31 Proven Strategies to Overcome Writer’s Block


A man writing morning pages to break his writer's block

What if I told you that there was a way to break free from writer’s block? Look, I’ve been there. You stare a blank document on your screen while the cursor blinks on and off… and on and off… and on and off. Thoughts are no longer coherent, not that it matters. The few ideas you’ve won’t travel from your brain to your motionless fingertips as they rest on your keyboard. Now what?

Writer’s block is a crippling condition caused by the drive to be perfect. It manifests in the inability for an author to write a single word.  The only way to overcome writer’s block is to give yourself permission to fail, write fast, and don’t edit until you’ve completed your entire first draft.

The solutions sound simple and in truth they are. The hard part is overcoming your sense of hopelessness to give them a try. The good news is that you’re stronger than you think. You can do this!

Here’s What Causes Writer’s Block

I didn’t struggle with writer’s block until my ninth novel with a major publisher. I took pride that I had more ideas than time to write them, but that’s the thing about pride—it tends to be our downfall. Here are seven things to guard against in order to avoid writer’s block.  

Unrealistic expectations: Perfection is an unattainable goal but for some reason it’s a fairly common goal for most writers.

Self-doubt: the voice of doubt inside your head can cause havoc—especially if you start to believe it. Once you buy in to the lies, writing becomes near impossible.

Procrastination: we tend to think that procrastination brings pleasure, but it actually elevates stress and anxiety. We might be doing things we typically would enjoy but instead we’re consumed with guilt.

Waiting for a Muse: it would be nice if the muse was always there but a muse can be fickle. Wait too long for your muse and you may start to doubt it exists. That’s when writer’s block can kick in.

Depression: depression can overwhelm you to the point that you can’t function. If you struggle with depression, seek out help. Your manuscript will be ready when you’re in a better place.

Apathy: if you become apathetic about your manuscript, it could rob you of the energy and focus you need to write a manuscript that grabs readers and will never let go. Worse, it could cause writer’s block.

Distractions: from websites and social media feeds to streaming videos services and family obligations, our world is full of distractions and those distractions can keep you from writing.

To read more about the things that can cause writer’s block read this article called 7 Deadly Causes of Writer’s Block.

Here are the 31 Proven Strategies That Will Help You Overcome Writer’s Block

Yes, I’ve actually implemented all 31 of these tactics. In fact, I still struggle with a lot of the issues above that cause writer’s block. Self-doubt is my kryptonite and at times it can be incapacitating. This list continues to help me overcome my fears so that I’m free to write.

1) Start Your Day with Morning Pages

Middle grade author writing morning pages to help battle writer's block

One of the podcasts in my rotation is called The Moment with Brian Koppelman. He’s a former music executive who left his career to become a screenwriter, and for a time he struggled with imposter syndrome and writer’s block. He broke out of it after reading The Artist’s Way, where the author, Julia Cameron, recommends something called Morning Pages.

Each morning you sit down and write from a stream of consciousness, but you don’t type. You actually write three pages (about 750 words) longhand. Ideally you do it the moment you wake up (I do it after I make my coffee).

Cameron says the idea is that you “provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand.” And there’s absolutely no pressure. It’s not about storytelling or working on your manuscript. You aren’t even supposed to think—you just write whatever comes to mind.

As strange as it may sound, when I started writing Morning Pages, my turned life around—or more accurately, my outlook on life became more hopeful. It also helped eliminate the writer’s block I’d been struggling with.

Personally, I prefer Morning Pages to creative writing exercises with writing prompts. It accomplishes the same objective (getting you out of your own head so you can write from your subconscious) but there’s even less pressure than writing a quick story.

2) Write the Old-Fashioned Way (Pen and Paper)

I’m shocked at how well this one works. I started by hand with an actual pen and paper because of two podcasts:

As noted above, Brian Koppelman writes his Morning Pages by longhand. If memory serves (and in this case, I’m fairly confident that it does), John August writes the first drafts of a script by hand and then his assistant types it up so he can digitally edit from there.

I decided to give it a try, and I’m not kidding. The results were just shy of miraculous and I have some theories as to why.

