Sometimes, no matter how hard you attempt to put your thoughts down on paper, you end up staring at the same blank page. Over and over again.
This condition is called Writer’s block. Writer’s block occurs when an author struggles to create fresh work. This state of mind is usually temporary. However, it can also range from difficulty thinking of new original material to having a total brain freeze that can last for several years. Writer’s block is not caused by a lack of creative writing skills. Rather, a lack of clear thinking when creating written work.
15 useful tips to combat writers’ block
There are many ways for a writer to combat writer’s block. Here is a list of fifteen of my favorite recommendations:
1) Use reading prompts to combat writers’ block
One useful idea to help combat writer’s block is by creating a random list of words using a computer-generated program, or having a friend or family member create the list for you!
Put the words into a jar, shake them well, and pick a random word out. Next, use the word that you picked from the jar to write about. Let the word inspire you to write whatever comes to mind. Whether it’s poetry, a short story, a blog post, let your creativity flow. It might just be the beginning of your next best-selling novel. Use the random words selected from the jar to write about various topics and kick writers’ block to the curb.
It might sound menial, but sometimes it actually really works to help your creative juices flow again.
2) Joining a writer’s group online
A writers’ group is another excellent way to help combat writer’s block. It gives you the perfect opportunity to meet other new writers while kick-starting your creative thinking skills back into gear.
In a writing group, you can read other authors’ work to help get inspired. Or, you can post work of your own and ask members of the group to critique it and offer you suggestions for improvements on your writing pieces. It’s a fabulous opportunity to gain exposure as a writer, while also gaining some valuable insight. An opportunity to break the bad rut you’re stuck in, causing your writer’s block.
3) Look around the room at your current surroundings
Although it may sound silly to look around the room at your current surroundings. You might ask yourself, how is looking around the room going to help me combat writers’ block?
By looking around the room and focusing on one particular object, you have found your next topic to write about.
Perhaps it’s that old pink vase that’s sitting on the mantel. Can you recall the story behind that vase? Oh yes, that vase belonged to your grandmother. She’s passed away now. All the memories of your Grandma come flowing into your memory now. You remember all the things you used to do together as a child. You can recall her famous spaghetti dinners and her homemade apple pies. Or maybe you can remember the song she used to sing to you to help you fall asleep at night?
Whatever the memories are, write about them as they are still flowing into your mind. Write a poem, a short story, or even a book if you’re feeling really inspired, and just keep on writing …
4) Go for a walk and take in all of nature’s surroundings unfolding around you
Going for a nature walk is another great way to jog your creative juices and help combat writers’ block. Remember to bring your writing journal and a pen along with you for your walk. If you’ve already set out and forgotten your supplies, no worries. Nobody these days leaves home without their cellphones. You can use a writing app or notes on your phone to jot down writing ideas.
There are so many interesting things to write about in nature. Just look around you. What do you see?
Maybe it’s a beautiful maple tree with its colorful branches reaching up to the sky. Why not write a poem about the beauty you see exploding from this magnificent maple tree? Or, perhaps, it’s an animal such as a squirrel looking for nuts, or a bird singing on the tree branch? Write about them.
Write about anything you see that inspires you along the way. No matter what it is, just write, write and write some more!
5) Tuning in to your senses
Writer’s block can lead to feelings of depression and uselessness in an author. The more you try to think of new topics to write about, the harder you seem to fail. Leaving you feeling even more depressed and ready to throw in the towel and call it a day.
Don’t give up that easily. All authors struggle from time to time with writer’s block. Another valuable tip to try is tuning into your own senses to come up with fresh topics to write about.
How can tuning in to my own senses help with writer’s block, you might ask?
Here’s the solution…
Start by breathing in, then out again slowly.
Take another deep breath. What do you smell?
Can you smell food cooking on the stove? Or maybe it’s the scent of wildflowers, or freshly cut grass blowing in through your open window? Write about it!
Listen, what do you hear?
Can you hear crickets or birds singing in the background? Or maybe nothing? Do you hear complete silence? Write about it!
Try all your senses and get inspired. Start writing everything down in your best-loved journal with your favorite pen. Soon, you’ll have plenty of new and innovative writing topics to choose from.
6) Read a book
Another terrific way to get inspired and prevent writers’ block is to take a slight break from writing altogether and read a good book.
Sometimes, reading a book can inspire ideas to use in your own writing. Keep your journal nearby when you’re reading so that if something in the book inspires a writing idea, you can jot it down.
