Some never have it. 

Some are always moaning about it.

Others pretend that it doesn’t affect them.

Yet others power through and do it anyway.

All of the above groups of people have faced Writer’s Block, at some point or the other. The thing is, it doesn’t even necessarily mean that you are stuck for ideas. No, that’s just one meaning of Writer’s Block.

What do you do when you want to blog/write but the ideas don’t come out the way you want them to? There’s this germ of an incredible concept sitting in your brain, waiting for release. Sadly, that defeatist attitude creeps in, the one that says , ‘You’re worthless. You know you can’t say it right. So don’t bother wasting words and making a fool of yourself.’ That germ just curls up into a shell, dissolving into a cocoon of self-pity and prefers the darkness of the mind to the light of the written word.

Okay, too many mixed metaphors in that last sentence, but you get the idea, right?

So, here are 3 quick tips to break the block!

Free write:

Just pick up a pen or open the laptop and write the first thing that comes into your mind. Nothing comes to mind? No problem. Describe your surroundings. Something will pop from that and you can use that as an idea for your next post.

For instance: ‘I’m sitting at this really old table that has a dark, mahogany finish. I know we should have gone for a glossy top instead of matte, so I can see my reflection in it on the days that I am stuck for words, like today. Then again, maybe it’s a good thing because I’d never leave the table and take a walk out to the balcony where I see the bluest piece of sky with just a hint of white clouds, chasing each other with their cotton bobtails.

Make a list:

I love lists. They give me a sense of order amidst the chaos, a lull in the medley of thoughts rushing through my brain at any given point of time. List-making is a calming activity that regulates the speed of your thought and organises the clutter in your head.

The very therapeutic effect of this will be visible when you finish writing the list. A quiet pride will emerge and the clattering train of thought would have slowed down to a manageable pace such that you can hop back on. This time, though, an idea will flow very easily. Try it!

Read a book about writing:

Really? Yes, really! I kind of lost my writing mojo after the A-Z challenge in April, but I dove straight into Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones and it’s been an eye-opening experience. She gives invaluable tips and insights on how to wrench words from the barren spaces of your being and breathe life into them- magical, vibrating, pulsating life. You just need to read a chapter a day. Nothing more.

Writer's Block, Shailaja V, Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones

Another book that I find incredibly inspiring is Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers. From seasoned authors to sporadic bloggers, they are all in this book. In bite-sized stories, they tell you what it took for them to remove the shackles from their writing. You just know there’s something in it for you.

So, what do you do to break free of the ‘curse’ that is writer’s block?

Is there something that really clicks for you?

Can you share in the comments?

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Woman pointing to bulb indicating idea to beat writer's block

*Featured and pin images courtesy: Shutterstock

43 thoughts on “Writer’s Block? 3 Ways you can beat the dreaded enemy of writers

  1. Writer’s block – I seem to keep getting it off and on..More off than on 🙂 So you are also a ‘list’ person – I too am ! A big one. I even make a list of stuff that’s getting me down 😀

  2. You said it – it’s the second kind of block that gets to me. There are times when I have this great idea and it just doesn’t come out right. And I can never publish a post till it comes out the way I want it to. That’s why I have an ever growing drafts list.

  3. Thanks a lot! I am suffering from writer’s block.I started writing with passion but then It ended by writing as a pressure. Looking forward to get out of it soon. Will try the above mentioned tips for sure!

  4. free writing helps me when I run out of ideas for poetry, which is happening quite often now. I turn to reality when I am looking for my muse. If nothing works, I read or draw.

  5. I prefer reading when I’m unable to write. It gets the creative juices flowing. And I also like talking to people. Something they say always triggers me into typing action.
    Music, is always my companion. Eminem gets me out of my worse moods ! 😀

  6. Great advice, Shailaja, but what works best for me is to get away from it for awhile; do something totally unrelated and forget about it. After that, the creativity comes flooding back. 🙂

  7. happened to me after A to Z too….and yea..I took to reading with a vengeance too! kind of brought me back! lovely read!

  8. I had writer’s block once or twice as I have SO many ideas. I get inspiration just from observation, usually something I see or when I take a photo of something sometimes. However, I have SO many bits and pieces of draft blog posts still waiting for me to finish: that’s MY problem! 😉 Though I think a lot of us BAR members (as I have noticed) lost their writing mojo, myself included, I still ‘forced’ myself to write, even bare minimum, once or twice a week. I read Natalie’s Writing Down the Bones book years ago and loved it: it really is a great book. Perhaps I ‘should’ consider re-reading it though and also the Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers as more inspiration doesn’t hurt anyone! 😉 <3

  9. I guess, I haven’t really faced writer’s block. The only time I haven’t written on my blog is when on vacation. Most other times, parenting, life, observations, books etc. provide a lot of material. Besides, I do so much other writing on a daily basis that I guess it keeps the mind charged and energized. One thing is that I don’t sweat it much. If the mind is not in tune, I just do other things like workout, read and cook. 🙂 Somali recently wrote a lovely post on Writer’s block.

    Those books seems wonderful. I will add them to my reading list. Thanks for the recommendations, Shy.

  10. Thinking about this, I cannot remember ever experiencing it but surely I must have. Maybe when I have writer’s block, I don’t think about writing????? Not sure but my problem is usually the opposite — too much to write about and no time to do it

  11. Lists are my go to things when I have a block. It helps with blog but when it comes to work nada. I have days when words flow easily and days when I struggle to find the right word.

  12. Insightful and encouraging piece! I love “Writing Down the Bones.” Chock full of inspiration. I also agree with you about list making — yes, very therapeutic! When I’m really stuck, I just simply let it go for a bit (a day; sometimes even a week), and come back to writing refreshed and more energetic. Thanks for rattling our cages in a delightful way 🙂

  13. Hmm..been there, and still am there! 🙂 Yes, Shailaja, there are times, when the mind feels so sluggish, that even a shock treatment wouldn’t wake it out of its slothfulness. So,a big thank you, because now I don’t have to keep searching prompts here and there. I can come up with a prompt of my own!
    Will surely read Chicken soup for the soul.

  14. This is exactly what I did today, after a month- Free write! Thanks for the post. All this while I was waiting for my muse to come out of the gutter . Well, I thought it was hidden there. 🙁

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