The first is that there is something intimidating about a blinking cursor and a blank white page. If you’re using Microsoft Word, you can actually watch the word count grow as you type—and if it’s not growing fast enough it can be depressing.

Writing by Hand Eliminates the Constant Editing Cycle

That’s not the biggest reason, though. When you type something in a Word document or even into a Google doc, you see the typos as you go. Those red lines beneath misspelled words are like a flashing neon sign. You can’t ignore them no matter how hard you try.

It’s also easy to re-read something as you write it and then go back and edit. That constant cycle of writing and editing and then writing and editing slows everything down.

It also gets you out of your subconscious and back into your conscious mind where you’re thinking more about the mistakes your making than enjoying the free flow of subconscious stories that stream from your imagination to the page.

You can’t go back and make wholesale changes to entire paragraphs when you write in on paper—at least not very easily. You can certainly go back and make changes but it’s going to leave a mess of scribbles accompanied by tiny letters in the margins and between the lines.

Your other option if to rewrite the entire page, but who wants to go through that much work when you’re going to end up tweaking things when you go back and edit anyway.

The True Benefit of Writing a First Draft by Hand

The true benefit of writing your first draft by hand is that it protects you from a constant cycle of worrying about ridiculous edits that don’t matter in the moment.

The middle of a first draft is not the right time to think about edits. The only thing that should matter is that you’re laying the foundation for what the story will one day become.

By the way, John August writes a series of books called Arlo Finch, which was edited by Connie Hsu.

Connie just happens to be one of the editor Derek and I worked with on Grey Griffins: Clockwork Chronicles. She also edited my friend, Shannon Hale’s, Real Friends series that she created with LeUyen Pham.

3) Give Yourself Permission to Fail

First drafts are supposed to suck. Period. I don’t care who you are, there’s no way an editor would let your first draft go to print.

I think Laini Taylor is the most gifted write I know. There is unbridled elegance to every word she selects, but I can promise you that she reviles her own first drafts.

I guarantee she toils over it once she’s done and I bet she even edits her own edits.

(f a bestselling author like Laini Taylor isn’t satisfied with her first draft, why would you place the ludicrous expectation on yourself to write a first draft that’s worthy of immediate publication? Unrealistic expectations cause writer’s block.

Sp., if first drafts are supposed to suck, then the only thing you need to worry about is that you write it fast and get it over with. Giving yourself permission to fail is a great way to keep writer’s block at bay.  

4) Write in 50-minute Sprints

I decided to start writing in 50-minute sprints. At the time I implemented this rule, I was overwhelmed by the idea of writing four hours, breaking for lunch, and then writing another four hours. Thinking of my writing sessions as a series of sprints wasn’t nearly as intimidating.

I saw an uptick in my efficiency, as I jumped from 200 words per hour to somewhere in the neighborhood of 400-500 words per hour. But when I added rewards at the end of each sprint, that number climbed even higher.

5) Give Yourself a Word Count Goal

Middle grade author setting word count goal to counteract writer's block

Have you ever heard the phrase that a goal without a plan is just a wish? I’ve found that by setting a measurable word count goal for each sprint, that I’ll reach it. But if I sit down hoping to have a good day writing, I get distracted.

Having a goal to measure your success against can be a great tool to break writer’s block. It helped me focus on my goals and not my problems. It also showed me that I can do something when I set my mind to it, and success begat success. Each time I hit a goal, the confidence I felt helped drive the success of my next goal.

The danger, of course, is that you’ll feel shame if you miss one of your goals. Shame can turn into depression, and that depression will lead to writer’s block.

If you find that you’re consistently missing a word count goal, lower it. There’s no shame. In fact, once you crush that goal a few times in a row you’ll start to feel more confident. Then, you can raise the goal again.

6) Create a Timeline

Most big projects in the corporate world have timelines that are littered with milestones tied to specific dates. Those measurable goals drive achievement. After all, we feel a certain sense of shame when we miss milestones. In order to avoid that shame, we’ll do whatever it takes to achieve our goals.

