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Help to Overcome Writer's Block

Updated on December 9, 2012

Writer's Block Help

Are you suffering fom the dread of writer's block? Struggling to be creative and just not getting anywhere? DON'T PANIC! You can easily overcome writer's block once you know how.

The first step is to identify the cause of the problem, then you can begin to deal with it. The following tips will help you break the block and get those ideas flowing.

Identify and Overcome Your Writer's Block

If you are reading this you are probably already familiar with the symptoms of writer's block. You've stared at a blank page (or screen) for hours but the ideas just won't flow. You feel frustrated and anxious. You just want to get the job done so you can move on to other things instead of being stuck in first gear and getting nowhere fast. The more you try to force words on to the page the harder it seems to get.

The first step is to try to find why your ideas are being blocked. Is it a case of writer's procrastination or a genuine case of writer's block? Writer's block can sometimes be considered to be your friend (trust me, I'll explain this). On the hand, procrastination, if not dealt with straight away can be a mortal enemy.

If you are suffering from writers procrastination you'll find you can sit at your computer or notepad and do other things, but you just avoid getting started on the actual writing. You can check email, you can make umpteen cups of coffee, you can read the news, you can surf the web. You seem to be able to do anything else rather than start writing. If allowed to continue it becomes habitual. It becomes easier to do all those other things instead of doing the writing you really need to do.

Genuine writers block however can be your friend. Your block is your way of letting yourself know there might be a problem. It's your way of letting you know that you might not be ready to begin writing. Maybe there is a problem with the approach you plan to take. Maybe you simply need to do more research? Maybe you need to step back and recharge?

From Writers Block To Inspiration!

Writer's Procrastination - Beat it Before it Beats You!

Okay, first things first, dealing with procrastination. You know what you want to write about but you just can't get started. You have an idea, but you just want to check the news first, or you need just one more cup (or pot) of coffee. You sit at the keyboard or take pen in hand, then you notice you are hungry. You keep on coming with other little things to do first and you just don't get started on the writing. You allow yourself to be distracted.

Well it's time to get a grip! Take charge of your procrastinating ways before it takes charge of you. If you let yourself continually fall into a pattern of avoiding the job at hand it becomes habitual. Once the habit is allowed to form it continues and gets harder and harder to break the pattern.

If this sounds like you, break the cycle right now. Take a few deep breaths, gather your notes/research together and sit down with your keyboard or pen and start writing. Don't worry about whether it is good or not at this stage, just write. You can review and edit later. The important things is to make a start. Do something that gets you going in the right direction. Don't stop writing until you genuinely run out of ideas to put down. Then give yourself a reward from one of those other tasks that used to distract you. Write first, then have your cup of coffee or surf the web, etc. After your reward, review and revise what you have written.

Now continue this process and you will break your bad habits. Teach yourself to work first, have rewards later. You might have to force yourself into the pattern to begin, but it will get easier. The important things is to break the cycle of distraction but allow yourself some rewards for getting it right.

Could Your Writer's Block Be Your Friend?

Now lets look at the case of genuine writer's block. You sit down to write, you try to focus on the task but nothing happens. You just can't get started. In fact you are getting frustrated because you really want to write but nothing is happening. You might even have an approaching deadline and that makes the frustration and anxiety even worse. What do you do?

First of all, realise that there could be a good reason for your block. It might be your way of letting yourself know you are not ready to begin writing. Maybe you simply do not have enough raw material to begin with and need to do some more research? Maybe you have been working too hard and need some time to recharge? Maybe the approach you plan to use is just wrong? Maybe the idea is just to big, are you trying to fit a novel sized idea into an article?

Regardless of the reason, you need to do something different to break the block. Get up away from your desk and take some deep breaths. Take some time to relax. Meditate or take a shower. Give yourself a treat. Do something to improve your state of mind, and then begin to think about the problem. Don't sit straight back down at your desk and resume staring.

Now recognise that your block might actually be trying to help you. Allowing yourself to be stressed about not being able to write only aggravates the problem.

Instead of thinking about your writing project, try to think about what might be causing your block. You might come up with the answer straight away or you might need to sleep on it. Allow yourself to relax and think about the reasons you might have for the block. If you meditate, try to focus on how your writer's block could be helping you, what do you need to change? Try brainstorming about your block, take notes on any ideas that come to mind about your block, no matter how silly they might seem at first, then think about each idea you come up with.

It might take some time or it might happen quickly, but you will realise what it is that you need to change. You have the answers within, you just have to allow yourself to find them.

A Professional Writer's Approach to Dealing with Writer's Block

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    • anyaface lm profile image

      anyaface lm 8 years ago

      Great Ideas! i get writers block all the time but i think its more me being lazy ha ha ha.

    • StevenCousley profile image

      Steven Cousley 8 years ago from Young, NSW, Australia

      @Ramkitten2000: Yep, just doing something different can be enough to kick the brain into gear. A change of activity or scenery, just a distraction to take your mind off writing for a while. It works.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      One of my best and favorite "cures" for writer's block is a good hike. Somehow, the action of my feet (legs, etc.) and the fresh air really gets my creative juices flowing, not to mention tires me out enough to be content sitting in a chair at my computer for a while, so I can write. Anyhow, excellent lens!

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      lostinfiction 8 years ago

      I think for a lot of people, when you have writers block and try to force the writing anyway, it just ends up being really half-hearted if you manage to write anything at all. For me, it helps a lot more to take a break and come back to it later with a fresh mind, and then the words flow SO much more easily! Another little trick I do is to read a favourite book of mine, or do some research on authors I love (Infloox is a wicked tool for this cos it lets me research the literary influences of *other* writers) and that kind of spawns other ideas for my writing.

    • NAIZA LM profile image

      NAIZA LM 9 years ago

      Terrific lens! I don't know why I am having writer's block lately. I will follow these great advices. Definitely, a fabulous five! :)

    • dc64 lm profile image

      dc64 lm 9 years ago

      If writer's block was a disease, I would have it. I wish the pictures in my head would just form words and magically print themselves on my computer. That would be awesome! Or, I could just take your advice.

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      anonymous 9 years ago

      excellent work dude

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      excellent work dude