There are twelve ways that the top writers in the world cure writer’s block fast. Whether you are writing a blog post or a book, these proven techniques will allow you to recapture your creative spirit and get back to writing.
#1. Take notes about everything.
Information always helps a writer be able to defeat writer’s block. When you take notes, you’re prompting the creative centers of your brain to begin spinning a cohesive bit of content. Your fictional worlds begin to feel authentic with information. Your sales copy begins to be more persuasive with information.
This leads to a logical question: where do you get the information needed so you can defeat writer’s block? Here are 3 key locations that consistently work.
- In books about your chosen topic.
- On the internet with relevant blogs.
- By asking questions of industry professionals.
Some might say you can only write as well as you read. In reality, you only write as well as the questions you ask of yourself, of others, and of the content you’re using as fuel. Take notes about the answers you receive and you’ll be able to sit down and write something great in no time at all.
#2. See yourself as a writer.
Sometimes there is a deeper issue which prevents writers from writing. It’s an internal issue where they don’t see themselves as being a successful writer. They might not even think of themselves as a writer in the first place.
If you don’t see yourself as a writer, then you will not have a desire to write.
Being a writer can be brutal. There are long hours at the keyboard, seemingly endless editing sessions, and times when inspiration seems to be miles away. Yet some writers still keep writing when others find themselves blocked. Why? Because they see themselves as a writer.
The more you sit and write something, then the more you’ll see yourself as a writer. There are plenty of strategies that can help you staple your pants to the chair and write.
- Force yourself to write for 2-3 hours each day, 5 days per week.
- Create a specific number of thoughts each day and then expand upon them.
- Go back and edit some of your previous works.
Being a writer isn’t always a world filled with unicorns and cat videos. It can be tough, tiring work. It’s also very rewarding on a personal level if you can stay the course. Be the writer you know you can be and that will help you defeat your writer’s block.
#3. Create an environment for writing.
“If you want to write about feelings,” E.B. White once advised, “about the end of summer, about growing, write about it. A great deal of writing is not ‘plotted.’”
Creating an environment which is conducive for writing is all about meeting your needs. There is no specific answer that is right or wrong here. Some writers like to listen to music. Others pump in white noise so they can focus. Some writers get up at 2am to write and others will only write after everyone has gone to bed at night.
It’s all about what routine works for you. According to Charles Duhigg, this creates a “habit loop.”
- Your routine will chart a course for your writing.
- By entering successfully into your routine, you stimulate the reward centers of your mind.
- This inspires a cue that can help you start the writing process.
There is a difference between writing every day and publishing every day. Write what you want to write. The publishing will come along on its own as you do.
#4. Work on your first line.
There are some iconic first lines in stories that we can quote from memory, even if we haven’t actually read the story in its entirety. Here are some examples.
- “Call me Ishmael.” [Moby Dick]
- “It was a bright, cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” 
- “All this happened, more or less.” [Slaughterhouse-Five]
Sometimes the best way to defeat writer’s block is to use something great created by another writer. Their ideas can help you create your own ideas. The emotions these writers stir up within you can be the fuel you use to create something new and engaging.
We all love a good story. Telling stories engages the brain in a unique way, making it possible to connect to your audience. It all starts with the first line. Come up with that and you’ll be able to spin a tale from those first few words that can help you push that writer’s block away.
#5. Be a creativity farmer.
Writing requires some level of creativity to craft authentic words. Sometimes that creativity can be nowhere to be found, especially if you aren’t really interested in the subject material being written about. It might be fun to write about alien worlds, but the benefits of adding a humidifier to your home? That’s a different story.
You can farm creativity with your other habits so that your writing can be inspired, no matter what the subject material may be. Some writers use photography to farm creativity. Others may choose to paint. Gardening is an option. Taking a drive somewhere new is an option. You can even take classes to cultivate your creativity for future writing endeavors.
The one thing you cannot do is decide to stop farming altogether. Creativity will grow when it receives the attention it wants. If your mind stays blank when you try to write, then do something else you love. It may not be long until something clicks and that writer’s block you’ve got goes away.
#6. Force yourself to meet internal deadlines.
It’s a hidden force that you can feel, but cannot see. It tells you that you don’t have to write today because there is nothing that is due. No one will care if you don’t write a blog post today, finish that chapter in your book, or publish a landing page for your website. You can do it tomorrow, right?
Wrong. Procrastination is very powerful and it can cause even the most prolific of writers to have problems with writer’s block.
One of the most effective ways to stop procrastination before it starts is to get into the habit of setting your own deadlines. This will help keep you accountable to your schedule because your internal desires to keep the pace will be stronger than the desires that procrastination inspires.
Here are some other ways that you can defeat procrastination as well.
- Set writing goals for each day of a certain number of words or pages.
- Write for a specific period of time, give yourself a reward for doing so, and then repeat.
- Knuckle down and just do it because your willpower is strong.
Deadlines can help writers stay focused because a lack of time can also inspire creativity.
#7. Use your break times from writing wisely.
