7. Stuck? Try research. Sometimes “writer’s block” is nothing more than a lack of information. Your character needs to draw her sword, but you don’t know how heavy a blade she would use or whether a woman could wield that weapon left-handed. That’s where research comes in. Find a book, read the Internet, or talk to an expert in the field. Research doesn’t just answer your questions; it sparks inspiration too. When you find the information you need you’ll return to your project excited and eager to put those new facts to good use. And if research has you flummoxed . . . April’s Inspired Homeschooler column will take you on a “research field trip” and teach you to find all the information you need to bring your inspired ideas to life.

8. When you fall off the horse, climb back on. The road to success is littered with discarded novels and stories that failed because authors allowed a setback to derail them permanently. Emergencies, family issues, and daily life will interfere with your writing progress, and that’s not an “if”; it’s a “when.” No matter how determined you are, at some point you’ll look up and realize that weeks—or months—have passed since you tried to write. Don’t despair. Instead, pick up the pen and move on. Don’t let a setback cost you a dream. 

“I don’t have the time” and “maybe next year” are recipes for writing disaster. In the game of “might have been,” the “buts” always win. Don’t let that happen to you! Grab your notebook and dust off that inspiration.

Make this the year that you decide to make the time and make your writing dream come true.

Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade magazine for homeschool families. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com  or read it on the go and download the free TOS apps to read the magazine on your Kindle Fire or Apple or Android devices.

Susan Spann is a partner in the law firm Llewellyn Spann, where she specializes in copyright, trademark, and corporate law.  Formerly a professor at Trinity Law School in Santa Ana, California, she currently teaches business law at William Jessup University.  

Publication date: October 29, 2012