Writing Tips

How To Overcome A Writer’s Block


“Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all”…

…rightly said one of my favourite authors Charles Bukowski. 

Writer’s block is the one place all writers hate to hang out, and yet we stumble upon it once in a while. Like I did today. But then I thought, why not take Bukowski’s advice and write something about a writer’s block?

So, what’s the cure?  How can you get past the writer’s block?

Well, let’s jump straight to the solutions. 


Read a Book Written by Your Favourite Author

First things first – you need to step away from whatever you’re doing. Go and do something you’ve not done in a while. When I am stuck, I sometimes paint or work on my blog. 

But usually, I resort to my best-loved activity – reading books written by my favourite authors. I seek out well-written books. Classic literature is always the best place to start. But you can narrow the selection according to your taste – science-fiction, romance, magical realism, non-fiction. The point is to read impressive writing that also interests you.  


Timed Writing Strategy

If you want to survive the writer’s block and supercharge your productivity, timed writing is worth a try. You need to write with a watch before you. 

Turn off all the distractions and set the timer to 20-30 minutes. And start writing. Write, write, and write until the timer goes off. You’ve to write whatever that comes to your mind, no matter how stupid that idea is. It’s a sprint. So you cannot stop. You’ve to reach the finish line. And when you do, take a break, and start another sprint. Sometimes, the writing may turn out to be excruciatingly good, and sometimes not. But then, remember? You have the editing skill at your disposal to fine-tune it later.


Build Your Writing Environment

A dedicated writing space is essential. You need a space where you feel particularly able to write with your muse. Many writers swear by plant life on their desk. For some authors, it is the smell, the ambience, or the view. You’ve to figure out what fuels your creativity and make those things a part of your writing environment.

If scents inspire you, add scented candles nearby. If you find music inspiring, play some background music while you write. You can fill your space with quotes, photographs, or any item that inspires you. 


Reread Your Glory Stories

When you’re doubting your skills or feel like you’ve lost your mojo, think of that story or chapter you wrote a while back. Your best write-up ever? Go back and read it. You’ll see how good you are. The mojo or talent didn’t go anywhere. It’s right there – wandering inside you. 


Listen To a Writing Podcast or Take Some Advice

This, again, is a stepping-away strategy – but at the same time, you get to learn something new. You won’t feel like you’ve wasted time when you were supposed to write. You’ll get a new perspective. 

There’s no shortage of podcasts for authors – Writing Excuses, Helping Writers Become Authors, Beautiful Writers Podcast, to name but a few. You can also watch videos for some advice from great writers you generally take inspiration from.


Use an Idea Generation Tool

This is probably the coolest solution to a writer’s block. Millennials are using it to get an instant cure for writer’s block. Just search the web for ‘story ideas generator’ or ‘plot twist generator,’ and you’ll find dozens of sites with thousands of fresh ideas. Obviously, you don’t have to copy that, but that will help your creative muscles get to work.


Write Whenever the Idea Strikes 

This is one of the time-tested strategies. More than discipline, writing needs to be natural. So, write whenever a fresh perspective or idea strikes you. No matter where you are. On a bus, on a train, in the cafe, anywhere. Wake up in the night and write. Don’t let your conscious mind reject your thoughts as a stupid idea. 

Don’t wait for a time to write. Just write whenever those ideas are coming to you.


Observe the Stories Happening Around You 

When nothing works, turn to the people around you. Find stories that are happening right in front of you. The creepy neighbour who’s been eyeing the flower girl from the corner shop. The newspaper boy who’s finally bought himself a new bike. The odd couple at the cafe who eat together but never exchange a word. The world is full of stories; you just have to look around.


And finally:


“The best way in the world for breaking up a writer’s block is to write a lot.” John Gardner