How do you get around Writer's Block?

March 24, 2007 3:25pm CST
Hi all, I occasionally suffer from Writer's Block. I write a variety of stuff - scripts, short stories, articles and I'm sniffing around getting a novel started. I occasionally get started and then hit the wall. I can't think of anything to get the story rolling again, and this lasts for a few days. The best way I've found of getting around it is, oddly enough, to think of a new story or article idea and start writing that. I usually find that then I get a bit of inspiration for the original piece, and I'm happy again. I'll also occasionally type a few words in to Google and see what comes up - sort of Web Brainstorming. Does anyone have any favourite methods of getting around this occupational hazard?
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7 responses
@wolfie34 (26790)
• United Kingdom
2 Apr 07
I used to suffer this when I used to do a lot of writing, I would leave it and go and do and crossword or suduko puzzle to get my brain switched onto something else, it would still be active but thinking about something else. The times that I would be filling in a crossword to trigger some good plots and a continuation as where I stopped in my writing!
6 Apr 07
That's an interesting approach - I sometimes find I can switch to writing something totally different when I'm blocked on one thing, but trying a puzzle is soemthing I've not yet had a go at! I wonder if switching to working on a piece of software would have the same effect on my thought processes? I write shareware as well so maybe the next time I get blocked I should try flicking over to a bug fixing!
@franziska (411)
• Italy
30 Mar 07
When I suffer from writer's block (I write mostly in the web)I let all and apply myself in physical works (like cleaning,washing,wiping,cooking etc). After a little time it's sure that the block passes.
30 Mar 07
Yes! I've foudn that works for me occasionally as well! In fact, sometimes I think my wife likes me to get blocked so that all the odd jobs around the place get done. The other thing I will do sometimes that's 'physical' is get the excercise bike out and pedal a few miles on it. I end up a bit sweaty but after a quick shower I find that the block sometimes goes away.
29 Mar 07
I think writers block only happens when you've not got enough ideas, or your ideas aren't formed enough yet, to write. I either switch to something else. Or go and do something which takes me away from the computer and where I can concentrate on thinking. So doing the washing up, ironing, cleaning the kitchen floor, any boring household task or going for a walk usually works. I'm not worrried if this "thinking time" goes on for months. If the story needs that time to form and gel, so be it. It will get written eventually.
29 Mar 07
I'm not sure.... Sometimes I get paralysed by having a number of ideas, and also I do believe that there is a 'fear of failure' in a lot of Writer's Block. The most famous example of this was Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) who seemed to suffer from 'performance anxiety' when a deadline loomed. I know that my own Writer's Block seems to lift when a deadline is coming, oddly enough - I think I just get to teh pint where I have to write SOMETHING, otherwise I'll appear a total screwup, and that motivates me to be a little less perfectionist whilst I at least get something down on paper. :-)
• Philippines
28 Mar 07
I usually just watch old movies. I don't know about the others but it just works for me. Every time.
@kiran8 (15319)
• Mangalore, India
10 Jun 09
This is a very interesting discussion...By now you might have got over it. In my case when I am writing an article or a review, the most difficult part is the beginning paragraphs, but, once I am through with it and feel satisfied with my effort , I am able to go on and on..
@mansha (6301)
• India
31 Mar 07
I also have to write down my thoughts when they are flowing . Infact if I get stuc thenm I am also stuck for days. the original idea never returns. I hve found sometimes a walk in anture does help. Have you tried walking in apark or somewhere where there are lots of trees. try it I am sure yopu can get over the block in a jiffy.
@easy888 (10405)
• Australia
31 Mar 07
You will have this problem whem you do not have enough ideas in your mind to write something. In tackling this problem, you need to read different things in different areas and broaden your eyesight, and you need to create a way of thinking so that you can come up with many ideas quickly when you see something. You can try to draw a 'mind map' when you are thinking of one thing ,and you try to write anything related to that thing, it is in fact a systematic way of brainstorming..