Writer's Procrastination ~ Think like a Pro ~ chapter 5B

 What’s the greatest monster that writers face in every writing session? 

Writer’s Block. 

Yet Writer’s Block doesn’t exist.

Our work stoppages manifest in three ways. 

This episode looks at Writer’s Procrastination ~ caused by two different fears.

Discover how to overcome those fears.

Take a quiz to determine which type of work stoppage that you have.

And remember, Writer’s Block doesn’t exist. It’s actually something else.

The current three episodes are taken from Think like a Pro by M.A. Lee, chapter 5: One Simple Injunction ~ Writer’s Block Doesn’t Exist … not if you are a Pro with your writing.

Write to us at winkbooks@aol.com.


Listen on Podbean https://eden5695.podbean.com/e/29-think-like-a-pro-5b-writers-block-part-2/?token=3847f936142611f5b7e8752ebd3d1996

Listen on Apple Podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-write-focus/id1546738740%20

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/4fMwknmfJhkJxQvaaLQ3Gm?si=0GFku2PbShWXiDhRp7JaDQ

YouTube Channel Writers Ink Books - YouTube

Resources and Links

Think like a Pro by M.A. Lee

Guiding Lamp edition https://www.amazon.com/Think-like-Pro-Advent-Writers/dp/1983248266/

Floral edition https://www.amazon.com/Think-like-Pro-Advent-Writers-ebook/dp/B07DYMYQNJ/ 

Think / Pro Planner for Writers

Guiding Lamp edition https://www.amazon.com/Think-Pro-Planner-M-Lee/dp/1983248673/

Dean Wesley Smith

Blog  Dean Wesley Smith – Opinions and Writings

WMG Publishing Courses on Teachable (courses from Dean Wesley Smith and Kris Kathryn Rusch) 

 Home | WMG Publishing Lectures and Workshops (teachable.com)

Holly Lisle

Holly Lisle: Writer — read with hunger, write with joy, live with passion

Holly Lisle’s courses on her website

Login (hollyswritingclasses.com)

Writer's Refusal ~ Writer's Block Doesn't Exist ~ Think like a Pro (5 A)

Writer's Block doesn't exist.

That's heresy in the writing world, for everyone who doesn't think like a professional writer.

Professional writers can't afford to have writer's block. They discovered ways to analyze the problems and have come up with multiple solutions.

We have three forms of Writer's Block that we discuss in Think like a Pro: One Simple Injunction ~ Writer's Block doesn't Exist.

This episode looks at Writer's Refusal, a stoppage of our work but one that is not only easy to diagnose but also easy to solve.

Listen on Podbean

apple podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-write-focus/id1546738740%20

spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/4fMwknmfJhkJxQvaaLQ3Gm?si=0GFku2PbShWXiDhRp7JaDQ

YouTube Channel Writers Ink Books - YouTube or direct to the episode which is an mp4 with a few slides to prevent glitching.

Show Notes 

  • How We Know Writer's Block Doesn't Exist
  • Writer's Refusal definition
  • Solutions
    • Desperate to Escape
      • Writing Vacation
      • Writing Play
        • Grind-Escape examples follow the resources
    • Over-Scheduled
      • Breakaway from Project
      • Breakaway from Genre
      • Breakaway from Words


Think like a Pro by M.A. Lee,  copyright 2017, with the revised edition in 2018.

2 Examples of a Grind-Escape


My starting word was MANIPULATION. I wrote this, with my students, in April, which means this journaling activity had been running for several months. We were studying William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, which is the R&J in the piece. I changed the student's name to Clinton. I haven't corrected anything else, just reproduced exactly what I wrote

Sample 1

Manipulation. Appropriate manipulation devices. Devices to rid self of unwanted. Poor Clinton. He doesn't use any of our suggestions. mommy manipulation evil stepmother fairy tales like what R&J is based upon -- with tragic endings. Clinton is too nice. Why is it that women are never attracted to the nice guys nice guys finish last--sugar daddy is a 3rd--nice guys have to work at getting wives. The same as nice girls and then what they get is not what they wanted to they must swallow their anger / discouragement / unhappiness and that affects their health. Love at 1st sight. R had visual lust and proclaimed it love. J fell in love with his wooing. An interesting question, what made these 2 fall in love? How enduring would that love have been? After the initial attraction, how did their love grow and become stronger? Love love love love chemical reaction -- hormones gone haywire. Only after do we find commonalities that make us stay attracted. J is entranced by her 1st kiss R by her beauty. Something makes it more the tug at heart strings, the need for the other, the excitement, adrenaline rush. Infatuation all we have or does it develop into shared experiences that unite two. Love love love lost love lost love lost opportunities. Last opportunities unseized, ungrabbed become lost opportunities. Regrets but last days can also be regret as think of everything will leave, people won't see anymore. Facing life changes. A little scary, anxious, trepidation. A little like birdling takes its last flight from the nest. Practice runs all over.

Now, I write fast, and this exercise had become habit. When I look back in that journal, the writing for early September is half this length. In this passage you can see where twice I have hit static. I have gone from manipulation to fairy tales and love then lost opportunities and regrets, winding up with a bird leaving its nest and launching into the world. That's my brain talking to me, not me talking to my brain. 

