9 Simple Tricks To Help You Shatter Your Writer’s Block

You’re staring at a blank screen, your fingers unable to move and click the letters on the keyboard, and that’s when you realize you are in the middle of a full blown case of writer’s block. You know what you want to write (or have to write), but the words are not forming to articulate what you need to say or even resemble the smallest ounce of a coherent sentence. The thoughts and ideas are swirling in your head at a dizzying rate creating a scenario where you don’t know which idea to start with. Or, worse, you may be paralyzed beyond belief because there is nothing swirling and your thought bank is as empty as the screen in front of you. No matter how hard you try, your lack of motivation and frustration is starting to get the best of you.

Whether you are writing for pleasure, for a work project, or for an academic assignment, everyone at some point in their life will eventually hit that hard brick wall of writer’s block. It leaves us wondering why this monster seems to arrive at just the wrong time — when a looming deadline is quickly approaching or just the opposite, when you have all the time in the world to write but your brain is not cooperating in order to take advantage of the time you have set aside to write.

As someone who writes both professionally and for pleasure, I completely understand how frustrating a case of writer’s block can be on your psyche. The longer the writer’s block, the more the insecurities start to rise. Add in a few project deadlines, and you might start to question whether you will ever come up with a creative idea or, if anything you type will ever make sense.

If you are currently suffering from a case of writer’s block, have no fear. By employing a few simple tricks that other writers have used to get themselves back on track, you, too, can shatter your writer’s block and get those words flowing again.

Clear Your Head: Take a break, don’t force yourself to write. Go for a walk, meditate, clean the house, listen to music. When your mind is not forced to write, the ideas and inspiration will come to you when you allow yourself to relax through calming and enjoyable activities. A short 20–30 minute break is sometimes just the thing needed to rejuvenate the creative thought process.

Journal or Do Warm Up Writing Exercises: If you are in the midst of a major writer’s block, put your main writing focus aside and do some warm up writing exercises. Notice an object near you and write about it — its color, its material, how it makes you feel, why you bought it. Go outside and describe the weather, how does it make you feel — sweltering humidity, bone chilling cold; what does it look like — blinding sun, gray and moody? Find a writing prompt and just allow yourself to write your random thoughts on the subject. Just like an athlete has to warm up and practice before game time, so do writers.

Consult Your Thesaurus: Many times writers get stuck in the habit of using the same descriptive words over and over again. This can end up being a contributing factor to writer’s block — boredom and monotony. Look at the words you are regularly using and find alternative words to spice up and make your words dance across the page.

Write Just To Write: Similar to journaling and writing warm ups, the simple act of writing everyday will make it easier for you to delve into a new writing project. What you write doesn’t have to make any sense. Just get into the habit of fluid writing without the distractions of proper grammar or spelling. Allow the words to flow, or stumble onto the page. Don’t edit or make corrections during the process as this will only stop the creative flow. When you are done, put your writing aside for a day or two before you review it. What you wrote doesn’t have to be good, but you may find that some phrases or ideas that you wrote will end up being gems to be used in future writing projects.

Not Everything You Write Has To Be Published: If you take the pressure off of yourself, then writing becomes less of a chore and more pleasurable. You will end up writing more which in turn provides you with more pieces that will end up being worthy of publication.

Writing is a creative art process, writing without pressure to publish will hone your skills and give you the freedom to practice different writing styles. Every great artist in history has been known to create pieces that have not been commercially embraced. They have sketch pads full of drawings, notebooks filled with words, and canvases filled with painted shapes that were not there best work. Even athletic stars don’t always hit a homerun when they are at bat, sometimes strike out. It doesn’t mean that they are a terrible athlete, and it doesn’t mean that you are a terrible writer when you face writer’s block.

Read: If you are stuck with writer’s block, sometimes taking a break and reading what others have written can inspire you. Pay attention to their style, the way they weave adjectives into their sentences to create vivid scenes. The works of others can create questions of your own that you want to explore, answer, and write about. The more you read, the better a writer you become.

Go Back To The Basics: Take some refresher courses and study your craft. Grab a few books about the writing process, grammar rules, writing prompts, or watch a few videos about the creative writing process. You might even want to join a local creative writing class or find an online writer’s forum to join. Getting back to the basics of writing and being surrounded by other writers will reignite your passion for writing.

Write As If You Are Talking To A Friend: Take the pressure off of your writing and pretend that you are telling your friend a story. Speak from the heart and don’t make it complicated. What is it that you are passionate about? What do you want to share with your BFF? When you write as if you are talking to a friend, you may find that your writing becomes more open and relatable.

Remember Why You Are Writing In The First Place: Writers by nature have a passion for writing, they see the world through a unique set of eyes and want to give their readers a different prospective on life. Every writer has their own voice, their own style that is reflected through this passion. If your writing is for therapeutic purposes, keep writing to heal. If you are writing for the professional world, remember why you got into the business in the first place — because you have talent and can write about your particular field of industry. If you set out to write a book, then remember why you wanted to tell the story in the first place. Don’t focus on anything that will distract you from your original goal. Focus on the enjoyment that writing brings to your soul.

These are just a few ideas to help you break through that writer’s block. The key is just to find one that helps you get back on track. Once you start seeing progress, you will pick up speed and your writer’s block will be a faded memory.

If you’ve ever faced a case of writer’s block, what things did you do to get yourself back on track? Drop a comment in the comments section below. As always be sure to hit the “clap” button, and share on Facebook or Twitter.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Paulette Klein

Is a freelance writer, entrepreneur and recovering helicopter parent who is blogging her adventures @lifetraveledinstilettos.com