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There's no such thing as writer's block. Really. It doesn't exist.

You need to sit down and write. Even if it blows. Even if it makes no sense whatsoever. Just puts words on paper.

Eventually, it will kick in. I promise.

Listen to RGB, Alison. I don't believe in writer's block, either, although I have many a bad day where I just can't get motivated.

That said, I just went through a similar time with my next book. I got to page 50 and just stayed there. Nothing was happening. I had no clue where I was going. I ended up re-reading what I'd done then did a little research (my version of research is I took a drive around Fair Haven with a friend who knows where some of the bodies are buried, figuratively of course). I got a couple of ideas, wrote a sentence, then two and then I had 40 more pages. And stopped again. So over this past weekend, I read the whole thing over again and just started writing when I reached the last page. I got 10 pages done in one sitting and ended in the middle of a thought so I will be forced to continue the sentence tonight. I still don't really know everything that's going on, but that's okay. I like discovering the story's secrets as I move forward.

Simone will talk to you again, but give her a little nudge. Continuing to write will bring her back. And then you'll have a story and a scarf!

I'm always comforted by the fact that in the first draft all I have to do is show up and write, well...crap. Sometimes I do much better, but crap is fine. Often it turns out not be so bad at all.

So there's the push-through theory. Just keep writing. Eventually it will get better.

But there are times when stopping for a few days is not a bad thing. Shouldn't do it too often, because that could grow into a six-week vacation, but sometimes your mind is working things out and needs a little space in which to do it. I'm learning to recognize the difference between just plain unwillingness to sit down and write, and times when my mind says, "I'm not ready yet." That's the time I go to a movie or on a long hike or even clean house. I tell myself, two days from now, back to work. No matter what. And sometimes on the day I am to go back to work, I wake up early, bursting with a scene I have to write.

But the fallback position is to just sit down and write your words/pages, however you count them, for the day, and just move the ball down the field. Doesn't have to be pretty.

Characters have minds of their own. Are you having Simone do something *you* think she should but she doesn't want to? I had a similar problem with Julie in HG. I kept trying to push her in a direction she didn't want to go. She shut up completely. So when I gave in and did things her way, she let up on the silent treatment and started talking to me again. Only other writers can understand what the hell that last sentence means and that it actually happens :) I'm with RGB and Karen, write through it. You'll find the problem. If nothing else, stab Simone in the butt with those knitting needles to get her moving...

Now's a good time to go back over what you've already written and do a little pre-editing, tweaking, rewrites, whatever you want to call it. I've found that that can help jumpstart me. Not always, but often enough.

I tried writing a really clever comment here, but for the life of me, I can't put two sentences together.

Thanks for the advice, guys. I do know I have to sit down and, crappy or not, just write on through. (which I can't do right now because I'm at work, writing about Nick and Jessica. Did I mention Nick and Jessica?) Very helpful comments, all. And David, you'll think of something clever soon. I just know it.

Well, Nick and Jessica's separation IS a big deal - hard to think about anything else, really. I mean, if Ashton Kutcher ever decides to end PUNK'D there really won't be anything to watch on MTV anymore and that would make me distraught.

Just write something - even its completely useless/silly/absurd - to get yourself to the next page. The next page is progress.

I know, Jeff. At least Whitney and Bobby are still together, though.

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