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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Investigate your block
If you have been paralyzed with a phobia for the activity you love passionately-the one thing that you crave to do with all your heart and cannot; if you loathe and upbraid yourself for your paralysis, then UNSTUCK will talk to you. And keep talking. This author understands that blocked place intimately and compassionately, and this book has shown me how to investigate...
Published on November 3, 2003

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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty much the same, only less
I was a little disappointed by this book. It describes 2 types of writer's block: those who find the writing process so torturous every word is painful, and those who find getting down the words easy enough but who procrastinate too much, but it's really directed more toward the former (which mirrors the author's own feelings on the subject).
If I had to recommend...
Published on October 26, 2003 by Amazon Customer


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Investigate your block, November 3, 2003
By A Customer
If you have been paralyzed with a phobia for the activity you love passionately-the one thing that you crave to do with all your heart and cannot; if you loathe and upbraid yourself for your paralysis, then UNSTUCK will talk to you. And keep talking. This author understands that blocked place intimately and compassionately, and this book has shown me how to investigate (not push away) the fear and resistance to writing. For me this book is not so much about "methods" and techniques," although it includes those supports. No, this book is about the broken heart of your talent, and the return to the impulse that begs you to write.
It's nice to have all those other writing books, like Natalie Goldberg and Julia Cameron. But they assume that you will be able to write given a creative prompt. They don't understand why you cannot write. I read K.Bright's review. I wonder if he/she perhaps has not been truly stuck. I didn't want or need novelty when I was blocked-I needed help. I highly recommend this kind and skillful book.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best book addressing the subject, August 3, 2005
By 
This review is from: Unstuck: A Supportive and Practical Guide to Working Through Writer's Block (Paperback)
I've had a serious three year block and have tried desperately to get out of it. I had looked at several books about writer's block and all of them were feel-good garbage or throwaway 101 Tips to...

