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Writer's Block

Does This Situation Describe Your Concern?

The Center for Work and Family Life is available to help in the following ways:

  • practicing better self-care
  • activating and expanding your support sytem
  • applying and integrating the information found in these book & web resources into your daily living
  • connecting you with providers or community resources that specialize in this topic

Please call CWFL to request personalized assistance on this topic

Our phone is 213-821-0800

Reading List Notations:

Green font indicates books that have been read by Center for Work and Family Life staff.

The Center does not specifically recommend or endorse any particular literature, nor does the absence of books from this list represent a recommendation against such works.

The Center for Work and Family Life would like to thank and give credit to the Stanford University Faculty and Staff Help Center, which was instrumental in helping to assemble this reading list.

Web Resources Notations:

The links listed are being provided as additional resources for you. Most of these are not affiliated with the Center for Work and Family Life.

Neither the Center, nor the University, is responsible for these websites, their content or the referral information they provide. As such, we encourage you to be an educated consumer in using the links to take you to the resources available for that topic.

If you have any questions, comments or find information on this page that is incorrect or no longer current, please contact us at (213) 821-0800 or at

Reading List

Boice, Robert (1990). Professors as Writers. New Forums.

Note: A well researched, balanced and practical guide focused on improving productivity in academia, though it applies to all writers

Boice, Robert (1990). The New Faculty Member. Jossey-Bass.

Note: Addresses writing and a number of other issues for junior faculty

Boice, Robert (1994). How Writers Journey to Comfort and Fluency. Praeger.

Note: A comprehensive description of his knowledge and advice for writers of all types

Burka, J and Yuen, L (1983). Procrastination. Addison-Wesley.

Bolker, Joan (1998). Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day. Owl Books.

Burns, David (1992). Feeling Good. Avon.

Note: Helpful techniques from cognitive therapy to address problems with perfectionism, negative self-talk, depression, anxiety and other issues

Cameron, Julia (1998). The Artist's Way. Putnam.

Note: The daily writing exercise prescribed in this book is potentially useful to all blocked writers

Elbow, Peter (1973). Writing Without Teachers. Oxford University Press.

Goldberg, Natalie(1988). Writing Down the Bones. Shambala

Goldberg, Natalie (1990). Wild Mind. Bantam.

Note: These two similar books offer numerous tips and exercises to promote the flow of writing; good for people who struggle with early over-editing and excessive self-criticism

Kirsch, Gesa. (1993). Women Writing the Academy. Southern Illinois University Press.

Note: Issues and challenges for women academic writers

Lamott, Ann (1994). Bird by Bird. Pantheon.

Note: A humane and humorous approach to the emotional challenges of being a writer

Moxley and Lenker (1995). The Politics and Process of Scholarship. Greenwood Press.

Note: Essays on a number of issues related to writing and publishing in academia

Nelson, Victoria (1993). On Writer's Block. Houghton-Mifflin.

Olsen, Tillie (1979). Silences. Dell.

Note: An author's account of the experience of being unable to write for years due to other responsibilities

Rico, Gabrielle (1983). Writing the Natural Way. Tarcher.

Rose, Mike (1985). When a Writer Can't Write. Guilford.

Sternberg, David (1981). How to Complete and Survive a Doctoral Dissertation. St. Martin's.

Web Resources