ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Simple Cures for Writers Block

Updated on March 7, 2013
Source

Writers block?

Anyone who does anything creative has experienced the phenomenon of being "blocked." For a writer, its that moment when the words just won't come.

All kinds of things are said about writers block ranging from "everyone gets it" to the rather uncharitable "it doesn't exist."

What do you do, though, when you have it? Try these simple tips.

Take a Walk

Going for a short walk outside can make a huge difference. Some writers find more vigorous exercise to be beneficial.

Make sure to take a notebook (or an electronic device such as a smartphone) with you so if the ideas do start flowing you can note them down. Go to the nearest park, down the street or even to the mall (ideas can often come from people watching).

Do Something Visual

Writing occupies the verbal side of the brain. Creativity requires the non-verbal side. Sometimes, writer's block happens when the creative side of your brain isn't responding.

The quickest way to get it to do so is to do something in the area of visual art, either as a creator or a consumer. Draw or doodle (even if you can't draw...this isn't about quality). Drawing scenes from what you are working on can also help you 'show' rather than 'telling'. Play a visual video game. Some dressup games and virtual pet games are perfect for getting that creativity unclogged so you can then go back to work.

Listen to Music

Putting on some music often helps. Most people say to use music with no lyrics when writing, but when blocked it can help to put on something that does have lyrics...they might contain the kernel of an idea.

If you play an instrument, it can help to switch to practicing it for a while.

Some people can't write at all without music on in the background. Mood music can be your friend for background noise.

Do Something Else Productive

If you're blocked and feel as if you're wasting half the day, then give up for now...and go do something else productive. Clean house, exercise, take the dog for a walk. It doesn't matter what, as long as it's something you can make real progress at.

You will then feel better about yourself and be more able to face whatever is causing the block. Also, you will have got things done, which is always a good thing.

Switch to Another Project

If a scene isn't coming, then it might be time to write something completely different. Work on non-fiction for a while (or fiction, if you were working on non-fiction). Or write something really easy like fanfic for a book you recently read.

Sometimes, writer's block is caused by us not wanting to deal with something in a particular scene. If you find a specific scene or chapter is constantly frustrating you, it might be time to approach what you want to do from a different angle.

Write Something, Anything

I call this the 'put one word in front of the other' approach. Just sit down, with a blank piece of paper or a blank screen and write whatever comes into your head.

If nothing comes into your head, write random words. This actually does work, and although you may produce nonsense you will have to throw away, it might also segue into something good. This is particularly useful if your writer's block is actually an absence of ideas for what to write next.

Use Prompts

If you're looking for a new project and have no idea where to start, writing prompts are a good idea. There are writing prompt sites all over the internet.

Another good way to trigger an idea is to do a random image search, pull up a photograph and try to write the story behind it. You can also do this with your own photographs. Song lyrics also make good writing prompts.

A prompt can be anything from a detailed scene description to one word such as 'Lust' or 'Death' or even 'Chocolate'.

Don't worry if you produce crap. The point is to keep writing. A quote that often circulates is "You can't edit a blank page."

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Nathan Orf profile image

      Nathan Orf 

      5 years ago

      Yeah, they are good ideas. I kind of wrote my hub and published it, and then saw this one in the "Discover More Hubs" sections and read it. Anyway, I voted this up.

    • jenniferrpovey profile imageAUTHOR

      jenniferrpovey 

      5 years ago

      Sorry! Of course, if we both came up with them separately then they're probably good ideas. Right?

    • Nathan Orf profile image

      Nathan Orf 

      5 years ago

      Good hub, but now I'm a little bummed out. I just finished writing a hub about how to deal with writers block, and two points here are very similar to what I put down.

      I got some good tips out of this hub and will definitely try them out sometime. Thanks for a very helpful hub.

    • lilian1 profile image

      lilian1 

      6 years ago from Hertfordshire England

      Good advice here voted up :)

    • savingkathy profile image

      Kathy Sima 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This hub contains lots of great tips for overcoming writer's block. Thanks for writing it! Voted up and shared.

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 

      6 years ago from USA

      This is a great topic to write about and you offer sound advice about it. Thanks!

    • rlaha profile image

      rlaha 

      6 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

      Hi.

      Thanks for writing a hub answering my question. These are all good points to take to heart so I will definitely be using some of your tips. Voted up, interesting, useful and awesome. I have also shared this.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)