10 Steps to Unblock Your Writer's Block

Tuesday, November 24, 2009
1. Read a good book.

2. Listen to soundtracks or other music that gets you in a creative mood without distracting you(Josh Groban does it for me) .

3. Turn off your internal editor . Repeat after me: The first draft is crap. And that's okay.

4. Get enough sleep. Eat well. Exercise. A strong body makes for a strong mind.

5. Don't argue with your characters. If they refuse to do a scene a certain way, change it. Even if that means rewriting the story.

6. Discuss the problem with someone. I've found that when I'm stuck, if I talk it out, it allows me to see it from a different angle and I can usually fix it--even if the other person doesn't say a word.

7. Reevaluate the project. Drop it if necessary. That's only happened to me once. 100 pages in I realized it wasn't working. I needed to completely rework the story. I put it away and started a newer, stronger story. Since then, I've been playing with plot ideas for the older one. I'm going to start it soon. It's going to be much stronger.

8. Take a break from writing. Instead, read a dozen novels. By the end, the creative side of your brain will be tingling.

9. Don't overextend yourself. I can't create the depth necessary if I'm trying to move between two projects. Nor can I switch back and forth between editing and creating. Creative writing and editing do not play well with one another. When I'm writing, I DO NOT EDIT. They're two different mindsets. It takes weeks to completely engross myself in one or the other.

10. Write, edit, read. Do one of these daily.

Q4U: What do you do to overcome writer's block?



  1. Color me weird. I don't get writer's block. Going on two years of solid writing.

    Then again I am not, er, young.

  1. Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your family and friends are able to be with you this year.

  1. Virginia Woolf said something similar to what you have above in one of her diaries. The way to get back into good writing is good reading.

  1. I play with my kids, listen to some music, and read a good book! ;-)

    Love your blog! ;-)

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