You Can Write Again: Tips to Beat Writer’s Block

You’re working on your short story, poem or novel. The words are flowing freely as your creativity seems to reach its peak. Your writing has never gone so smoothly until… it stops. The words aren’t coming and the words that do come are terrible. As you repeatedly hit the backspace key, you realize you've been stricken with the dreaded writer's block. Writer’s block happens to everyone eventually, but it doesn’t have to be a barrier to finishing your work. Try the tips below to get back into your creative flow.

  • Stick to a schedule. Building a writing habit is easier with a routine. Writing at the same time on the same days will make writer’s block easy to beat. Consider writing in the same spot, making sure you have everything you need within reach.
  • Write something bad. Don’t wait for a perfect turn of phrase or a great idea. Just write. Allow yourself to write something awful, then edit it later.
  • Get moving. Do something physical that allows your brain to relax. Take a walk, do yoga or hit the gym. When you come back to your work, it will feel completely fresh.
  • Be creative. If the words aren’t coming, try something else that will move your story forward. Doodle your characters, make a mind map, create a playlist that your main character would listen to or build a scene with Legos. This allows you to engage with your story while taking a short break from writing.
  • Quit surfing. If you find yourself constantly distracted by Reddit or social media, give up the internet for a short period. Install a site blocker onto your browser to block the most tempting pages or go analog. Writing in a notebook will keep your mind from drifting into a Wikipedia rabbit hole.
  • Try a promptReady for something totally new? Try a few writing prompts and see what inspires you. Even writing about something completely different is good if it gets the gears turning. 

Looking for more help with your writing? Check out one of these books for writing tips, publishing information and more. 

Dreyer's English

My Shouting, Shattered, Whispering Voice

On Writing

27 Essential Principles of Story