Looking to Avoid Writer’s Block? 5 Effective Steps to Take

All writers experience writer’s block. In fact, even just writing an email can be difficult if it’s not your strong suit. We have all experienced writer’s block is caused by many things but it’s primarily rooted in distractions and procrastination. 

Take Inspiration

Writer’s block can simply be a matter of lack of inspiration. An effective step to take when your brain freezes is to read for inspiration. It can be almost anything, even an article on how to overcome writer’s block.

The best approach is to read something that is complete, but brief (so as not to keep you away from your task for too long). Read something great, and something that you like. After all, that writer overcame their writer’s block as well, and reading their work may just inspire you to finish your own.

There are a number of options for users to chose from, so discovering literary devices can be of huge importance as they teach specific techniques and answer questions in-depth thus allowing a writer to convey a deeper meaning that goes beyond what’s on the page, these literary devices cover everything from metaphors and similes, to using building blocks to create a full piece of work.

Use Prompts

Writing down answers to prompts is probably one of the most effective ways to overcome writer’s block because it accomplishes two things; it gets you thinking, and gets you writing. 

Take a prompt from a writer-specific site, which might be more on par with where professional writers work. If that doesn’t work, write the prompt! Even if you are just writing down someone else’s writing, you are writing. 

Obviously you can’t use someone else’s work, but the very act of writing down sentences can help unblock your brain and get your mind going about your own writing task.

Grammar Usage

Sometimes, you know exactly what to say when you are writing – you just have no idea how to say it. Again, if writing isn’t on your list of expertise, a simple misunderstanding of grammar can be a major writing block.

Have you ever been writing an email at work and suddenly become frozen because you don’t know the difference between “affect” and “effect”? It happens to everyone! This is one example of grammar becoming a huge writer’s block. You can’t complete an email, letter, or article if you write yourself into a corner. 

Instead of trying to “write around” the words and usages you don’t know, you can rely on sites like The Word Counter for help. With that site you can get detailed information on the proper usage of words that are commonly misused, such as these. Better yet, they give you examples for reference and use for real applications. And if you want to learn more? They will give you tests and help you review your answers.

Or, you can just write the email.

Change it Up

If you are usually writing one type of genre (screenplays, grants, email campaigns, novels), and develop writer’s block, one of the best coping methods is to try another genre.

If you can take a break from your normal writing style and explore a new voice, you can get your mind thinking creatively which is sure to spark ideas for your own work. 

Writing from another perspective is probably more effective than just exploratory writing, or copying and answering a writing prompt. It will give you a new way to interpret what you are trying to say, and help you develop a different approach. 

Just like changing genres, using a different part of your brain for a task completely unrelated to writing can help with writer’s block too. Try to solve a puzzle. Whether it is a jigsaw puzzle, crossword, or riddle, your brain will stimulate dopamine which will give you a creative boost! 

Analysis and problem solving are a natural part of a writer’s craft to begin with, so putting yourself in the headspace to assess or analyze is a sure cure for writer’s block.

Do Something You Are Good At

Writer’s block (and fear of it), may never be completely conquered, but there are steps you can take to avoid or improve it significantly. Read for inspiration, try a prompt, complete a simple task, and get inspired by grammar tips like how to use the words affect vs effect – and you may see your writer’s block start to melt away. 

There are times when you simply have to walk away – from the writing. Even if you are on a deadline, staring blankly at the keyboard and computer screen isn’t going to help. Sometimes you just need to take a step back.

Writer’s block can make you feel useless, so find an easy task that you can complete in a short amount of time. This could be something like cleaning your bathroom or taking your dog for a walk. 

Be sure the task doesn’t cause you any stress and is easy to finish. When you have writer’s block it is not a good time to attempt more multi-tasking. 

Writer’s block is never fun for anyone. By using these five simple steps, it is possible for you to effectively avoid writer’s block. 

Author Profile

Dan Dunn
Executive Managing editor

Editor and Admin at MarkMeets since Nov 2012. Columnist, reviewer and entertainment writer and oversees all of the section's news, features and interviews. During his career, he has written for numerous magazines.

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Email Dan@MarkMeets.com

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