Daniel M. Clark

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Five Quick Tips for Beating Writer’s Block

In Brief

Discover simple, effective strategies to jump-start your creativity and keep the words flowing, even on the toughest days.


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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Writer's block is a frustrating hurdle every writer faces now and then. It's like hitting a wall when you least expect it; suddenly, the words just won't come. There's no shortage of tricks and advice to be found online, and I've used the five here to help me get past the blocks.

Let's get back to writing, even when it feels impossible.

1. Change Your Environment

Sometimes, all it takes to get those creative juices flowing again is a change of scenery. Moving from my usual home office workspace to somewhere new—even just the living room—can make a big difference. A new setting can offer a fresh perspective and kickstart your creativity, whether it's a coffee shop, a park, or just a living room. Yours, though. Not mine.

2. Set Small Goals

Looking at a big project can be overwhelming, especially when you're stuck. Breaking it down into smaller, more manageable tasks can help. Focus on writing just one paragraph, or even one sentence, at a time. It's about making progress, no matter how small, and gradually building momentum.

3. Try Freewriting

When I'm really stuck, I sometimes turn to freewriting. This means writing non-stop for a set period without worrying about grammar, spelling, or making sense. It's a way to bypass the inner critic and let your thoughts flow freely. You might be surprised at what comes out when you're not overthinking it.

4. Cut Out Distractions

Common wisdom suggests turning off phones, going offline, and blocking out as much outside stimulus as possible. I'm here to tell you that sometimes you just can't, and that's okay. Work to identify the things that distract you and deal with them individually. For example, silence is actually very distracting to me, so I write with music in the background. Identify your own distractors and make a plan.

5. Read

Yes, it might seem counterintuitive to read when you're struggling to write, but I do find it helpful. Reading other people's work can inspire new ideas and get you excited about writing again. It's not about copying what others have done but reminding yourself why you love writing in the first place.

6. Bonus Suggestion!

Stop. Just stop writing for a while. Go for a walk. Get a cheeseburger. Play a game. Do anything else, as long as it's completely unrelated to writing. You'll hear people drone on about how you have to write every day. No, you don't. Like anyone else in any other profession, you're allowed a day off.

Just don't let those off days pile up.

Writer's block doesn't have to be a dead end. With these strategies, you can navigate it and find your way back to writing. Remember: every writer goes through this, and it's just a part of the process. Keep pushing, and the words will start flowing again.

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