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It’s a common part of the writing process: You sit down to work on your latest short story, your upcoming blog post, or the next chapter of your nonfiction book, only to feel like you’re fresh out of creative writing ideas or that your writing skills aren’t good enough. You feel like everything you write will end up going straight to the trash can.

It’s normal to feel that way, but the problem with this mindset is that it can prevent you from even trying—and when you don’t try, you can’t become a better writer. If you’re feeling stuck in this sort of mentality, a good antidote is to do some creative writing exercises—especially freewriting.