Think of your manuscript as a project. Here are two things that would be easy to measure in a timeline:

  • Word count: starting with the delivery date, work backwards and decide how many words you need to write on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Assign word counts to dates, and track your progress against those goals.
  • Story progress: word count goals alone can be deceiving. You can end up going down a rabbit trail or extending a scene and hit massive word count totals. But if those words aren’t getting you any closer to the end of the book, then you could feel a false sense of accomplishment. Just like you did with the word count, set story milestones where you have to reach certain scenes by an assigned date.

Having clearly defined goals that are tied to dates will help keep you on track. Writer’s block is often created by fear, but there’ll be nothing to fear if you hitting your goals. Knowing where you’re at in the story and what is left to write is extremely comforting.

7) Have a Consistent Starting and Stopping Time (Plus Scheduled Breaks)

I used to have days where I’d write for six hours and others where I’d hit eight. More often than not, I hit somewhere in the neighborhood of 12-14-hour days. Fear drove me to start working before my family woke up. I’d stop briefly for lunch, and then work into the night.

I wasn’t terribly productive. I was afraid that I was going to miss my deadline, and even if I did, I was certain that my editor was going to hate what I wrote. It was nothing but lies, but I felt like I was an imposter and that they would discover they’d made a huge mistake by working with me.

Those long hours weren’t terribly productive, but I was afraid to walk away. I thought that by spending even a few minutes a day doing something that I actually enjoyed, I was risking my career. So, I pushed hard and worked 60-70-hour weeks that netted very little in terms of word count.

I was the worst boss I’d ever had, and I decided that if things didn’t drastically change I was going to quit. I made the decision to only work during normal business hours. That meant I started at 9am and stopped at 6pm.

I also decided to take breaks and a normal lunch break where I actually stepped away from my computer and relaxed.

It took a while, but in time the guilt faded away. Knowing that I had a start and stop time gave me something to look forward to, and it wasn’t long before that consistent schedule drove higher productivity despite working far less hours.

8) Stop Complaining: Tell Yourself That You Only Have to Write for “X” Hours Today

The last thing I wanted to do in the midst of my depression was write. I didn’t have a choice, though. I needed to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table, and that meant delivering a quality novel to my publisher on time.

I’d wake up in the morning already lamenting the fact that I had eight hours of writing ahead of me. I also want to his at least 5,000 quality words each day, which added immense pressure to an already difficult situation.

I felt that I was cheating my family and myself if I didn’t write at least eight hours. Looking back on it, I realize what a ridiculous and extremely arbitrary belief that was. I had a year to deliver each book.

If I would have simply written for 2 hours each day and hit 1,000 words, I would have had an entire manuscript in less than five months.

That means I could have easily written a second book each year, and still had 22 hours each weekday to do whatever I wanted to do.

I won’t write for more than three hours in a day any longer. I don’t see the point. I no longer am stressed out because I have to run a marathon. Instead, I run a quick 5K, take a shower, then I’m free to do whatever I want.

Besides, If I can hit 1,500 words in those 3 hours (often I can write about 2,500 in that timeframe), that means I can finish a manuscript in 12 weeks. If I pushed myself, I could actually write four novels each year working half days. You could, too!

9) Reward Yourself

Guilt hit hard when I’d miss 500 words in a sprint. I felt like a failure and that only exacerbated my writer’s block. That’s when I decided to add an incentive. If I hit my baseline goal of 500 words in my sprint, then I’d reward myself with anything I wanted for ten minutes.

It worked. In fact, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t hit my goal. At the end of each sprint, I’d jump on Twitter, see what was happening in the sports world over at ESPN.com, or I’d watch half an episode of The Office.

The laughter put me in a good mood, and I’d push myself to hit my goal in the next sprint so could watch the conclusion. It worked like a charm!

In fact, it worked so well that I started hitting closer to 700 words per hour.

Why Writing Faster Matters to Authors

Here’s why that matters (even beyond breaking out of my writer’s block). By going from 200 quality words per hour to 700 words per hour, I’m adding 4,000 words to an eight-hour day.