It can be tempting to do something that doesn’t take much mental energy after you’ve just finished a tough writing session. Turn on that Sly Stallone movie? Sure – why not?
Sometimes that is necessary for your mind to rest. If you still need to do some writing, however, you’ll need to take a break that keeps your mind actively engaged. This is where meditation, prayer, or other similar practices can give you the rest you need without disengaging your mind.
It doesn’t take much time to find more inspiration when you keep your mind engaged. Just 20 minutes per day is enough to enhance your compassion, give you added clarity, and provide emotional stability. If you’re facing a tough case of writer’s block, then get back to basics. Pursue meditation or a preferred spiritual practice and you may discover added strength to the words you write later on.
You might also want to keep these tips in mind when it’s time to take a break from your writing.
- Always take breaks, even when you feel inspired and energetic, if you’ve been writing for awhile. A 5-10 minute break can be enough to give your body the rest that it needs.
- Keep pushing forward. Always go back to writing after you take a break, even if the temptation to be on Facebook or Twitter is strong.
- Finish your meditation session or spiritual practice. You might get a great idea, but don’t rush off to write about it immediately. Take a quick note if necessary and allow your break time to naturally conclude.
#8. Step away from your home office.
It’s nice to have a home office as a writer. You get to have a place that you call your own. You can decorate as you want. That awesome Thanos bobblehead can sit next to your computer, nodding “Yes” at you every time your fingers hit the keyboard.
Sometimes Thanos doesn’t nod his head in approval. Sometimes his head is stationary. It is these times, when writer’s block starts to set in, that a change in your working environment may be necessary. With a laptop or other mobile word processor, almost any location can be an alternative home office for you.
Some people may choose the local coffee shop. Some might wander down to the beach. Sometimes all you need to do is sit on your deck or patio in the backyard so you can get some sunshine.
Whatever you may choose, just make sure that the place is one where you are able to refocus. If the coffee shop is too busy and you get a lot of interruptions, then that might not be the best place.
Information helps you defeat the nightmare of a tough writer’s block very effectively. Too much information exposure, however, can actually reinforce the writer’s block that may be in your way. If you’re doing research on a writing project and no matter what you do, nothing creative is coming to you, then it might be time to unplug.
Not being able to write something, even when there are adequate resources available, is a potential indicator of burnout.
Get off of the internet for a day or two. Don’t check your emails at all. Go as far off the grid as you can. Rent a cabin by a lake, go for a drive in the mountains, and keep your cell phone turned off so you can use it if there’s an emergency for some reason only.
Finding peace and quiet is a great way to recharge the creativity centers of your mind. You’ll know when it’s time to come back because you will feel an insatiable urge to write something.
#10. Answer questions offered by your targeted audience.
Asking questions can help you to quickly move a writer’s block out of the way. Answering questions or responding to feedback can do the same thing. This already puts you ahead of the curve when writing content because you know your answers will automatically be seen as being relevant.
These questions can even become the first line of your content. The body of your content can then be the answers to those questions.
If you’re just starting out on a blog, creating your first landing page, or writing your first novel, you won’t have many direct fans or followers that have asked you questions. Resources like Quora or questions on sites that are similar in content to what you’re creating can help you find what you need to get started.
You can even use questions that your family or friends ask you when they wonder what you’re doing right now. Requesting feedback on social media, even through your personal network, is a powerful tool which is often overlooked.
#11. Watch subject-related videos.
This brings us back to the “informational” aspect of creativity. YouTube is a vast resource of content that can help to remove a writer’s block very quickly. The benefit of watching subject-related videos is that you get a high quality story in a short amount of time. Many videos also offer music, visual graphics, and other creative stimuli that can get you back to your own creativity.
It’s like reading a blog post, but with visual content instead of words that need to be processed.
An added benefit with modern technology is that you can watch videos on most mobile devices just about anywhere you happen to be. With the right data plan, you could watch inspiring videos during a break at your full-time job so that you can sit down and start to write immediately when you get home.
#12. Make healthy living choices.
Your physical health can become a major writer’s block as well. Having snacks, coffee, energy drinks, and other items at your desk or writing center is normal. Choosing those snacks and beverages over healthy foods on a consistent basis can disrupt your sleep patterns, which then disrupts the creativity you’re able to produce.
Eat proportional healthy meals and avoid having too many caffeinated beverages after lunch. Give yourself at least an hour away from the computer before going to bed so your eyes can rest and your body can relax. Consider these additional options to help keep yourself healthy as you focus on writing as well.
- Purchase an exercise bike which can fit under your writing desk so you can pedal while you type.
- Get up every 2 hours and take a 10 minute walk around your neighborhood, up and down your stairs, or outside in your backyard.
- Consider purchasing a membership at your local gym.
When you take care of yourself, you’re taking care of your writing at the same time. We all slump into poor eating and sleeping habits from time to time. Make those poor habits the exception to the rule instead of the “new normal” and you might be able to stop that writer’s block for good.
Thank you for taking the time to add these twelve techniques to your arsenal of cures for writer’s block. As a bonus, here is a great infographic with some more proven tactics for beating writer’s block.
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