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How to Combat Every Writer’s Worst Nightmare

Updated: May 7, 2023

Just as every tummy experiences constipation, every writer at one point or another may face writer’s block. As every painter’s greatest fear is not being able to paint, every writer dreads the seemingly inevitable consequences of writer’s block.

What even is Writer’s Block?

At its simplest, it’s where a writer struggles to write, whether it be from stress, distractions, health issues, procrastination, feeling intimidated, or other circumstances. Fortunately, there are ways to alleviate these pressures and once again release the flow of creativity. Below are some prunes of wisdom for your writer’s block.

Possible Cures for Writing Ailments

  1. Environment

    1. Make sure where you’re working is a place you want to be, and free from distractions. It should be a comfortable or inspiring place for you.

    2. Take note of the times of day that you feel most productive writing at. If you’re a night owl, write in the evening. If you’re a fidgety person, use sensory/textile toys or try writing while standing.

    3. Temperature, noise, and light can all be factors in keeping you from focusing. Make adjustments to these to make yourself more comfortable, like listening to music, or finding peace and quiet.

    4. Taking time to clean your space can be critical to decluttering your mind. Removing garbage, reorganizing, or redecorating can assist in changing your mindset.

    5. Changing your environment can help too; if you usually work in a private space, try working in a public one, or vice versa. New material can be drawn from different spaces.

  2. Writing

    1. Sometimes, you just have to push harder. Try just sitting down and writing anything, whether you think it is quality writing or not. Just the act of writing can help grease up the writing gears, and trying to make perfection can often halt your progress. Making a schedule can aid with this.

    2. If forcing yourself doesn’t seem to work, try using a writing prompt! Use some premade scenarios, descriptions, or even single words, you can find lots of material online. Sometimes having another brain challenge you can help reengage your creative flow.

    3. If you are trying to write a story, perhaps focus on smaller details, like a character. Develop a character that could help inspire your plotlines, or vice versa! Setting, themes, and other aspects of an overall story all need to be present, and it doesn’t matter what order they’re made in. Story circles are another great practice for this.

    4. Something that could also help is DON’T decide on a name or title for your work until it’s finished. As believed by some psychologists, “naming something gives it power”, so don’t give it as much strength to pressure yourself.

    5. If you’re a novelist, spend some time practicing poetry, or if you’re a technical writer, write something creative. Different genres can open up some great possibilities to new perspectives and help unlock that block!

  3. Health

    1. Sometimes writer’s block can come from underlying health issues. If you’re sick, allow yourself to recover from it before picking up a pen again. There is no shame in waiting if you have the opportunity to. Sometimes patience is key.

    2. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself regularly, like eating nutritious food, drinking plenty of water, exercising, and sleeping well. These are all major factors that can make or break a person, let alone their ability to write.

    3. Utilize different techniques for detoxing your mind, like stretching or yoga, breathing techniques, and meditation. Listening to natural sounds or praying (if you’re into that) can be helpful as well.

  4. Activities

    1. Watching movies or TV shows can help derive inspiration for your writing. External content can help derive new ideas off of older ones, and can really help bring the spark back.

    2. Brain health is important too - make sure you’re taking time to engage your brain in different ways. Maybe you like word puzzles, sudoku, or other engaging activities, or perhaps you’d like to try a different art form, like drawing. Having variety can be important to promoting new ideas.

    3. Reading other’s content can be enlightening and informational. Not only can you learn new techniques and styles, you can see how it’s accomplished and what other authors do to develop their own writing.

    4. Hard workers often forget to play just as hard. Allow yourself to go outside and enjoy it, spend time with friends and family, maybe eat and drink in a new place, or practice a hobby that you enjoy regularly.

- Laura Overbo

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