5 Strategies for Overcoming Writer’s Block

by CJ McDaniel // November 6  

If you want to be a serious writer, you’re going to have to learn how to deal with writer’s block. It’s a common condition that strikes the best of us. You know how it happens and most likely experienced it before. You sit down in front of your computer ready to write the best manuscript of your life. Then…nothing.

Pure, unadulterated nothingness. The equivalent of sitting in a dark room at midnight, seeing and hearing nothing but white noise. Maybe you have a vague idea or the desire to write is there, but no thoughts are coming. You don’t know how to start or the plot is taken a turn you know how to continue.

So, what you do in your brain shuts down and writer’s block takes hold? If you have a deadline, it’s time to panic! But if you’re trying to write your book and nothing is coming, there are several things you can try. Here are five ways to unclog your brain and overcome writer’s block:

1) Just Start

In reality, you don’t have to write anything of substance. At least not at first. If you have a basic idea of what you want to write, just write anything. That’s the great thing about having a starting draft. It doesn’t even have to make sense. You get to go back and edit it, change it, or even delete it.

Your book and do so well, but you don’t like the beginning. That’s absolutely fine. The best thing to do is to not stress yourself out about writing an epic beginning. At any stage of the story, you can go back and fix it. So, relax. Just start. Start flowing your story in the direction of where you wanted to go, even if you’re unsure.

2) Prepare Ahead of Time

This is a huge step. Any writer can tell you how many times they sat down to write but were distracted by something. It doesn’t take much to distract a person. That distraction can cause you to not focus on your work. Your brain is constantly moving at a fast pace until you’re actually writing and in the zone.


To combat this, get everything out of the way. Make sure you use the bathroom. Bring the coffee pot into your office. Make sure you’ve eaten. If you have children, make sure they’re in bed and put an hour into your writing at night. Make sure the dishes are clean and the food is put away. With no distractions, you can finally get busy.

3) Change Your Spot

Your writing environment can majorly impact your creativity. If you describe yourself into a closet somewhere, it might not be inspiring too much. Sometimes people just need a new change of scenery to inspire the brain. Maybe even something simple like getting up and going for a walk in the woods or sitting by a lake. If it’s not working for you, just make a change.

Few changes you can make to overcome writer’s block:

• putting on music
• Going to a bookstore or coffeehouse
• Finding a picnic table in a nice park
• walking through nature
• moving your desk to a better spot

4) Freewriting Can Help Writer’s Block

One great way to get into the writing spirit is to just put down anything that pops into your head. Somehow you have to make the transition from blank space to actively using your brain. That means even if you’re just writing your grocery list or putting together a letter, it will really help get the juices flowing.

5) Outline Your Work

Maybe you’re not ready to start the first paragraph. That’s perfectly fine. It can be difficult and you can get your own thoughts tangled together. It was suggested above that you just write anything, but maybe it’ll take put a little more effort in the planning phase. Write down the idea that you have and expand outward.

When you start that way, you have written down a proper outline. You know how you want the book to start. And if you don’t like it, you can still rewrite it later. The point is to have something there in front of you to help you get started. Write down all the characters and their personality quirks. Whatever it takes just keep writing!

About the Author

CJ grew up admiring books. His family owned a small bookstore throughout his early childhood, and he would spend weekends flipping through book after book, always sure to read the ones that looked the most interesting. Not much has changed since then, except now some of those interesting books he picks off the shelf were designed by his company!