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Writer’s Block

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November 2009
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How to Prevent or Overcome Writer’s Block

What is writer’s block? Many writers have experienced writer’s block. It is the inability to start, or continue, or finish a piece of writer. The writer is unable to find inspiration to write.

Some writers never experience writer’s block. They always have something to say. Typically, their lives are filled with inspiration, such as food, travel, movies, poetry, novels, news experiences, friendships. And while they are living their lives, they find inspiration in the unexpected, such as illness, death, job loss, and so forth.

There will be times when a writer doesn’t feel like writing or believes he/she has nothing to say. These are the times when the writer needs to seek out inspiration.

Here are 12 ways to deal with writer’s block:

  1. Read widely and deeply. Fill your life with poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Read books and magazines. As you read, make note of interesting topics, ideas, and words. Use this information to write.
  2. Keep a journal and write in it every day. Get into the habit of writing about your thoughts, feelings, and life. When you have lost inspiration, reread your journal. Better still, write about why you are unable to write.
  3. Observe the world around you. Be mindful of the time, place, and setting. Write about what is interesting or unique. Write about what you see and hear.
  4. Take a break. Often writers will suffer from “burn out” because their minds have grown tired. Take a break for a day, week, or longer. Go on a vacation or travel. Do something different or enjoyable.
  5. Engage in freewriting. Take 15 minutes each day to write about something that comes to mind. Sit down with a notebook and begin writing without stopping. Don’t worry about correct grammar, punctuation, or spelling. Just write. Afterwards, reread what you have written. Ask yourself whether there is something you can write about.
  6. Immerse yourself in popular culture. Watch TV or go to the movies. Rent a DVD movie. Visit the art gallery and museum. Check out the film festival. Go to a reading. Visit a comedy club. Listen to inspirational music.
  7. Engage in creative thinking. Start by brainstorming. Use mindmapping. Ask “what if” questions. Change your perspective. Challenge your assumptions.
  8. Ask journalistic questions. To find ideas, answer the following questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? And How?
  9. Change your setting. Sometimes a writer is unable to write because of distraction. So find a place of inspiration and then begin writing again. Or decorate your surroundings with inspiration, such photographs, art, , keepsakes, and novelties. Make sure that you are writing in a creative place.
  10. Enrol in a workshop or writer’s conference. By doing this, you will be challenged to write. You will also acquire feedback about your writing and difficulties. To find a workshop or conference near you, check out Poets & Writers ( )
  11. Engage in regular exercise. Doing yoga, power walking, jogging, and so forth are good ways of clearing the mind and finding energy to write. Moreover, the exercise routine will provide you with time to reflect, gain insight, and learn about what is preventing you from continuing your writing project.
  12. Socialize with others. Often, through conversation with friends, family, and loved ones, you can discover new ideas. Start by listening to others. Next, tell others about your writer’s block. They might be able to can provide you with feedback or suggestions.

By following these suggestions, you can prevent or overcome writer’s block.

Next, I will explain how to find ideas that can inspire you to write.


1 Comment

  1. sandra lynn says:

    Writers Block can occur for numerous reasons and it can be very frustrating.
    You have posted a number of excellent ideas on how to overcome the “mind-numbing” experience (as I call it.)

    Physical exercise, number 11 on your list, is one of the most beneficial and successful ways of ridding oneself of writer’s block.
    It doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise, as long as it gets the blood pumping and oxygen flowing through the brain.
    I have found it works wonders.

    Excellent post! Thanks ~S

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