Top Ten Ways to Cure Writer’s Block

Top Ten Cures for Writer’s Block (Or procrastination)

Jim-Carrey-Bruce-Almighty

Does writer’s block exist? Some writers say yes, others no. Some say it’s another thing called procrastination. Whatever you believe, at some point or other, they might come a point where you’re stuck at a point in the story, or with a character or plot.

I used to get writer’s block/procrastination before I started setting a word count for the day and no stopping until I reached it. I used to get stuck when I didn’t have some idea of where the story and characters were headed. A few of the methods below helped me make sure I wrote every day. They might not all work for everyone. Only one of them might work. There are as many different writers as there are books, so it makes sense there’d be as many different ways to overcome writer’s block/procrastination…


1- Set a word count and stick to it

I took Stephen King’s advice and set myself a word count of 2000 words a day. I sometimes write more, but don’t let myself write less. The routine makes it feel more like a job, or work—and people have to go to work every day, so I have to write every day. It took some getting used to, but four years on and it’s still working.

2- Read a book

Reading a book can help get your head in the game. If it’s a good book it might inspire you to write your own good book. Or it could loosen your brain up and start the cogs moving. A different genre to what you’re reading can work, because you might not feel stuck with focusing on just one thing.

 3- Watch a movie

Lord of the Rings usually works for me, particularly if I’m writing fantasy. Like reading, watching will start your imagination working—give it fuel.

 4- Listen to music/movie soundtrack

This works for a lot of people. I haven’t tried it, but the Lord of the Rings soundtracks in the movies is pretty inspiring.

5- Write something different

It might not be your fault you don’t know what to write next; it might be the story’s. If you’re not invested in the idea/plot/characters enough a change could help. Write in a different genre or person or tense. Write a short story or piece of flash fiction. Focusing on something else could get you back in the mood for the story you’re not sure what to do with.

 6- Step back

Just don’t do… anything. Leave the story/writing alone, step away from it. Having a break after finishing a story and before editing works, so it makes sense that having a break to clear your head while writing should work. Just don’t leave it too long, or you might lose enthusiasm altogether.

 7- Edit instead

Going back over what you’ve written before could help remind you of why you started writing this story or about a set of characters in the first place. You might spot a sentence of paragraph you’re proud of and it could urge you to want to write more like it.

 8- Have a plan

This is another method that I use. Knowing where I’m going makes sure I don’t get stuck a few chapters in. It doesn’t have to be a detailed plan, but thinking a few chapters ahead before you write will make sure you have enough fuel/incentive. I’ve heard of some people writing a synopsis for the story before they start writing the real thing. It might not work for everyone, but if you plan on trying to get it published or sign with an agent at some point at least you’ll have a synopsis ready.

 9- Keep writing

It might take every scrap of will power, but just pushing on can work. Not letting yourself stop, even if what you’re writing is BS. Eventually, you might hit a point where you find inspiration and carry on from there.

 10- Don’t go on the internet

Unplug your Wi-Fi if you have to, but keeping away from the net makes sure you have fewer distractions.


Has anyone else tried one of these and found it’s worked, or hasn’t. Does anyone have any other ways to cure writer’s block, or do you think it’s a myth?

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About Sam Whitehouse

Sam spends most of his time in a different world to other people. If it isn’t one he’s created himself, it’s one he’s reading about. In the rare moments when this isn’t the case, Sam can either be found addicted to a sci-fi or crime show, re-watching Marvel movies, finishing up an assignment for his final year of studying Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University, or trying to get the dozens of ideas for stories in his head under some kind of control. Sam has lived in the same small village in Yorkshire, surrounded by countryside on all sides ever since he could remember. His childhood saw him get into plenty of scrapes climbing trees and crossing rivers and generally believing he was Indiana Jones. Sam gives credit to his Grandad for him wanting to be a writer, and his bedtime stories for keeping Sam’s imagination stoked. But credit must also go to Steven Spielberg, J K Rowling and Stephen King, who have provided plenty of inspiration over the years, too. Sam writes what he reads, and that is pretty much anything—save romance. Fantasy, thrillers, or crime: once an idea takes root, he can’t stop until the world, characters, and plot are on paper. A huge Marvel fan, Sam one day hopes to pen a screenplay for one of their movies, or direct one, or do anything at all related to one. Until then, he’ll stick to his own fantasy worlds and wait for Marvel’s phone call.

Posted on 05/05/2015, in top ten tuesday, writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I think writer’s block is real! I know a loooot of people who claim there’s no such thing — but I totally think it’s legit. I think there’s a fine line between “writer’s block” and “procrastination” though and we, as writers, need to know when we’re just procrastinating. But you can run out of inspiration! Which i’d count as a block. xD

    Ohhhh my gosh YOU WRITE 2K EVERY DAY WITHOUT FAIL?!! I take my hat off to you. I have barely written at all this year and I call myself a writer. *glares at self* Sheesh. You’re amazing.

    These are great tips! I particularly like to talk my block out with my sister. It almost always gets me through it. xD

  2. I believe in writer’s block. I usually get it if I haven’t planned for ahead enough.
    I didn’t used to be able to write 2K every day, but I started out with 1K then 1.5K and worked up to 2K. Save when I’m editing I make sure I stick to 2K. Tough at first, but I got used to it.

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