soul purpose is to help entrepreneurs unleash their authentic selves into their businesses through their content. She created the Writing From Your Soul system to help business owners connect more powerfully, reach more people, and make a difference. Download the free, 13-step system at