30 Ways to Combat Writer’s Block

Pen and Pencil

At some point in your writing career, you’re probably going to face it — the dreaded writer’s block. For the lucky, it lasts only a few hours or days. For the unlucky, it can take weeks or even months to get over. Most writers have their own coping mechanisms, but what may work for one person is no guarantee for another. So what can you do when you’re faced with a blank white page and an unrelenting cursor?

A while back we asked you on Facebook to tell us your secret combat weapons for fighting off writer’s block, and you had some great ones, which are here. We also have a blog post from the past with helpful tips found here. But when desperate to get over the hump more advice is better, right?

So to help you find at least one method that works, here’s a list of things to try in no particular order:

  1. Take a walk
  2. Write through it anyway
  3. Workout
  4. Cook a big, good meal
  5. Listen to music
  6. Try another creative medium: Strum a tune or paint a picture
  7. Pick a random topic and do a 15-minute free write
  8. Deprive yourself of sleep for as long as you can and then write until you can no longer stay awake
  9. Write a positive note to yourself on special paper
  10. Start (or keep) a daily log of your day in a journal
  11. Go to a busy street/restaurant/bar and people watch for a bit and write down everything interesting you observe
  12. Try writing an off-the-cuff poem
  13. Write a friend a long letter by hand
  14. Look at photos online of places that inspire you or, better yet, take a walk down your own memory lane and look at your own albums
  15. Write a chapter of your story from another character’s perspective
  16. Have a glass of wine or three (or chocolate)
  17. Research your book’s subject matter
  18. Visit a museum or art gallery
  19. Pick a random object in your house and write 200 words about it
  20. Find a different place to work. If you’re at home, try a coffee shop — or vice versa
  21. Take a bubble bath
  22. Call a writer-friend and commiserate first, then assign one another a writing project to be completed within a few hours
  23. Try outlining your novel/essay/article, if you haven’t already done so
  24. Write out a to-do list of every chore you need to accomplish
  25. Spend some time pondering life in the yogic legs-up-the-wall pose
  26. Stop berating yourself for not writing
  27. Play with your dog/cat/reptile. If you don’t have one, ask a friend if you can come over and give their Fido some love
  28. Try writing during a different time of the day
  29. Take a nap
  30. And finally… Drink a cup of caffeinated tea or coffee

We know this list isn’t exhaustive, and there’s room for more ideas, so tell us, Lulu readers, what’s worked (or not) for you?

7 thoughts on “30 Ways to Combat Writer’s Block”

  1. Jean-Paul G. POTET

    Sit at a Paris café table, and observe the passers-by. Some convey a whole novel just by the way they dress and the way they walk.

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