4 Tips to Conquer Your Writer’s Block

April 18, 2022 4 min read

By Author Ivan Serrano

Writer’s block. Every writer fears it, and every writer will inevitably have to face it. The dreaded feeling that nothing you put on paper is good enough. The anxiety you feel when faced withwriter’s block is enough to trap you in a loop of struggling to figure out what to write and then deciding what you’ve written isn’t good enough and starting over. 

Writer’s block is stressful, scary, and frustrating. Fortunately though, writer’s block isn’t permanent and there are ways it can be dealt with. This article will cover some of the common causes of writer’s block as well as how to break it. 

What causes writer’s block?

Before we can break through our writer’s block, we need to know what is causing it. The three most common causes of writer’s block are timing, fear, and perfectionism. 

If you ever feel that your ideas just need a bit more time in the oven before they are ready to be put to paper, then timing is likely what is causing your writer’s block. This can be especially frustrating when your writing must be complete by an upcoming deadline.

Though you may not feel completely happy with any of the ideas floating around in your head, the truth of the matter is that even half-baked ideas can lead to fantastic writing.

Fear is another common reason for writer’s block. Writers can often struggle with the same fear that artists deal with concerning their work. It can be intimidating to throw something you created into the public eye where it can be viewed and critiqued by anyone who comes across it.

Want advanced tips for reducing distractions, overcoming writer's block, and boosting creative confidence? Book a 1-on-1 consultation with Writing Coach Lyndsay Carder.

In many ways, it can feel like people are critiquing you as a person, which is scary. This fear can cause us to freeze up, even if we’re confident in what we’ve written. 

Writer’s block can also be caused by the desire to have what we write be perfect. Many writers are perfectionists that will scrutinize every last sentence they write until they are happy with the final product. This is a good quality to have in most situations, but it can also place undue pressure on a writer’s shoulders.

Remember, not everything you write will be perfect, and that’s just fine. You can always revisit something you’ve written at a later point and refine it, but what’s important is that you get your ideas on paper. 

Now that we know some of the most common causes of writer’s block, let’s take a look at some ways to overcome it. 

1. Make a More Creative Workspace

The environment you write in has a huge impact on your creativity and productivity. You should have a workspace dedicated solely to writing. This is important because your brain associates activities with the settings they are typically done in. For instance, working from your bed can be difficult because your brain recognizes it as the place where you sleep or relax. 

Once you have chosen adedicated writing space, you can begin making it feel comfortable. All that is important is that you feel your workspace is conducive to writing. What that means is entirely up to you though.

If you work best from a personal office where you can lock the door and remove all distractions, then do that. If you feel motivated by background music and aren’t bothered by the constant noise of a coffee shop, then write there.  

2. Create your Characters Beforehand

The characters you create are arguably the most important element of your writing. They are what bring life to your story and make your writing relatable. They are also one of the most complex elements of any story, making them difficult to write about sometimes. In fact, writing character descriptions is one of the most common situations for a writer to feel stuck. 

Instead of creating characters as the story progresses, consider creating them beforehand. Make a list of characters you may want to include in the story before even considering how they will interact.

For each character write out a description that includes what their names are, what they look like, what they wear, and even what their basic personality traits are.

When you’re done, what you’ll have is a cheat sheet that you can refer to as your story unfolds. This way you can focus all of your creative energy on how these characters interact rather than their appearance. 

3. Make a Habit of Writing

Writing is a skill, and just like any other skill, the only way to become better at it is to practice, practice, practice. Make a habit of going to your writing space every day and writing something—anything. This practice is recommended by nearly everytraining consultancy that deals with writing. 

Consider setting a daily writing goal to reach every time you sit down to write.

This could mean reaching a daily word count or simply writing for a certain amount of time every day. Adhering to a writing routine will slowly help you discover ways to keep writing, even if it’s difficult. 

4. Find a Creative Writing Prompt

If you’re struggling with deciding what to write about, then consider finding a writing prompt from someone else. A simple Google search will give you hundreds of writing prompts covering dozens of topics. This is a good start, but a lot of the prompts you find might be pretty basic or vague.

The subredditr/WritingPrompts has over 15 million users that share their original writing prompts. You can also share what you wrote for the prompt in the comments alongside other Redditors. 

Want advanced tips for reducing distractions, overcoming writer's block, and boosting creative confidence? Book a 1-on-1 consultation with Writing Coach Lyndsay Carder.

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

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