Write From Home

Home  Busy Freelancer  Bookstore 

2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006: Named one of the 101 best Web sites for writers by Writers Digest Magazine.

Selected by Bella Life Books as one of the top ten lists for writers in the "10 Top 10 Lists for Writers."

Boost Your Income by Writing for Trade Magazines!

This site best viewed using Internet Explorer at 1024 x 768 resolution.)



About Write From Home

Contributing Writers & Columnists

Reprint Policy

Privacy Policy

Write From Home
Kim Wilson
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610

E-mail: kim @ writefromhome.com

Off the Page...

Break Left to Escape Writer's Rut
by Tama Westman

Do you ever feel like you are writing the same thing over and over and over again? Intro, grabber, the story and the wrap. Different facts or different characters, but it's all so much the same?

It's easy to get into a writer's rut when you happen upon a winning format. I made my editor happy and my client's too when I developed this great skeleton, basic bones for a business advertorial. Three paragraphs containing the basic information, company history, local tie-in and consumer value, coupled with a few fresh photos and everyone was happy. Everyone except me.

Using the template, I was able to produce articles in record time, keep clients and editors and my checking account happy. But, my writing fingers grew itchy. I felt I was filling in the blanks more than doing any actual writing. My high school basketball coach taught me to "break left" at times to keep from telegraphing my next move and to keep the opponents guessing. So, while it may serve you very well to come up with a winning blueprint for a time, either for articles, columns, or novels, there may come a time when you want to break left to recapture your creativity.

For me, this meant throwing out all my normal approaches. I broke free from the blueprint and attacked my next subject with a vigor that had eluded me for months. The resulting article was fresh, snappy and superior to the cookie-cutter articles I had been putting out.

Applying this same approach to my columns, book manuscripts and speaking topics, my writing came alive. I worked even faster with the creative side of my brain operating in full gear. Breaking left in my work with non-profit organizations, I began to key in the heart-tug story first to my articles and annual reports. Breaking left with feature articles, I freed myself from the rulebook, and wrote the most interesting part of the story first to energize the article, and then popped in the details needed to round it out. Rather than starting with an outline, summary and introduction for my latest book project, I broke left and started with the meat of the book, allowing the manuscript to form on its own.

Next time you feel like you're stuck in a rut, a writer's rut, break left. Discard your normal writing habits and take on some new ones. You may discover a whole new side to your writing you never knew existed. The results can be an exhilarating surprise.

Tama Westman writes the Off the Page column for Write From Home. An award-winning journalist, she teaches creative writing and poetry with the AHEAD program (Achieving Higher Education and Dreams) at Metropolitan State University, mentors high school journalism students, and speaks at writers conferences throughout the country. Married twenty-four years, and mother of two grown children, she lives in Minnesota. She loves to hear from other writers. Feel free to contact her at tama@tamawestman.com. For more, please visit http://www.tamawestman.com










Free Mini E-Course Download PDF
Writing For Profit: Break Into Magazines
by Cheryl Wright



Article Library

Off the Page

Life of a Writer Mom

Dabbling for Dollars

Interviews with Authors & Writers

Copywriting, Marketing, PR & General Business

The Writing Trade





Writing For Children

Writing With Children

Taxes & Freelancers              
Great Magazines For Writers

magazine cover


Subscribe to
Writer's Digest magazine!

magazine cover
Subscribe to The Writer magazine  

New to freelance writing?

Read this informative article.

Read Glossary of Writing Terms

Authors Area

Agents & Publishers

Book Marketing


(Electronic & Print)



Associations & Organizations

Job Boards & Guideline Databases

Research & Reference


Author &

Writer Web Sites

Writing Sites

Copyright 2001-2013 Kim Wilson/Kim Wilson Creative Services.