How to Overcome Writer’s Block (Works for Me, At Least)

The deadline approaches, but words won’t dislodge and tumble onto your screen. You’re juiced up on caffeine and your favorite writing music has been playing for hours. The sum total of three hours of “work”: one crappy sentence.

Oh dear, what can you do?

I can only tell you what works for me…most of the time.

I’m not a religious person, but I can’t argue with results. When I have too much to do and an empty brain with which to do it, I send these thoughts out to the universe: “Creator, create through me today.” Call it the Secret, prayer, or hocus-pocus, it never fails. Stop clucking, I’m serious.

The universe doesn’t particularly reward lazy people, so you also need to exercise. Finger exercise that is. Keep your butt in the chair and start typing. Even if you write, “I don’t know what to write, this is so stupid, what am I going to make for dinner, crud I need to do some laundry…” Eventually, some decent thoughts will pour forth and you’ll be on your way. It might take 30 minutes, but in my experience it rarely takes more than two.

And always, keep this in mind: nothing you write will be perfect in its first iteration. Even if you think it’s perfect, it’s probably not. If you write a sentence, erase it, rewrite it, erase it, rewrite…well, you could get stuck for hours, literally and mentally. Don’t focus on perfection; just keep your fingers and your thoughts moving forward. Write less-than-perfect sentences and move on. When you have a first draft, you can go back to rewrite and polish.

If all this fails to jostle free the words you need, do some jumping jacks. Then repeat the steps above.



By Lucy Suros