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Eleven ways to beat writer’s block forever

Writer’s block is a debilitating condition that causes authors to lose their ability to produce new work – sometimes for days or weeks, sometimes for months or even years. It doesn’t matter how long you gaze at your computer screen you can’t seem to come up with original thoughts or ideas. Here are eleven useful hints for helping you overcome writer’s block.

All authors have experienced writer’s block at some time in their writing careers.  Most often this affliction is only temporary and the ability to write will return, but in a very few cases it can be permanent.

There can be several causes for writer’s block ranging from a temporary lack of inspiration to much more serious complications in your life, such as the loss of a loved one. Not surprisingly, writer’s block usually strikes at the beginning of the text that you need to write – for argument’s sake a novel or a short story.

Here are a few hints if writer’s block strikes:

  • If you can’t get started on the first page then start at the middle or the end. You can always return to the first page later when you’ve got plenty of writing behind you
  • If you can’t come up with anything then lower your standards. Later, when you’ve regained your confidence, you can revisit what you’ve written and make the necessary improvements. It doesn’t matter what you’ve written as long as you’ve written something
  • Discuss your writing issues with someone you trust such as a spouse or a friend. Often a second opinion leads to inspiration and new ideas
  • Seek out creative company. Other people will stimulate you and their ideas might rub off on you
  • Don’t procrastinate. The garden needs mowing, the pool needs cleaning, and the dogs want their walk. They can all wait. Start writing
  • Remove obstacles to your writing. Close the door. Switch off the phone. Shut out the outside world
  • Let your mind wander freely. Let it take you wherever it leads you
  • Develop a positive frame of mind. Convince yourself you’re creative
  • Develop set writing times and routines in an environment that is conducive to writing
  • Always keep a notebook handy in case you have moments of inspiration when you aren’t at your computer or laptop. Ideas often come to you at the most inconvenient times, like the middle of the night
  • If writer’s block has really taken hold of you, take a break from your computer screen. Don’t force it. Go see a movie or take the dogs for a walk. Take your mind off the problem. Writing improves with time and distance

When you return to your computer and start writing hopefully your creative juices will be flowing and your writer’s block will be a thing of the past.


John DorringtonJohn Dorrington (27)

John is a freelance copy-writer, editor and proof-reader, and has written four books. He has edited several novels and factual books, although much of his work involves editing students’ academic dissertations, including several Master’s and Doctoral theses. He is a graduate of the University of Cape Town where he studied English and History

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