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How to Cure Writer’s Block?
50+ Proven Ideas that Actually Work
Writer’s block is a common problem that writers face. It can be difficult to get started on a project and even harder to keep going when you start feeling bogged down. But don’t worry — there are plenty of solutions out there. In this blog post, I’ll show you more than 50 proven ways to overcome writer’s block based on the writer’s block symptoms that people commonly experience. From breaking the writer’s block cycle to developing better work habits, these ideas will help get your writing juices flowing again!
What causes writer’s block?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the reason may vary from writer to writer. However, some potential causes could include anxiety, lack of inspiration, or a lack of motivation.
What are some common warning signs that writer’s block is setting in?
Some common warning signs that writer’s block is setting in may include writer’s block persisting despite trying different techniques, difficulty starting or completing a project, procrastination, and feeling agitated or frustrated when writing.
How can you prevent writer’s block from reoccurring in the future?
Again there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to prevent writer’s block from reoccurring in the future will vary depending on one’s personality and writing habits. However, some tips that may help prevent writer’s block from reoccurring in the future include setting specific writing goals, breaking up long writing sessions into manageable parts, and keeping a journal to track ones progress.
But this article is not about some generic advice. Instead, we are talking about specific tips and tricks to help you write again with flair.
So, let’s get started.
Ways to overcome writer’s block
Take a hike: One way to do this strategically is by taking a walk every day. Tasks such as these clock in at almost 500 times the productivity levels achieved while standing still — and they won’t take up your entire day! Your writer’s block may be due to your work in progress not having any direction or the slow-paced plot. Instead of giving up, go for a walk and see what happens. The reason this tactic works may have something to do with the connection between movement (or lack thereof) and your subconscious when you are too immobile while doing nothing.
Rely less on your computer: The modern pace at which we use technology is scary. So, breaking that pattern can be helpful. Be real, be present, and have a plan that can free you from the trap of constantly relying on your device.
Try pen and paper. Write longhand.
Write yourself out of it: Write in bursts. Write something else. Start a new project. Anything from filling out forms online to constructing the graph on paper or just letting your thoughts flow in their own way is valid. There’s certainly no harm in trying new things.
Write anything — No rules!: It’s easy to get stuck trying to write the most ridiculous, over-the-top story you could possibly think of. The world is full of amazing stories — so give yourself permission to tell them! Writing anything you come across in those bright moments when you sit down at your desk or while driving home can help loosen the chains into action and give direction back into turmoil; from funny anecdote here, heartbreaking emotion there, inspiring ideas and motivational proverbs here, you’re basically able to fold bits of your life into creative progress.
Get a little help from a friend. Simply describe what you are feeling to a friend, what it is that you are writing, and how and where you got stuck. By narrowing your audience to one person, you become more decisive.
Choose not to believe in writer’s block. Deny it.
Sleep on it. Take a break. The most creative fluid can be found not behind your eyelids but within those. Indeed states of inertia often lead to breakthroughs, revolution, and empowerment. So give the lazy bunny a rest!!!
Go back to your roots. Find your touch. Strive to overcome your writer’s block daily by questioning what you’re doing, why you should be doing it, and how. This change of perspective can rally up enough momentum.
Let your subconscious do the work. Shake up your brain by turning on the radio, opening a window, or turning down even more lights. Distract yourself with an exciting video you found online and adjust to some version of white noise while forcing attention onto the boundaries of hypnosis.
Stay put. Be patient if it takes time. Hunchback of Notre Dame was first performed in 1696, and even then, it took the author Victor Hugo thirty years to finally get past his most incredible creation at age 70.
You have to be willing to lose your way. Being stuck doesn’t mean it’s being worthless or lazy either — aren’t there always two sides to all stories? The trick with writer’s block is to never lose sight of your natural views and the magic there.
Restrict Your writing space. It can’t possibly work if all that more exciting stuff takes up too much room in it already! Think simple — divide your area into smaller spaces instead of simply concentrating on one bigger space at a time.
Show Me the Money. I write because I have bills to pay.
Determine the root of the problem. This could be simply a matter of the imagination not being up to scratch or more jittery feelings than you thought.
List your favorite books and writers — this could remind you why art is always worthwhile. Make a list of what you do well. Write down the specifics so it can get done more quickly and easily instead of leaving them buried in storage or in your head until they’re obsolete on paper as opposed to memory alone.
Build a solid routine. This can include short bouts of writing followed by necessary breaks and loads of exercise, but this depends on your specific strengths/weaknesses. If your personal best was that last time you wrote a paragraph, it’s not enough. Do these things repeatedly until they come easier than the most simple thing in front of you each day.
Write it badly at first. First draft of anything always sucks. Do not be afraid to write bad as long as it’s only intended for yourself. It can end up being the best thing you ever wrote (and more!), but how could that possibly happen if no one else sees it?
Don’t Follow Your Own Rules. A tendency for some people is to insist on following their own rules. This can be outmoded and get in the way of actual progress from daydreaming into action. Others would have no idea how they were going wrong if they continued this habit, so ignore your self-righteous attempts at morality. Write what you want to read, and don’t let anyone tell you differently. And by all means, never stop trying. Be Naive.
Find a different way into the story. Maybe start with a new character’s point of view. Perhaps your inner dialogue isn’t necessarily what is needed to get past these writerly thoughts and solve the down feeling that lingers within resting hearts wherever there is too much thinking and not enough writing.
