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Beat Writers Block-Writing Exercises

Updated on June 8, 2012

Freelance Writer

When you first become a freelance writer your initial enthusiasm pops a million words in to your head, getting them down on paper before they pop out again is no mean fete. Once you have been writing for a while the words seem to dry up a bit until eventually they stop completely, this is commonly known as writers block. Don't worry all authors, writers and journalists come up against the wall at some point in their writing career.

In this article I would like to share with you a few simple ideas that will have you writing again like your life depended on it. There are no special secrets to beating writers block, sadly there are no short cuts, just simple techniques to get your creative juices flowing again.


Writers Block

If you are sitting there struggling to write something meaningful, stop trying to write something meaningful!

Here is my first tip for beating writers block, it generally works for me. Go to your kitchen cupboard, take three items from the cupboard and place them on the kitchen table. Get a piece of paper and a pen and stare at the three items for 1 minute. Whilst you are looking at the items try and give them human names, names that relate to what the items are ie:

Tin of beans=excess wind=uncle Tom=Tom

Bottle of sauce=saucy=Jenny from work

Salt=sea=fish=slimy=Barry at the local store

I hope you get the idea, now write a 100 or so word description of each person you came up with, don't worry if it doesn't make any sense, you will rip it up later. Now put these three people in a situation and write say 200 words, let's use the example above with Tom, Jenny and Barry.

Tom and Jenny were on their way to see Barry at the store, they had made this journey every day for the last 4 years but today was different, never again would they visit Barry. Jenny was apprehensive but Tom; always the rock reassured Jenny that everything would be OK. As the car came to a halt outside the store Jenny took a deep breath, Tom gently placed his hand on her knee and gave it a light squeeze, "don't worry" he said it will soon be over.

Peering through the window it was clear that Barry was in his usual aggressive mood, cans were being tossed into the baskets without any care for their contents while the customers looked on with dismay. Barry glanced at the window and spotted Jenny, he quickly glanced away as if he had no interest in seeing her.

That's enough of that little story, you can hopefully see the point. It doesn't matter what you write, the fact that you are writing is the key, your brain can't help coming up with ideas. I don't know why the brain can't help it but it won't let you down.


Beat Writers Block

This second technique for beating writers block is probably the easiest of the three as most of the work is already done for you.

Get hold of a newspaper or magazine, read the front page or first block of text. Now either with a pen and paper or on your keyboard copy it down, this is the writing bit, don't think about it just copy it. Notice your brain will start to wander, you may even be coming up with better ways this text could have been written.

Once you have finished copying it read it again. Now your next task is to rewrite what you have just written. Take a couple of minutes to think about what you read and wrote, what can you change about it? If people are in the text give them a different name, what was happening; change the situation, what was the outcome; change it.

When you have finished read it back, is your story or article better than the first one? To be honest it's irrelevant whether it is or isn't, the point is you are writing and thinking about writing.

How to Beat Writers Block

Nearly there now and I would hope by now in this article you will be thinking this is boring; it would be actually easier to write something instead.

That is the third technique in a nutshell!

Take this article, another Hub, newspaper article or TV program and write a response, don't send it because I am easily offended but do respond in writing.

Dear Aiden

Having had the misfortune to stumble on your article "Beat Writers Block" I felt compelled to write to you with my thoughts.This was the most pointless piece of writing I have ever read, a child could have written it in fact it would come as no surprise if you are a child. As a writer I sometimes come up against writers block, when this happens I walk the dog, clean the house or get drunk, I cannot see how your silly techniques would ever get me writing again......... Oh; I am writing!

Thank you Aiden for your writing tips, your article has me writing again and I will never have to read your article again.

Yours Faithfully


Writers Block Summary

As writers we all hit a wall at some point, there are no secret formulae to get over the wall. We all have our different techniques, mine may work for you they may not. The secret is find what works for you and run with it.

There is no substitute for writing, distraction techniques may take your mind off not writing but it will not get words on paper. The only true way to beat writers block is:

Write something down!

Take this article for example, I have written 1000 words on not being able to write.

If you have found this article useful; Brilliant! If you haven't; Sorry!

If you know someone who is struggling to write at the moment, share it with them it might be the inspiration they need.


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    • htodd profile image

      htodd 6 years ago from United States

      Thanks for the nice post..

    • Aiden Roberts profile image

      Aiden Roberts 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks for stopping by.

      There is nothing more frustrating for a writer than not writing. The key is write something and the rest will follow.

      Good Luck

    • datahound profile image

      datahound 7 years ago from USA

      Good hub, I am going to give it a try as I would rather do anything than write at this time. Thanks.

    • Aiden Roberts profile image

      Aiden Roberts 7 years ago from United Kingdom


      Writers block strikes us all at some point, these techniques do work!

    • astigpinoy16 profile image

      astigpinoy16 7 years ago from Philippines

      Nice hub. I would try one those techniques, and I hope will work on me. :)