Know When to Walk Away


By Andrea Merrell

“I’m stuck,” my friend said. “ I don’t know what to do.”

It happens in every area of life. We hit a roadblock. We can’t keep moving forward, and we can’t seem to find a way around it.

So what do we do when this happens in our writing? We’ve worked on a project for months, maybe years, and we can’t seem to finish. Or maybe there are sections we’re not happy with. For many it’s that dreaded first page or the initial hook. Then again, life gets in the way when we least expect it.

Getting stuck can mean any number of things. What’s the solution? Let’s look at three:

Give Up

For me, this is the worst possible answer. When God calls us to write, He places a dream in our heart. A passion to point others to Him through our words. We should never give up on that dream. Our words may never make it to the best-seller list, but we never know whose life they may change.

Seek Help

The Bible says, “Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances” (Proverbs 11:14 MSG). Just be sure not to go overboard with too much advice (trust me, it can be overwhelming), and choose your advisers carefully. Find a good critique group or buddy who can encourage you, be honest with you, and help you move forward.

Walk Away

Sounds like give up, right? Not at all. Let me give you an example. I play on online game called Wordscapes where I create words out of a series of letters. It looks much like a crossword puzzle. Some screens are easy, others not so much. What I’ve found is that when I get stuck and walk away—even for a few minutes—the screen looks different when I return. I’ve given my eyes and my mind a break, and now I see from a new perspective.

Getting stuck from time to time is a normal problem for most writers. But we should never let it discourage or derail us. We can benefit greatly from putting that project aside and concentrating on something else for a while.

If your novel needs work, take the time to write a blog post or devotion. Catch up on your emails. Find a different place to write. Brainstorm with a friend. Take a walk. But before you do anything, pray. Whatever you do, just take a break. It might be for a day, a week, or months, but fresh eyes mean a fresh start.

God is the Master Creator, and He has placed creativity inside us. Ask Him to stir that creativity and give you new ideas. You  might be amazed at the results.

What do you do when you get stuck? We would love to hear your suggestions.

Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash


  1. Thank you for this inspirational and encouraging message. When I feel stuck, I pray. :-)

    1. Prayer is definitely the most important. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! :)


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