That means I can finish a 90,000-word book in 16 work days instead of 56 work days. That’s two months!

If I calculate that in my new three-hour maximum writing hours/day, it would take 150 work days (that’s 30 weeks) to write a 90,000-word book at 200 words per hour.

It would only take 43 days to finish the same book if you can hit 700 words per hour. That’s a difference of 107 days or 21 weeks.

Write faster and you write more books. Write more books, you make more money. It’s not about greed, it’s about making a living. Output matters, so find incentives that can help you be more efficient and effective and the writer’s block will disappear.

10) Don’t Self-Edit Until You Complete a Full Draft

Middle grade manuscript being edited

If you’re anything like me, this one is going to be immensely difficult, but I want you to think of the poorly written words, sentences, paragraphs, or even entire chapters that you hate as road kill.

Not just any road kill, either. Think of them as dead skunks that’ve been rotting in the hot summer sun for a few days. Even if you stopped, you aren’t going to save them. They’re dead. Besides, if you pull over to check on them there’s a good chance that rancid smell will be burned into your nostrils.

The best thing you can do is keep driving down the highway. Besides, you’re on a schedule. You have an appointment with an editor (or maybe your agent) and you can’t be late.

So, don’t stop and edit when you’re writing a first draft! You’ll never push forward and finish if you do.

11) Don’t Start Your Day Editing Yesterday’s Draft

Okay, so this one is similar to the whole “don’t self-edit until your finish your first draft” advice but if I don’t point it out you’re going to do it.

How do I know? Because I’ve been there. It’s natural to want to pick up where you left off, so you’ll read the last few paragraphs from yesterday as a writing prompt. But that’s where the problem starts. Like any good writer, you’ll be disappointed in what you read so you’ll want to edit it.

An hour or two (usually more) will go by before you realize you haven’t written a single new word. That’s right, you’ve wasted the entire morning editing things you’re going to end up editing again anyway.

It’ll trigger guilt that will quickly turn to self-loathing when you realize you aren’t going to hit your wordcount for the day. By then, you’ll be so in your own head that you won’t be able to write a single thing.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t read a paragraph or two so you know where you left off in your last writing session. Just make sure you avoid the temptation to get stuck in an editing spiral.

12) Skip to Another Part of the Story

It drives me crazy when things are out of order. My shirts are arranged in my closet by color, pattern, and season.

The hangers are also exactly an inch apart. No more. No less. When someone (let’s call her my wife) hangs up shirts in a random way, with random spacing, it takes all of my willpower not to lose my mind.

Okay, I’ll admit it’s a bit of a sickness. But for some people, this advice is going to drive the same feeling I have when my shirts are out of order.

I know quite a few authors who prefer to write they’re stories in a linear fashion. Some hate jumping ahead because they don’t want to leave loose ends.

Another group is fearful that if they write all “fun” parts they won’t want to go back and write the boring stuff (pro tip: if you’re bored the audience will be bored, so cut the boring stuff out of your books).

Still, I want you to know this is an option. If you have writer’s block tied to a particular scene, it’s better for you to jump ahead and write out of sequence than it is to go back and get caught in an endless editing loop with what you’ve already written.

The hope is that after you successfully complete the scene that was out of sequence, you’ll feel excited about the accomplishment. Take the pride your feeling and then go back and tackle the scene where you were you stuck. I bet you’ll knock it out of the park!

13) Take a Break, Then Read It Fresh

Sometimes the perfect medicine for writer’s block is a fresh perspective. When I’m stuck, walking away from my manuscript is one of the most effectives things that I do.

It may sound counterintuitive—especially if you’re on a deadline, but when you create distance from your manuscript, you will often gain a fresh perspective on the story.

If the frustration is mild, something as simple as a walk could he you reboot.

But if you’re on the verge of full-fledged writer’s block you made need a couple days or even a week or two before you can gain the fresh perspective you need to move forward.

Do not beat yourself up if you need a break. You’re only human. Besides, even if you were a machine, how many times have you had to reboot your computer or your phone so it can start working properly again? Sometimes that’s all we need.