7) Reread your favorite childhood book to get even more inspired!
Better yet, what’s better to help with relieving writers’ block than re-reading one of your absolute favorite childhood books? Just imagine all the memories that are going to come flooding back to you. Use this opportunity to jot down all the inspiring ideas that come to mind as you enjoy your blast from the past.
If I had to re-read my favorite childhood book, it would be Judy Blume’s, Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret. This was the first book that I ever truly got into as a tween. Even though I loved writing poetry and songs at that age, I wasn’t much into reading books. I recommend this book to any young female readers who are searching for a good book to get them interested in reading.
8) Buy some sticky notes
Another creative way of getting inspired when you’re suffering from writer’s block is to buy some brightly colored sticky notes from the dollar store.
Jot down some inspirational messages that come to your mind. Leave your sticky notes full of these inspirational messages for yourself all around the house. Stick some on your bathroom mirror, above your bed, on the television, or the fridge door. Stick them on any popular surfaces that you will notice. When you glance at the brightly colored notes, they might kick start your motivationally deprived thinking process into full gear. Some examples of messages you can leave yourself might be:
You can do it!
Use Your Creativity
The Best Authors Work Hard
ThankYou for My Dream Job of Being an Outstanding Writer!
9) Check out some other authors’ websites
Another wonderful idea to help combat writers’ block is to check out other authors’ websites. While you are browsing their work, something might help to give you a writing idea for your own next piece.
Remember to leave some encouragement and insight while inspiring yourself at the same time. Praise for their accomplishments is much appreciated by other authors. They have probably suffered from writer’s block from time to time over the years as well?
10) Watch some book trailers on YouTube and get inspired
Why not watch a few book trailers over the internet on YouTube or other different websites? Book trailers are a great way to help combat writer’s block and may help to give you some fresh new writing ideas.
There are some pretty outstanding book trailers out there. Go check them out, if you haven’t already done so. Here is a list of other sources besides YouTube to find book trailers or to create your own book trailer after being inspired:
11) Join a local book club
Joining a local book club is another exceptional way to share books and help combat writers’ block. It’s also beneficial to provide an opportunity to discuss reading results with other group members. And, best of all, for helping that motivationally deprived brain get back into gear. It’s not only good for combatting writer’s block, but you might also meet a few new friends with common interests.
Many local book clubs have weekly or monthly social gatherings. Members can get together over coffee and snacks to trade books and discuss their current reading projects.
If there are no local reading clubs in your area, why not create one yourself? Create a public writers’ group on Facebook and watch your group grow. It’s surprising how many other book lovers and struggling authors are out there.
12) Take some free online writing classes to master your craft
There are several free writing courses offered online to help combat reader’s block. Browse the internet and you might find some. Freewriting courses are a great opportunity to learn new styles of writing and genres to help master your craft. You can also browse other people’s writing samples to help get inspired.
Free courses are the perfect opportunity to help you get your creativity back. They also help with saving some money by not wasting it on other writing courses that may charge a fee.
13) Go to the local library
Taking a day trip to your local library can prove very helpful in combating writer’s block. Just look around! There are so many books and genres to choose from. Where do you start?
How about choosing a book genre that you have never read before? Pick an appealing cover that interests you. Find a quiet spot in the library, and begin reading!
Always remember to bring your trusty journal along with you. And if something in the book just inspires an idea for your next writing project, remember to jot it down!
14) Browse thrift stores
Thrift stores also provide another excellent way to help combat writers’ block. They provide the best selection of good books to read at an affordable price! You might find a few splendid books hidden amongst the dusty aisles to help inspire your creativity and combat writer’s block.
Browsing neighborhood book trees and yard sales may also provide an excellent way to find plenty of good quality, gently used books at a great price. As the old saying goes, “one person’s junk is another person’s treasure.”
15) Write, write and write some more
And last, the best tip I can offer you to help combat writer’s block is to remember to just write, write and write some more!
Even on days when you find yourself at a loss for words to write, just write anything. The more you write, the better you will become at mastering the craft. It’s just like anything you do in life. For example, the first time you rode a bike, you most likely fell off. What did you do about it? You got back up, and you tried again. Eventually, you become a pro at riding your bike. The same thing will happen with writing. The more you write, the better you will become at it!
Remember to bring along your new best friend with you, aka, your writing journal. A small notebook and pen or your phone. Get ready to jot down ideas as they come to you.
Unleash the author inside of you and get writing — what are you waiting for?