Tuesday, December 17, 2013

9 Ways to Conquer Writer's Block

I recently reached a point in my current work-in-progress where I needed to check the timeline and hash out the last few scenes. I'm at the climax and I know what I want to happen. I just need to write it. Only I found myself staring at my computer screen wondering how to being the next chapter. I decided this was a good time to revisit one of my old blog posts, and I thought there might be other writers out there that might benefit from it too, so I'm re-posting it here. 

Also, today I'm over at Darkly Delicious YA sharing some of my favorite things about this time of year. If you have a moment, I hope you'll stop by. 

Writer’s block: the inability to write another word. 

That’s putting it rather simply, and it’s a moment in time all writers dread. So how do you get past writer's block? Below, are some of my favorite techniques.

  • Do something else. Sometimes the answer is to step away from your computer. Take a walk, clean the house, watch a movie, hang out with friends. 

  • Discuss it out loud. You don’t necessarily need a live person to do this. Ramble to yourself, discuss what you want to happen with a stuffed animal, explain the problem you’re having to a picture. You might be surprised how this helps you work though what’s causing your writer’s block.

  • Try a new approach. Put your characters in danger, have them take the hard right over the easy wrong (or vise versa), turn left instead of right.

  • Allow yourself to write crap. It will help you get to where you need to be in the story.

  • Work on a different scene. Often times writing a scene that comes later in the book will help you realize what needs to happen in the one you’re stuck on.

  • Do some writing exercises. There are sites that offer themes, Figment being one of them.

  • Try the cluster technique. Write down a word, any word, then jot down anything that comes to mind when you think of that word.

  • Map out options. To the left is a much neater version of what I often do on a piece of notebook paper.

  • Give yourself a break. Inspiration can't be forced. Allowing yourself to take a short break might just get your creative juices flowing again. 

Writing, conquer writer's block, for writers


  1. I signed up for Figment. I'd never heard of it before today. Thank you so much! Talking to my dogs can sometimes help break the block but the best thing I found is to walk away for a bit. Great advice!!

  2. Your mapping exercise is a great writing tool, Cherie. I used the mapping technique to help me reach 50K words for NaNoWriMo this year. It helped me to think about the relationship of the protagonist to the other main characters and add depth to each personality.