Staw's book is the best I found dealing with the subject. As one reviewer noted, it's difficult to even take time to read a self-help book, because you tend to feel that it's one more case of avoidance or procrastination and the hour it took to read could have been spent writing. But Staw has some salient, psychotherapy-based points about those feelings--guilt and avoidance. She emphasizes kindness to oneself instead of listening to the inner hypercritic, and while this might sound like feel-good nonsense, the way she writes about it makes sense and this technique pretty common in counseling. Her examples of patients experiencing writer's block range from mild to extreme--which made me feel better. This guide by no means got rid of my block, but in some ways it gave me (or allowed me to give myself) permission to write sloppily. There's no way I can write as well as I'd like to, certainly not while experiencing a block, and I feel that Staw really nails it when she points out how counterproductive this drive for perfection can be. I've since loosened up enough to start writing small things without caring so much about the outcome (these reviews for instance)--and it's been a pleasurable step in the right direction.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn how to practice deep compassion for your writer self, September 19, 2004
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got fired up about my writer's block a few months' ago,
and read several books on the subject, including some that
are out of print. This book is by far the best that I've
read. Jane Anne Staw teaches you how to get to know your
inner writer, how to be kind and compassionate toward that
person, and how to mobilize yourself into writing. I've
read the book three times now, each time getting more out
of it than the time before. I cannot recommend it more highly.
She uses examples from all kinds of writers--businessmen
writing memos, lawyers writing briefs, grad students writing
dissertations, you name it. Staw obviously has an active
practice of being a therapist for writers with writer's
block, and she shares the nuts-and-bolts ideas she uses
in that practice.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book every writer needs, November 20, 2003
By 
K. Luker (Berkeley, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This is a gentle, thoughtful and PRODUCTIVE book. It invites you to accept, face and work through the many, many things that can come between a writer and the blank page. I can personally testify that this book changed my life, and as a person who mentors a great many graduate students, I plan on giving each and every one of them a copy.
On top of everything else, the book is a model of what we are all trying to achieve: a clear, wonderfully-written entry into another person's being and thoughts. As the old saw goes, Jane-Anne Staw not only tells us how to be better writers, she shows us. Her writing reveals, on more levels than one, the payoff for gently confronting our resistance to writing. Her goal is to help you write with joy, and at least for me, it worked. (OK, it works most days and most of the time, but part of the gift of this book is learning to let go of perfectionism.)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Speaks to all Those Who Want to Blossom Creatively, November 6, 2003
By A Customer
Unstuck is a refreshing take on an age old problem. It is a much needed perspective, written in a voice that is accessible, honest, and powerful.
This is not a glitzy book with ridiculous theories. This is not a book about self promotion of the author. It is a book about helping people like me find my voice.
I thank Jane Ann Staw for this.
I am not someone who considers myself blocked, but aren't we all like that. Unstuck made me comfortable with the fact that I have trouble kicking off my creative process, and provided me helpful tools to find my words.
I have already referred this book to all my friends of creative spirit because I know the book will help them as much as it has helped me. Though they may be seeking the perfect brush stroke, or an impeccable musical note, just as I am seeking words, unstuck will make a wonderful addition to their library as it has mine.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just wonderful, June 2, 2004
By 
This is the best book I've read on writer's block, or how to be nicer to yourself when your writing isn't going well. It deals from the inside out, not concentrating as much on techniques (there are lots of books that focus on workmanship around), but instead helps you look on what's going on inside you and what led you to being blocked.
I've been reading this book slowly for several months, parcelling out the chapters and stretching the experience. It's helped me a lot with my writing. I simply love this book!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recovering Your Writer's Voice, October 31, 2003
Reading Unstuck was like having a trusted friend take my hand to lead me through shoals and around quicksand to a safe and quiet place to recover my writer's voice. Jane Anne Staw's supportive words enabled me to begin to tune out my inner-skeptic, to silence that brutal self-critic hovering over my keyboard, and, as she urges, to have compassion for myself. The book has useful exercises at the end of each chapter; and examples, drawn from the experiences of Dr. Staw's writing-blocked clients, are motivating and reassuring.
Yet Unstuck is far more than a self-help workbook. Woven through the pages is the author's account of her own battle with writer's block. I loved reading about her transformation, from a sleep-deprived college student struggling to write even one sentence of paper due the next morning -- did she write that just for me? -- to a "real" writer. A writer who is confident of her process and dedicated to her practice. A writer who now can declare that, once in a while, writing makes her ecstatic. It is her journey to fluency, a pilgrimage bracketed by interactions with her astrophysicist father and punctuated with deepening insights, that I found the most memorable and instructive part of Unstuck.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll find yourself in Unstuck!, November 30, 2003
By A Customer
This generous and gentle book is filled with suggestions for how to keep your writing flowing. Drawing from her years of experience working with every kind of writer, Jane Anne Staw brings us useful and practical ways to keep ourselves writing happily. Many of us have devised subtle ways of sabotaging our writing life. Jane has carefully looked at them all, and provides loving and realistic help. Fifteen minutes a day, she urges us, five minutes, just so we keep at it, and don't give up on ourselves.
At its core, Unstuck is a book about loving ourselves, being patient with our foibles, and finding a way to express our hearts and souls. Thank you Jane Anne Staw!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it works!, January 26, 2004
By 
Roman Holliday "jevb" (San Francisco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
I wasn't sure I believed in writer's block, much less suffered from it. After reading Unstuck, I realized how I had been avoiding the scary act of putting my posterior in the chair and writing. Staw's straightforward suggestions are seemingly simple: to be nice to ourselves, to start with only fifteen minute sessions, rewarding ourselves for the work we do, rather than beating ourselves up when we fail. They work: I finished a first draft of an important chapter of my memoir. I highly recommend this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Key to the lock of writer's block, October 30, 2003
By 
I found UNSTUCK to be a wonderful guide to confronting and overcoming the obstacles that get in the way of our writing. For those of us who are tired of being told what to do it is refreshing to hear how it can actually be done. The author's personal story and the many examples from her work with her clients provide familiar scenes of frustration that are followed by the less familiar but valuable descriptions of working through. I felt reassurred that there are ways out of the maze of procrastination. No book is going to give you all the answers but this book shows you how to find the right answer for yourself and gives you the courage to move on.
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Unstuck: A Supportive and Practical Guide to Working Through Writer's Block
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