14) Read a Book Where the Writer has a Similar Voice to Yours

I’m not asking you to plagiarize. I’m not even suggesting that you should adopt another author’s writing style.

I’m merely suggesting that when you can’t find your own voice, read a book that’s either similar in voice and tone to what you’re writing, or read the works of an author you admire.

The idea is to relieve the pressure by tricking your mind. Right now, you’re a blocked writer trying to pull a story out of thin air, and it isn’t working.

This way, if you have another writer’s voice in your head, you can imagine that she’s sitting next to you, telling you what’s happening to your characters. Now, instead of an author, you’re a reporter documenting what you hear.

The words are still yours, but if you’re worried that they may sound too much like another book all you have to do is let it sit for a few days and then go back and edit it. All you need right now is a completed first draft. You can make it fully yours during the editing phase.

15) Watch a Short Scene from a Movie or Television Show That’s Similar to the Scene You’re Writing

Don’t feel like reading? No problem. Take a break and find a movie or television show that’s similar to what your writing. I love to do this with fight scenes.

There is so much care and effort put into choreographing a good fight scene. There’s a lot of rich data to pull from. They have great pacing, interesting camera shots, and there’s a lot to learn from things like fighting stances, offensive patterns, and defensive patterns.

If you use those scenes as inspiration and then sit down to write, you’ll find that the writer’s block disappears.

You brain will be overflowing with fantastic information—and the good thing is that even if you end up describing the fight you just watched frame-by-frame in your manuscript, you can flag it and then go back and change it up.

Don’t be afraid to mimic if it gets you out of a slump. Just make sure you go back and make it your own during the editing phase.

When you eliminate the need to be perfect I your writing, you can shift to your subconscious. The hope is or that momentum to carry you into your first sprint.

16) Tackle a 15-minute Writing Prompt That’s Unrelated to Your Story

The first couple examples I gave at the beginning of this article were about writing things by hand. The idea is that writing the old-fashioned way keeps us from editing as we go.

When we’re distracted by the physical act of writing, our minds are free to shift to our subconscious, and that’s where our best writ9ing comes from.

Starting each day with a 15-minute warmup exercise is a similar idea. You get a prompt that has nothing to do with your current manuscript, and then you start writing. It’s more stream of consciousness than it is for the sake of publishing a great work of fiction.

17) Personify the Voice of Doubt in Your Head and Tell it to Shut Up!

Middle grade author shouting at the voice in his head telling it to shut up

I often cast my books as movies so I have a good visual of each character while I write. Not long ago, I decided that I was going to cast the voice of doubt in my head as well. The actor’s name is Michael Deacon and he played the role of Grima Wormtongue in the Lord of the Rings movies.

Grima Wormtongue was the creepy servant who constantly whispered lies into King Theodan of Rohan’s ear. In time, Theodan went mad until Gandalf intervened and helped him see the light.

In that same way, I started to believe the lies from the voice in my head. I had a few people telling me not to pay attention, but I ignored them. The voice was too strong.

Since then, I’ve named the voice, “Grima” and whenever it starts to whisper, I banish it.

18) Pro Writers Don’t Wait for Inspiration (Even When They Have Writer’s Block)

If you’re waiting for inspiration before you write, you’re eventually going to end up with writer’s block. Look, most of the professional authors I know don’t actually like to write. The cliché is that they love having written.

Writing a novel is emotionally and even physically grueling and there are going to be days when you simply aren’t feeling it.

The problem is that professional writers can’t just shrug it off and skip writing a few days. You’re on a deadline, and that means pushing yourself when you don’t feel like writing.

If you wait for a muse that never shows up you’re going to start feeling guilty for slacking off. You’ll also start questioning whether or not you were meant to be a write.

I mean, from the outside looking in all real writers are inspired every day, right?

Wrong!

If you want to avoid writer’s block, push through even when you’re overwhelmed. Or worse, apathetic. The sense of accomplishment will be almost euphoric, and it just might fuel an amazing writing session tomorrow.

