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Five ways to battle writer's block

If you're having a hard time with a dreaded case of the block, sit back and give our top tips for writers a try.

Audience: Writers

Last updated: 21 May 2021

Spending hours of your life looking at a blank page? Or are you getting words down only to delete them moments later? Sounds like you’re struggling with a problem that’s plagued writers throughout the years – a case of the dreaded block. The best way to move on and beat it isn’t always pushing through, so we’ve put together a few tips for shaking things up.

Top up your inspiration pool

We all know writers grow from readers, but if you find yourself overanalysing everything you read on your hunt for inspiration it’s time to switch things up. Plan a few days wandering around art galleries, set up a movie marathon on your sofa, book a theatre ticket or head along to a few gigs – diving into other art forms can help get your creative brain kicking.

Switch creative pursuits

When you’re struggling to get words down, it’s easy to think that’s where all of your creative energy should go. It makes sense that you should funnel all of your focus onto the place that’s lacking, right? Well, not so much. In fact, one of the best ways to loosen yourself up and work your way out of a block is to let yourself be creative in other ways. Whether that’s cooking, knitting, painting or building giant Lego ships is up to you. 

Do your chores

This might be the last bit of advice you want to hear but chores can actually be a really good to get past a sticking point – as long as you don’t need to use too much brain power to get through them. Spring cleaning your bookcases or scrubbing the entire kitchen will keep your surface brain and body busy in a way that can be useful. Sitting down to tackle your tax returns is more likely to add to your burn out though.

Remember you’re more than a writer

Thinking of yourself as a writer is a big step in giving yourself permission to take the time to actually write. However, as with everything, there can be too much of a good thing. No matter how dedicated to your craft you are, you’re more than a writer. And that means you have to nourish the other parts of you too – see non-writing friends, watch trashy TV, take up yoga or re-connect with childhood hobbies that may have fallen at the wayside.

Build your defences

It’s hard to trust that things will change when you’re in the throes of a block but the truth is, it will pass eventually – even if you do nothing about it! Many of the world’s most loved and respected authors have had their struggles with getting words on the page, so remember you’re not alone and if they can get through the despair and frustration of writer’s block, you absolutely can too.