Overcoming writer’s block

We’ve all been there at one time or another. Staring at a blank page in a notebook or on a computer screen, waiting for some words of inspiration to come. And the more you stare at the page, trying to think of something to write about, the more blank your mind feels. These days I find that the more I blog, the more I feel inspired to blog and thankfully writer’s block is less of a problem than it once was but it still hits every now and then. Here are my tips for helping to get past the block and start writing again:

Overcoming writer's block - Little Hearts, Big Love

1) Finding a prompt

There are various ways of making sure that you always have some prompts to help you get started with writing. You can use online prompt generators or find blog posts with a list of prompts for blogging ideas (Aby at You Baby, Me Mummy has a fabulous list of ideas here). I try to jot down potential ideas for blog posts using the notepad app on my phone which is often a good trigger when I’m stuck for ideas for a blog post.

 

2) Free-writing

This basically involves setting a timer for a specific amount of time (I usually go for ten minutes) and just writing without really thinking too much about it. Sometimes I just write whatever comes into my head – even if the first few lines are “I don’t know what to write about, my brain has gone blank etc.” – although using a prompt here can be helpful. I usually find this works better for me if I’m hand-writing in a notebook. Often just putting words to paper without worrying whether they’re the right ones is enough to free my mind and help the ideas start flowing again.

 

3) Going for a walk

Stepping away from the computer screen and just getting outside without feeling any pressure to write can make such a difference. You never know, you might even see something whilst you’re outside which gives you a writing prompt.

 

4) Reading and commenting on other blog posts

Reading other blog articles will often give me ideas – for example, my recent post ‘Through the years’ was inspired by a similar post by Le Coin de Mel called ‘Introspection’. I also find linkys, such as The Prompt from Mum turned Mom, can also be good for providing ideas about what to write.

 

5) Writing about writer’s block

If all else fails, you can always write about the joys of writer’s block itself – maybe try writing a poem about it or ideas for trying to overcome it.

 

Oh, what can I write? My brain’s gone to sleep,
I lack inspiration which makes me just want to weep.
My thoughts are a blank and my mind’s in a maze –
It would seem that today is just one of those days!
I free-write for ten minutes in an attempt to get started,
But alas my creativity has sadly departed;
Can’t seem to focus on characters or places or plot,
All my pen can produce on the page is a blot.
I’m hunched over my notebook and chewing my pen;
Looks like writer’s block has hit me once again.

© Louise George – 5th November 2010

 

Do you have any tips for overcoming writer’s block?

Prose for ThoughtThe List

 

32 thoughts on “Overcoming writer’s block

  1. I love the poem, and the advice is great too, I find getting away from the screen and outside helps and also just taking the pressure off by giving myself a day or two ‘off’ helps. I also find writing with pen and paper is better for me when I am writing, it feels more comfortable for me than typing.

  2. Writers block can be so depressing when you have such time pressure to get things done! Yeah getting out the house is always good to refresh the mind, totally agree. Plus reading other blogs. One’s that make you think then trigger another thought. #Prose4T

  3. Thankfully i have never been hit with writers block yet but my problem is that i just never have the time to blog. I have so many ideas on my note section on my phone too. I love the poem you wrote at the start of this post x #thelist

  4. I use prompts a lot too. It’s a great way to connect with other bloggers too who are using the same prompt but may be spinning it up completely differently. #thelist

  5. Some great tips here Louise! Writer’s block – it happens to the best of us! 🙂

    My advice as someone who has been writing for a living for years is: don’t panic, make notes (ALWAYS lots of notes), leave a notebook beside your bed (i find my best ideas come to me as I’m falling asleep), use prompts (Love Aby’s list) and just write something, anything, from the heart, even when it feels like a challenge.

    Also – often I find writer’s block happens to me when I’m fearful about something. When there’s something I should be writing, an idea that I’ve had, a post I want to write, but I’m a little scared of doing it. The best way to tackle this I find is to bite the bullet and just go for it. X

    1. Thank you for the tips Katie – I know what you mean about feeling blocked when you feel fearful about writing something – that’s often my problem too and free-writing is really good for helping unblock me in those situations.

  6. I love your poem – and these are great tips too! It’s funny because I find it is all or nothing. I am either overflowing with ideas or I just don’t have a clue! (thankfully the latter is few and far between!). Thank you for linking to Prose for Thought x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.