Turning Off Writer’s Block


Writer’s block is a problem for all writers, but not only for writers.  Overcoming it can be a nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be.  Try these steps to get those creative juices rolling again, whether you are on day 20 of your novel’s first draft, finishing an office project for the next day, don’t know what picture to paint or draw, or even struggling to start on your homework, in five easy steps.

By the way, I’m having a writer’s block night.  I dealt with some people a while ago that killed my creative mood, and this post is proof that writer’s block can be conquered, just by existing.

Have a cookie

I’m not even kidding here at all.  Thanks to my brother for reminding me of this one day.  Simple sugars metabolize quickly and give you a little energy boost.  It might be a jolly rancher, a cookie, a sugar cube, a non-diet soda, something.  Get that little boost to get you going.

Pick up a pen

or pencil.  Grab a sheet of paper.  If you are an artist, sketch something that you like sketching.  Or write something.  Anything.  Describe a glass of wine, talk about your last meal, or even how much you hate writers block.  Pen moving?  Okay, next step.

Dream Write

This is a lot like free-writing, but not the same thing.  Normally people free write and drone on and on about the same topic and never go anywhere, at least I do.  Think about this.  When you dream, your mind just jumps from one topic to the next by association.  One minute you’re running from zombies and the next you’re digging for buried treasure.  Next thing you know you’re late for class and the car is broke down.  Let your mind jump from topic to topic randomly.  Get lost in something for two minutes and then move on to something else.  Bounce around.  Be the super-ball.  I recommend doing this for at least ten minutes, but longer if you have extra time.  It stimulates the mind into the zone of creative thought.

5 Minute Time-Out

Okay, you did some sketching or dream-writing, now you need a break.  This is important.  If you’re a smoker, have one.  Go outside and look at the sky and the trees (but not directly into the sun).  Toss something in the microwave.  Do a quick puzzle.  Maybe a quick exercise.  But take five minutes, no less.  If you want to read an article for your break, you can take 15, but no more.

Change of Venue

By now you should be good to go.  Sit down and try to write again.  If it’s a first draft, then don’t be afraid to write badly, but move the story along.  Hit the go button.  If you aren’t going anywhere, then maybe it’s time to pack up the laptop or pen and pad and head to the nearest coffee shop or park.  Swap up your routine.  Changing your setting can encourage your mind by getting you away from the place where you are feeling restricted.

That Should Do

There is an overall theme here, it’s not just a bunch of fluff that I found works over the years.  The theme is that writer’s block is a temporary mental state.  You need to draw your mind out of that slump and put it back into focus.  Anything that triggers you will help.  Smells, sights, sounds, feelings, and tastes.  Give your brain something to concentrate on to distract it from whatever has you hung up and seduce it to move away from those thoughts.  If you look carefully, you’ll see all five senses covered by the above suggestions.  So that’s something to build on if you’re still stuck.

Now get out there and write something amazing.  This is my routine, and it works well for me.  Leave a comment and tell me about yours.  I really hope this helps you find your way out of the horrible pit that is writer’s block.

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Author: spottedgeckgo

Writer. Making my living on my pen, and working to turn a raw chunk of land into a future homestead.

2 thoughts

  1. Some good tips here, Martin. If I hit a wall I tend to do one of three things. One is that I delve into a little character back story even if I don’t need to use any information it throws up. The act of finding out something that shaped a character can often free up the word clog. Another is hitting YouTube. I find a song that fits a character or situation and listen to it a few times, letting my imagination wander. This is particularly useful when needing to tune into an emotion.

    Or I go off and make a cup of tea. Hey, I’m British, it solves everything 😉

  2. Great tips Beverly, thanks. I do the character back story thing sometimes. It’s an easy way to get the pen moving.

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