Optimize your writing toolkit. A method I use to deal with bouts of self-doubt and negative thoughts throughout the day is to get into my head as a proper writer should. This involves contemplating various things, changing specific facial features, or even just deliberately remembering how happy everything was back at the moment you finished that first perfect chapter or article. Real writers see the flash for what it is and do not let the mind drift too deep into those details, right?
Do something other than writing. Go for a run or sit in a coffee shop. Change your place of work for some time.
Do the opposite of your natural inclinations. Try transcribing a poem or song lyrics and see what happens. Write a purely factual note or even an email to yourself. Try it!
Use a writing prompt — Writing prompts are an effective way to overcome writer’s block. Having another brain issue a challenge can get many writers going, even you.
Develop a character. Write a character description. Think about characterization (who would I put in this scene, who would I choose for dialogue?) — giving your characters their own cultures, ideally bringing them more fully alive on paper — build your character’s emotions.
Try a different genre. Try a different style. Experiment with another accent or writing in the first person. If you are a screenwriter, write a short story or essay. If you’re a novelist, write a poem. Try writing a letter to yourself.
Put together a puzzle of some sort (such as a jigsaw puzzle, tangram, sudoku, crossword, or a one-word collage) to stimulate your brain.
Change your music. Playing a new genre of music can be a suitable method for getting over writer’s block.
Practice another art form. Singing, painting, sculpting, or dancing will get your creative juices flowing.
Watch a short film or a series or a movie or a play.
Try cleaning your work desk or a room or the whole house.
Create a story circle. The Story Circle is an approach to plotting that Harmon adapted from The Hero’s Journey — which itself derives from the work of academic Joseph Campbell. It lays out a kind of narrative arc commonly used by myths from all over the world and emphasizes how almost all forms of storytelling have a cyclical nature.
As a writing exercise, it can be effective to write out your story and think of all the elements holistically as a way to kick your writer’s block.
Completing a simple task is another way to move forward and get past writer’s block. Instead of thinking up more things you need to do, it can be helpful to sit down and complete a task that will help you start moving forward. Finish editing your 10k words or 100 pages already composed either at your office or home. As suggested by Julien Smith: “Remind yourself how important these words are.” You can also take out the trash, scramble eggs, and water plants. These all have the potential to impact creativity.
Practice a new language.
Visualize yourself in control and having freedom of expression by doing what would be exciting for you, such as role-playing scenarios.
Listen to a podcast while jogging or at the gym. You may be surprised how much this can change your mood and help you move forward in some of your writing projects!
Drink some coffee. Caffeine does wonders in stimulating the mind. It spurs writers in every medium to get moving.
One of the most common tips on establishing a new creativity kick is to change your environment. If staying in the same location to write is frustrating you, move your desk or find a different space where there are distractions like family members or pets. Even better would be an added bonus — like free coffee for every milestone of word count that you meet on your goal writing project!
Watch a funny movie or TV show. It will make you laugh and loosen up your writing muscles, so they don’t get too stiff. Without laughter, people lose the power to connect with themselves on other levels — spiritual, emotional, physical… Take a break from the general daily grind.
Jump into music-making! Think of it as creating new material while tapping into your creativity in an unexplored way.
Get some exercise.
Go outside and play.
Dictate and record your book.
Have a cocktail to cure writer’s block. I don’t advocate resorting to alcohol all the time, but sipping a cocktail has undoubtedly helped many a writer.
Go through a guided visualization. When taking guided visualization, it is often helpful to minimize talk so that it doesn’t clutter the call-up of your new idea.
Dance, meditate, or stretch. Avoid distractions for 15 minutes. Also known as “Silence,” it is said to be the breath of creativity and can speed up everything from your workday to your writing life. Quit thinking about what you’re going to write next because other than letting thoughts run amuck in idle brain space, these thoughts stall new ideas at birth.
Use the Pomodoro technique — Short bursts of nonstop [usually 25 minutes] writing, followed by a five-minute break until you are ready to start again. Pomodoro technique is the simplest way to get rid of writer’s block. Keep your mind on work, don’t think about your past or future, and write for 25 minutes nonstop in a set period of time before taking a break. The goal here is not fancy writing but putting words onto paper.
Go for the 30-minute challenge. A longer time span during which you have a maximum of 30 minutes to work. You should complete at least 3 consecutive 10-minute sessions throughout that period. One example could be setting a timer for 30 minutes and writing down the events of your day.
The pretend-you’re-talking-to-a-friend technique — Pretend you’re speaking to a friend at a bar, and you need to explain to them the story or scene you’re working on. How would you describe it to them?
Determine the root cause of your writer’s block. Unclear writing goals or unrealistic deadlines may be among the reasons for your writer’s block. Anxiety over criticism can also result in writers’ block because anxiety and shame inhibit creativity, making us reluctant to share serious work with our peers. Find out what your reason is.
Set Yourself Straight. No matter how many tips you read about writer’s block or advice on slowing down your writing process, don’t become stubborn; adapt them in any way that best fits into your specific situation and circumstances, such as finding ways around.
Writing can be a daunting task, but with the help of these helpful tips, you can overcome writer’s block and produce great work! In this blog, you’ve learned about the different methods for overcoming writer’s block and how to structure your work schedule to achieve maximum productivity. So, what are you waiting for? Start writing today and see the difference!
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About the author
I have spent 10+ years writing stories and marketing them. I’ve failed and succeeded over the years, and these are some of my tidbits on how I started my author business, perfected marketing, and more.
Here you’ll find resources to help you kick more ass with your words. No fluff, only actionable tips, and tricks if you are looking to make a living through writing, or just use it as a side hustle.
Things I like: Long walks, Reading about anything and everything, Telling stories and chess.