How to Break Writer’s Block

not sure

You sit and stare at the screen. Your fingers are perched on the keyboard, but they don’t move. The screen is blank. So blank it’s as if the blinking cursor is mocking you. Its silent taunts get louder with each blink.

No, you’re not crazy. You just have writer’s block, which could very well drive you crazy.

Writer’s block is a progressive disease. The longer you have it, the worse it gets and the harder it is to shake it off. And like a lot of diseases, it won’t go away without some help. And there are many ways to cure this disease faster. (OK, it’s not technically a “disease,” but it sure feels like it.)

1. Walk away

Even if you have a deadline staring you down, walk away. Sitting there trying to will yourself to write won’t work. In fact, it’ll just make it worse. Walk away, clear your thoughts and come back.

2. Clean

Yes, clean. Writer’s block can often be attributed to an inability to focus. If you’re surrounded in the chaos of a messy work area, that’s not very conducive to focusing. So, take a moment and tidy up. I’m not saying bust out the Pledge or anything. Rather, just put your papers in neat stacks and clear away unnecessary items from your workspace.

3. Have a good yell

This could be a fix for a lot more than just writer’s block! Let out the frustration you’re feeling, whether it’s about the post you’re failing to write or whatever else is going on. If you don’t lose the frustration, you won’t be finishing that post anytime soon.

4. Read your own work

A major cause of writer’s block is uncertainty. The thought that you can’t write and your posts are insufferable can easily leak into your brain, washing away your confidence. Go back through your own blog and remind yourself of your ability.

5. Start in the middle

Sometimes the hardest sentence to write is the first one. That sentence will determine whether or not anyone reads what you’re writing. No one needs that kind of pressure. Move on and come back.

6. Change the subject

As a blog writer, you often have complete control over what and when you’re writing. If the next post up on your content calendar isn’t coming naturally (or at all for that matter), move the next post up. If that post doesn’t feel right, go on to the next one. Eventually one of them will get the creative juices flowing.

7. Just do it

Stop perching your fingers on the keyboard and actually use it. Even if you know what’s coming out is the worst writing ever produced in the history of mankind, just keep going. You’re not going to publish what you’re writing at this point, you’re just breaking the ice.

8. Relax

Relax. Getting frustrated and flustered will not help. Everyone has gotten writer’s block at least once, and they all survived. So, stay calm and make your way through this list until something works for you.

Thanks for reading,

Drew Larison