This exercise becomes easier the more you do it. Here's an example from September of that year.

The students' starting was Summer's End. That's not where I started. I was frustrated and looking forward to a weekend trip that would take me away from the work-grind.

Summer's End. Explaining and explaining what to do. 3 minutes then 3 more minutes of a simple instruction. Over and over. Like rain pouring down, drop after drop, word after word, idea after idea. Now you're playing? Rain. Weather. How cold will it be? Rain. Need suit, towel, robe, slippers for wet, clothes, minimal makeup, sleeping bag and thermarest, what else? Really lightweight, Nordic bag, want to walk in morning, boots, hiking socks. Slicker? Need to buy a slicker type parka. Now this again was avoidance. 2ce. Play then list. What are you afraid of? What about rain makes you afraid? Rain rain rain rain rain following runlets running down the hillside collecting in ditches run-off gathers little trickles of water that become streams and streams become creeks to rivers to lake to the sea continuous ocean waves in and out a steady rocking movement cradle breathing tide and spin of earth 2 great forces making the great forces of earth move and drift and shift and affect people daily. Air and water. Breathing. Needing air. Needing others. Need to need others. Need to learn to rely on others. Need to learn to receive not just give.

The above example is shared to show the difficulty of the exercise as well as its revelatory experience. Again, you can see static occur, you can see how I was directing my thoughts with the list before I took myself to task (calling it avoidance) and forced myself to follow the exercise. Finally, you can see how the free-flow of ideas finally led to a significant revelation.

For killing the work grind, however, I believe this escape works best when the free-flowing lasts for 15 solid minutes. However, the seven-minute exercise can become a weekly habit that will get you in touch with your right-brain creative muse. 

Think like a Pro / Aristotle Rocks Story / 4 B

  What can a man over 2400 years old tell us about story?

More than most people think.

He's tells us quite a lot ... 

since every new and modern writing term

 is merely a re-thinking of the concepts 

that he worked on over 2,000 years ago.

Last episode, we looked Aristotle's essentials for dramatic structure, which creates a character-illuminated plot.

This episode delves into Aristotle's essential characters. Aristotle has the rocks for our foundational characters.

  • Protagonist (secrets and ghosts)
  • Antagonist
    • 5 types of conflict
    • 5 simple villains
    • 5 not-simple villains
  • Deuteragonist
  • Tritagonist
  • Chorus
    • 3 purposes of chorus characters
    • 10 side characters who provide the purpose of chorus characters
  • deus ex machina
    • coincidence and its problems
    • foreshadowing's importance
Listen to the two-episode explanation on

Podbean, for episode 1 at this link.

Go straight to Episode 2 at this link.

or YouTube here: https://youtu.be/hP9k5S5130E  I hope the YouTube mp4 file doesn't glitch this time. I spent a lot of time on it, much much more than I should have.

The Writers Ink YouTube Channel is here: Writers Ink Books - YouTube


We delve quite a lot into Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Euripedes' Medea. People are often wary of launching into the usual Euripedes translation. For years, I taught Robinson Jeffers' "translation" (it's actually a re-thinking) to 9th graders at all levels. Easy to read and to follow. Concord Theatricals quotes the New York Daily News which said that it "won cheers and thirteen curtain calls".  Also from NY Daily News ~

 Judith Anderson (who performed Jeffers' play in its first performance) was triumphant as Medea in New York, winning the Tony Award as Best Actress. Critics and audiences alike agreed that this adaptation of the Greek classic reaffirms Jeffers' preeminent place among modern poets. 

You can find Robinson Jeffers' translation at this ABE Books link (used) or this one online (which may be an illegal version) or here at Amazon (claims to be new but has the same cover version as the used). 

Old Geeky Greeks  by M.A. Lee: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082T3YVMK

Music for the Podcast (I always forget to add this) is "Background Music Logo" from plastic3 on Audio Jungle. Background Music Logo by plastic3 | AudioJungle

Think like a Pro / Aristotle Rocks Story / 4 A

 What can a man over 2400 years old tell us about story?

More than most people think.

Much More than People Think

 ... since every new

is merely a re-thinking

of the concepts that he worked on over 2,000 years ago.

For a character-driven plot structure and essential characters, Aristotle has the rocks for our foundation to story. This episode (running almost 20 minutes) looks at Aristotle's 5 essentials for plot. 

  • Mimesis
  • Peripeteia
  • Hamartia, with a side excursion on Hubris
  • Catastrophe
  • Catharsis, with Horace's "dulce et utile" as a clear explanation

The next episode will examine the essentials for character.

Listen on Podbean at this link.

Here is the YouTube link.

Available also on Apple Podcasts here.

Or on Spotify, the podcast series is here.

Purchase Think like a Pro at Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Think-like-Pro-Advent-Writers/dp/

The Think/Pro planner for writers can be purchased here: https://www.amazon.com/Think-Pro-Planner-M-Lee/dp/1983248673/

To read Old Geeky Greeks which devotes quite a lot to Aristotle -- and Plato and the Greek Heroic Pattern, the Seneca Blood Tragedy, and more and more and more, visit here.

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