19) Move to a Different Physical Location

It may sound overly simplistic, but changing your physical location could be the key to overcoming writer’s block. Sometimes we need a shakeup to break the monotony, so if you’re used to writing in your home office (and you have a laptop), there are some fantastic places to go:

  • Coffee shop
  • Your back patio or front porch
  • A local park
  • Public library
  • Coworking space
  • A friend or extended family member’s house while they’re at work
  • An inexpensive cabin for a few days (through VRBO or Airbnb)
  • Rent office space or approach a company to see if they have an office or workspace they’d be willing to rent out to you
  • The beach (a favorite of mine whenever I’m on vacation)

It doesn’t matter where it is as long as you feel comfortable writing there. All you really need is your laptop, a charged battery, a place to sit, and some headphones or earbuds to drown out the sound (if you’re easily distracted like I am).

20) Go for a Walk

Sometimes you just need to clear your head. Walks can help. In fact, after I finish my Morning Pages, I try to walk for an hour. I have five or six routes I take so I don’t get bored. I typically listen to podcasts or music and I let my brain wander.

Think of it like rebooting a computer. Sometimes your brain needs a reboot and getting some fresh air and a little exercise is a great way to combat writer’s block.

21) Go to the Gym

There is scientific evidence that exercise relieves stress, and since stress often induces writer’s block, it’s a good idea for all writers to exercise. You don’t have to bench press 300 pounds or work on your deadlifts, but even 30 minutes of cardio helps.

Besides, you’ll have more energy to attack your next writing sprint.

So, the next time you feel writer’s block, stop what you’re doing and head to the gym. You’re already paying for the membership, you might as well use it!

22) Take a Shower

This isn’t a metaphor for washing away the damaging thoughts that cause writer’s block. I’m suggesting that you actually take a shower. And there is actually some science behind this one.

Warm showers can release dopamine. Also, when we’re relaxed, we are more apt to make insightful connections. Then there’s the fact that we’re distracted, which allows our subconscious to work through the problem.

Put it all together, and the worries of writer’s block get replaced by creative solutions to our biggest problems.

23) Take 10 Minutes to Create a Playlist that Sets the Mood for What You’re Writing

Middle grade author making a playlist to fight against writer's block

Sometimes when I’m blocked, I’ll create a playlist for a scene or a series of scenes that I’m trying to write. The logic is that both television and movies utilize soundtracks to control the mood of the audience, so I try to mimic that experience by playing the perfect soundtrack for whatever I’m trying to write.

It helps create a more immersive experience that allows me to connect emotionally with what I’m writing instead of focusing on what I should be writing.

24) Stop Texting

If you’re like me, you can’t stand seeing an unread text on your phone. I feel an overwhelming urge to click the icon to clear out that queue. There’s also the guilt of not responding, so you do.

That opens the floodgate for an entire conversation and before you know it, you’ve blown half your sprint texting with someone about nothing important.

Your phone is distraction, and since distraction can lead to writer’s block why not turn your phone completely off? I mean, if you buy into the 3-hour workday, you can make it to the end of that third sprint without your phone, right? Of course you can!

25) Ignore Email

I strongly recommend that you turn off email alerts. I’m talking about your phone and your computer. They’re intrusive (so are chat apps for that matter), and they’ll pull you right out of your story.

Try setting a time each day where you allow yourself to read and respond to emails. If you can’t wait until your writing sprints are over, use one of your ten-minute breaks between sprints to worry about email.

26) Stay Away from Social Media Feeds

Like YouTube, social media companies understand human behavior far more than we would like. They know our addictive behaviors force us to scroll through our feeds until we find something that we truly like. And then we’ll do it again… and again… and again.

You can talk yourself into believing that you’re only doing it as part of your marketing strategy to build your author brand and to promote your books. Don’t fall for it. There’s a time and a place, and it’s neither when you’re in the midst of your writing sprints.

27) Don’t Watch YouTube Videos

I grew up watching network television and then cable television. My kids are growing up with YouTube as their primary source for video content. Over the last few months I’ve found some YouTube channels that I love.

Here’s the thing about YouTube. You know those videos they recommend? They have a very good idea that you’d enjoy watching them so if you don’t guard against the temptation, you’re going to get caught in a click hole and you might not make it out for several hours.

