How to not get stuck: writing as a process


Richard Holt is an experienced writer, editor and story coach with us here at ASTT, and is about to launch his collection of short stories What you might find through Spineless Wonders. We asked him whether he got stuck at some point in the writing process...

What I’ve come to realise is that if you regard writing as a series of start and stop exercises then you get stuck. But if you regard writing as a process that you do, you’re never stuck. You’re always just in the middle of your writing life. You can pick up bits and drop them and move on and move between stories… and that’s the approach I tend to take. It prevents me getting stuck. 

Sometimes I might write five pages of a story and then realise I don’t have the rest of the story at that point in time. I don’t regard this as any sort of failure. In fact there’s a number of stories in this collection that I might have parked for two or three years, then gone back to and found something in them that I didn’t realise was there, and I’ve taken them off in a new direction. 

That’s what I mean about writing being a continuum. Nothing’s ever wasted. 

My notion of what a creative life looks like is not linear. That’s not for everyone. It’s taught in school that careers are linear things and we plan them. Really as a writer you make the opportunities and you make the most of them. 

May your words pour onto the page, 


What you might find is being launched at Readings, St Kilda on 26 April at 6pm.