11 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

Those who say that there's no such thing as writer's block are just trying to cheer us up. It's real all right. 

When you're putting off writing, sometimes all you need is a different approach. Here are some ways to fall in love with writing again...

1. Try a different genre.

Read all different kinds of writing. Maybe one particular genre will strike you in a new way and you'll finally realize what you're meant to be writing. Sometimes if you're blocked, it's because the ideas that you want to explore need a different form.

2. Brainstorm. 

Whatever form of writing you decide to do, brainstorming is always a great next step. Make a list of ideas and pick the most promising one and give it a try.

Looking to write a novel? Brainstorm story ideas and then write loglines for each story. It's a bit like a scavenger hunt. But when you hit on the right idea, I'd like to see if you can stop yourself from writing. 

3. Set some writing goals.

Give yourself some writing homework and then tell a friend that you’ll report back when you’re done. There's nothing like accountability to get you taking your writing seriously again.

4. Once a month, try to make it out to a reading.

Being around people who are doing what you want to do can inspire you to start putting pen to paper. Or if you're feeling like a hermit, watch some YouTube videos of your favourite authors reading instead.

5. Find readers for your writing: submit.

If you have a drawer full of writing, now's the time to submit. The whole process of what to submit for publication, how to edit it, where to send it, can lead you right back into writing. Even just sorting through what you've already written can get you feeling that creative vibe again.

6. Schedule time to write.

Pick a time that’s doable. If you can only find one free slot of writing time per week – then take it. When you make a writing date with yourself, you're more likely to show up.

7. Before you write:

Spend a half an hour reading something that is in the same genre and style that you’d like to write in. After reading, you will be well-fuelled and ready to write.

8. Prioritize.

Sometimes your writing stalls because there's another part of your life that needs your attention. You might have to deal with that first, before you can fully commit to your writing again.

9. Make writing your reward

Some of my friends say that they end up cleaning their whole house, just to put off writing. I always think that's a pretty good trade off, because at least they have a clean house. The problem is of course that no writing gets done.

So first clean and then as a reward, tell yourself you get to do some writing. Set an online timer for 25 minutes and just write until the alarm goes off. Write anything. But ideally have a little project in mind that you'd like to explore.

10. Or do the reverse.

Tell yourself if you do "x amount of writing" you get a reward. I find this really, really works. I buy a cake as my reward. Everyone is happy that I accomplished one of my writing goals, especially since they get a piece of cake too.

11. Blog.

If all else fails, write a blog post (or a guest blog post) and be happy with that. No judgment required. Writing is writing.

Writing comes in cycles. Even the greats have been known to take long breaks. If you can't seem to get the ball rolling, don't give up. Just by taking a few small steps toward your writing goals, you can begin to get the upper hand again.

*Note: this blog post has been revamped. (It was originally titled, "Six Ways to Keep Writer's Block at Bay.") 

Popular Posts