The Writer’s Block Troll by Aileen Harkwood


Today I have guest blogger Aileen Harkwood who has some great books coming out.  Thanks Aileen for being here today.  



Spit it out. Don’t obsess. Just write…

When I first started writing fiction, I was plagued by chronic writer’s block, the type that doesn’t last mere hours or days, but goes on for months. It took me years to finish my first novel, and to be candid, it wasn’t that great a story when I was done. Every word felt like it had to be plucked out of me with tweezers. I could take a perfectly good sentence or paragraph or chapter and rewrite and rewrite it, until I managed to wrestle it to the ground and choked the life out of it. Mostly, however, it was getting the words out in the first place that proved the problem. Fear was my constant companion.

A couple of years into that first novel, I started to visualize my doubt and fear and paralysis as being the work of a second head sprouting up out of my left shoulder, an ugly troll of a thing that would not shut up.

Gruesome as it might sound, one of my mentors—who writes horror, by the way, which explains this bit—told me, “next time the troll pops up, take out a gun and blow him off your shoulder.”

I’m thinking, gun? You mean like a water soaker?

No, she meant a badass, completely imaginary, of course, firearm. From then on, whenever the evil troll showed up, I grabbed my fictional Glock and took off his head.

Unfortunately, like the alien character in Men in Black who can grow a new head, The Writer’s Block Troll did this with disgusting frequency, but at least I’d have an hour or two during which I envisioned myself writing freely and wrote well.

I’d like to say I was able to quickly overcome my literary constipation by employing this technique, but it was only one tool to draw upon. If you have chronic writer’s block, the type that keeps you away from your keyboard for days, weeks, even years at a time, you’ll understand what I’m saying. A quick fix does not exist. Like any mental block, working through the writer’s variety takes time and hard work, and it takes writing. Lots of it. The more you write, the easier it becomes to write.

As another author friend of mine once suggested, “Dare to be bad. You can always fix bad. You can’t fix what isn’t there.”

In the end, overcoming writer’s block comes down to feeling comfortable with yourself as a writer. Notice, I’m not saying comfortable with your writing, because I believe it’s healthy to always retain that sliver, okay chunk, of doubt about anything you’ve written. Get too high on your talent and that’s when you’re in danger of losing the magic.

What I’m talking about is becoming more at ease with the act of writing. Learn to trust yourself to know which words to chose and the order into which you will put them. Have faith in your ability as a wordsmith, because if you stick with it long enough, and you soldier through the block, you’ll have earned the right. You’ll own that confidence.


MAGICAL WEDDINGS: 15 Enchanting Romances

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Amazon CA:





If you love contemporary wedding romance, enjoy a touch of the paranormal–witches, psychic pets, ghosts–or if your favorite beach read is romantic comedy, historical or military romance, don’t miss this engaging boxed set!

–All stand-alone stories (no cliffhangers)

–Includes 14 New Releases written expressly for this set

Whether real or only in the hearts of the bride and groom, the magic of weddings is undeniable. And irresistible! As these 15 enchanting happily-ever-afters by bestselling and award-winning authors prove.

From sweet to spicy, the romances bundled into this set cross time and unite hearts, cast spells of laughter, battle wedding jitters and fight back tears, while weaving love’s hopeful magic throughout 1400 pages.


The Last Wedding at Drayhome (Breens Mist Witches)

by Aileen Harkwood

Never underestimate the power of a witch and warlock in love who have nothing left to lose…

Every witch and warlock in Breens Mist, Oregon has one main talent that guides their destiny. Colleen McColly’s gift is to be caretaker and voice for Drayhome, a magical estate with a mind of its own. Sent under the guise of helping to prepare for a wedding, warlock Terry “Ax” Paxton has orders to evict Colleen, and end Drayhome’s century-plus-reign as the heart and soul of Breens Mist. It’s a duty against which Ax rebels, not just because it’s wrong, but because he and Colleen have a connection of their own, raw, passionate and too many years denied.




About kari lemor

Author of contemporary and romantic suspense. Love on the Line series now available from Kensington Publishing.
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2 Responses to The Writer’s Block Troll by Aileen Harkwood

  1. Thank you for the forum to share my experiences with writer’s block, Kari!! Much, much appreciated. 🙂

  2. Great advice, Aileen! I love the line “Dare to be bad. You can’t fix what isn’t there.” Ain’t that the truth? Thanks for giving the rest of us a shot in the arm 😀

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