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6 Ways To Deal With Writer’s Block – How To Overcome Writer’s Block

by | Jul 17, 2013 | Personal Development, Videos For Writers | 18 comments

On YouTube: 6 ways to deal with writer’s block – How to overcome writer’s block

Cure for writer’s block: Ignore it: you never stop speaking; why stop writing? – Quentin Crisp

I love this quote. It’s so simple, yet complex. I am often amused by my earlier days of fiction writing. I was in my early twenties and I thought writing a book would be easy. I thought all I had to do was sit to a computer and the words would come. Instead…the story would be rolling right along and then bam!

I’d hit a brick wall.

The character would walk into a bedroom and I wouldn’t be able to get them out. I am cracking up as I type this! The hilarity of it all. And then I’d be staring at it. Writer’s block disguised as white space. I’m sure every writer has experienced writer’s block to some degree. You sit at the computer, have every intention on writing and then you draw a blank.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Well here’s six tips for overcoming writer’s block.

How To Overcome Writer’s Block

6 ways to deal with writer's block - How to overcome writer's block6. If you’re absolutely unable to write, go back and edit. Reread what you’ve already written. Change words that may not work. Elaborate on ideas. In doing so, you may trigger new ideas.

5. Make sure you’re not distracted. If your iPhone is buzzing, Tweetdeck is chirping, the television is on and your kids are calling for you, it will be difficult to concentrate. Try turning everything off and going to a quiet place.

4. Know your characters and know your plot. Sometimes writer’s block can be caused by not knowing your characters or your plot prior to beginning your manuscript. Take time to get to know your characters and give thought to the purpose of your story. This doesn’t mean that you have to have your entire story mapped out, but you do need a general idea of what you are trying to achieve with your story and your characters. If you’re writing with no direction, writer’s block is likely to happen.

3. Go where the inspiration is. My novel The Buzz was largely based around the entertainment industry. So, I would visit entertainment websites and would sometimes go to nightclubs to draw inspiration for my book. Based on your story, where can you go to draw a little inspiration? Also, hang around people with personality traits similar to your characters. Look as your time with them as time with your character.

2. Keep a notebook of ideas. As you’re going about your day and thinking of ways to advance your story, write your ideas down. On a day when you have writer’s block, those ideas will definitely come in handy. It may mean the difference between staring at white space and writing.

1. Let it go. If you are not on a deadline, then just walk away and come back when you have a little inspiration.

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How do you deal with writer’s block? Please share your ideas in the comment section below.

NEXT: Finding Your Writing Inspiration

6 Ways To Deal With Writer's Block - How To Overcome Writer's Block

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18 Comments

  1. Kai

    Whew!!! I needed this blog right here! I haven't touched my book in a few months because of writer's block. It's my first piece of work that I actually want published and pretty much, my character did walk in a room and is just standing there looking stupid. LOL. When I read that in the blog, I started nodding my head and smiling because that is EXACTLY what is going on. It's time to hit up my favorite place to write. I have been avoiding “my spot” because I don't have any ideas…Might as well give it a try. Great blog!!!

  2. Stefanie

    Hi Kai – LOL. That is an ongoing joke with my sister and I. My character walked in the room and I couldn't get her out. It was horrible. But I eventually started my now published novel The Buzz and that problem subsided. I hope you get through your writers block. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Kai_leigh

    I just came on here to look and see if you had any blogs about how to get started…Do you do an outline before you start writing your book or do you just let it flow?

  4. Stefanie

    For the most part, I just let it flow. But I'll also jot down ideas and try to expound on them later.

  5. Kai_leigh

    Ok good cuz I don't have an outline either, but was wondering if I should make one. I'm glad to know others don't do it either. LOL. Will you consider posting a blog about this?

  6. Stefanie

    Yeah I think I can do that 😉

  7. Melissa

    Just when I was about to pull my hair out from frustration, I came across this post! 🙂 It's a good thing because I do like my hair..lol.

    Sometimes, we do let frustration and writer's block get the best of us. I have learned to just take a few deep breaths and go with the flow. I definitely do tip #2. I think I have several writing notebooks floating around my room haha.

    • Stefanie

      LOL. I had writers block last week and went with #1.

  8. Debra DElliott

    Stopping by from Mom Blogger. I really needed this article. I've got a bad case of writer's block today.
    Thanks for the tips.

    • Stefanie

      Thanks for stopping by Debra!

  9. meaganfrank

    Good ideas! I like to take a long walk when writer's block hits. There is something that really happens when the blood starts to flow. I also pick up someone else's writing. Reading stimulates the words for me, and I can usually springboard something, after reading good writing. Oh yeah, and the other thing I do is I have a number of writing outlets…when I don't feel like writing on my non-fiction book, I start writing in my fiction file. When nothing is flowing there, I write a senseless blog. If it is really bad, I will just write some emails, and if that doesn't work, I go to sleep and start again later.

    Great post!

    • Stefanie

      These are all really great suggestions as well!

  10. G G

    Great post, Stefanie! I tend to panic when I'm faced with writer's block. I'm learning to relax, walk away, do some type of unrelated creative activity…whatever! As long as it relaxes me and reminds me that the process of writing is organic and I know I need to be relaxed if things are going to flow naturally.

  11. G G

    Great post, Stefanie! I tend to panic when I'm faced with writer's block. I'm learning to relax, walk away, do some type of unrelated creative activity…whatever! As long as it relaxes me and reminds me that the process of writing is organic and I know I need to be relaxed if things are going to flow naturally.

    • Stefanie

      That's exactly right! I like for my writing to feel organic and not forced.

  12. Lisa

    Thanks for the suggestions! I often suffer from writers block, but I think it is because I need inspiration. I started carrying around a notebook. When a random thought or idea pops into my mind, I write it down. When I am suffering from a block, I put down my current project and flip through my notebook and write about one of the topics

    • Stefanie

      My Blackberry has saved me many times…

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