More about Writer’s Block

Here are more ideas about dealing with writer’s block, the bane of every writer.

1.  Know your favorite excuses and escapes, and train yourself to resist them. (Mine is housework. It helps to be married to another writer who understands why you want to avoid the vacuum cleaner today.)

2.  Go for a walk. I know, I know – wouldn’t it be better to stay at your desk and battle it out there? But here’s what those walks always do for me: Before I reach the end of my street, I’m ready to start writing again. There’s something about moving my feet and swinging my arms that gets the ideas flowing.

3.  Use a warm-up activity (preferably one that doesn’t require fancy stuff, like punctuation and elaborate sentences). Here are some that work for me:

  • List the “Journalist’s Questions” (Who? What? When? Where? Why?) on a piece of paper, and then use your topic to scribble answers to each question.
  • Make a cluster (also called webbing and mind-mapping). You draw a circle in the middle of your paper and write your topic in it. Then draw connecting lines and circles as you think of related facts and ideas. This is fun to do and doesn’t require any fancy writing skills. Here’s a sample:
    Mind Map
  • Freewrite. Jot down anything that comes to mind. Some of my best writing has started out this way on table napkins in restaurants or little notepads in hotel rooms.
  • Draw stick figures and get them talking.

Whatever you do, don’t start with the intention of writing something great. Make this your motto: “I can fix it later.” Put something – anything – on paper or onto your computer screen. Before you know it, your writer’s block will be gone!


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