YouTube is addictive, so beware. In fact, I’d warn against it as one of your rewards. You can lose hours and have no idea what happened.

28) Avoid Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon

I only watch television with apps, and my favorite is Netflix. I’m blow away by the quality of their programming—and like most of us, I’ll end up binge watching an entire season of my favorite series in a day.

Okay, so I’ll watch half an episode of The Office in between sprints now and again, but I’ve watched it so much I’ve memorized half the lines so I’m not in danger of binge watching to see what happens next.

The only way I know to avoid the temptation is to finish my writing sprints before I click on any streaming service apps. I recommend you do the same.

29) Workshop Your Scene with Friends and/or Family

Middle grade author with friends doing a table reading of her manuscript to battle against writer's block

Beating writer’s block can actually be fun. Seriously.

Okay, let’s say you’re stuck on a scene and you can’t figure out what to do next. Get a hold of a few friends and invite them over to workshop the scene with you. You’ll need one person for every character and then a narrator to read the descriptions.

Before everyone shows up, print out a separate copy of the manuscript with their part highlighted. You’ll also want to include a short bio of each character as well as a synopsis of what’s led up to this point so everyone has context..

Set out some snacks and beverages, lower the lights, and put on the perfect playlist to act as a soundtrack for the scene. Then have everyone read their parts out loud.

Take notes while you listen—and if you still can’t come up with the next scene, ask everyone in the room to tell you what they think would happen next.

30) Find a Sponsor and Call for Help

In Alcoholics Anonymous, people who have found sobriety often sponsor others who are new to the program in order to not only mentor them, but to help keep them accountable. In the same way, as a writer struggling with writer’s block, you may want to seek out a sponsor who can help hold you accountable.

It doesn’t even need to be a fellow writer, though that might help if you’re looking for someone who can empathize with what you’re going through. Most of all you need someone who can keep you accountable.

If you want this to work, you need to be honest about your struggles. You also need to be open to feedback. Remember, your sponsor is just trying to help.

31) Don’t Accept Excuses from Yourself

Self-pity isn’t going to get you over the hump. Writer’s block is awful. And maybe circumstances outside your control are a big part of the problem. Here’s the thing, though. If you take on a victim’s mindset, you aren’t going to overcome writer’s block.

Own it. Tell yourself it’s just temporary. Then get mad and take some action. You can do this!

Related Questions

Are There Quotes About Writer’s Block? There are many good quotes about writer’s block. Here are a few:

  • “All writing is difficult. The most you can hope for is a day when it goes reasonably easily. Plumbers don’t get plumber’s block, and doctors don’t get doctor’s block; why should writers be the only profession that gives a special name to the difficulty of working, and then expects sympathy for it?” ―Philip Pullman
  • “You can’t think yourself out of a writing block; you have to write yourself out of a thinking block.” ―John Rogers
  • “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” —Mark Twain

What Are Some Writer’s Block Prompts to Start Writing Again? Next time you have writer’s block, try starting your day with a 15-minute warmup using one of these writing prompts. There’s no pressure. Just write what comes to mind and let the words flow.

  • You wake up from a nap and your parents have been replaced by goblins. If that wasn’t bad enough, they sound just like your parents and they’re acting like everything is normal.
  • It’s the first day of seventh grade and you find out that your best friend has been dating the girl/boy you’ve had a crush on all summer long.
  • You feel flush and run into the school bathroom to throw up, but when you do thousands of moths fly out of your mouth.
  • You wake up in the middle of the night to see something lumpy beneath the covers moving from the foot of your bed towards your legs.

You’re tired of everyone at school thinking that you’re a loser, so when the most popular boy in school dares you to sneak into the principal’s office and steal his briefcase, you…

Jon Lewis

Jon S. Lewis is the bestselling author of nine novels, including GREY GRIFFINS (Scholastic), CLOCKWORK CHRONICLES (Little Brown), CHAOS (Thomas Nelson), and a few comics for DC. He is also an award-winning digital marketing executive.

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