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101 Tips to Fight & Overcome Writer’s Block

101 Tips to Fight & Overcome Writer’s Block

Anybody, regardless of what they’re writing, a short story or a novel, will succumb to writer’s block. The frustration can be annoying, especially if the dateline is crawling around the corner. Writer’s block may have several causes. Some are creative problems that originate within an author’s work itself. The exact details can manifest differently for different writers, but symptoms may include the inability to focus, feeling mentally foggy, a lack of inspiration, and feeling stressed and frustrated. It can also be caused by lack of rest or fresh ideas, and even putting too many emotions into what you write. It can last for an hour. It can last for a year. But no matter how long it lasts, writer’s block is painful. We at GetFreeEbooks.com have came up with a list of tips, methods and strategies that anybody can use to kill off that dreaded stop sign.

Moving along the same path, we also suffer from Reader’s Block as well. Writing and reading are two totally different activities but somewhat connected in various ways. You’ll find capable authors who read a lot and readers who write frequently. Having said thist, we’ve came up with 101 Tips And Tricks To Overcome Reader’s Block to help you out if you happen to be missing out your reading sessions.

We’ve made a video out of this list so you just need to focus on the points as they appear on the screen. You can either click here for the video or just view it below.

Feel free to forward and share this list to your friends or dearest writers who you know that are currently suffering from writer’s block. Try them out, experiment and most importantly – do not give up! Happy writing everyone. Bring in the light bulb and go with the flow. It might not be perfect, but we hope it helps, and without further ado…

101 Tips to Fight & Overcome Writer’s Block

  1. Read and write often.
  2. Make PROCRASTINATION your biggest enemy.
  3. Your draft, visual sketches, videos, initial framework are your best friends. Always refer to them again if you’re stuck.
  4. Draw! yes, draw. By drawing, you’re expressing yourself in a different way / through a different channel (not in words). This might help to picture out what you couldn’t put in words in the first place. In fact drawing is very similar to writing as it exercises the right creative side of your brain.
  5. Simplicity – For some, style of writing, strong words, flowery phrases, etc. are their main priorities. Don’t worry too much on those matters, go simple and focus on wording out the flow of your ideas, then focus on the beautification process.
  6. Find your golden hour, what time are you at your optimum efficiency level. Are you a morning person? A night owl?
  7. Change your surroundings. Focus on getting to a location which is comfortable for you. If you prefer a busy place with crowd and a lot of noises, find one. If you prefer a quite place, find a library, etc.
  8. Get your blood moving – exercise, move around, swim. Go for a short road trip.
  9. Try aromatherapy.
  10. Play some games. It doesn’t matter whether it’s from your Iphone, or from your computer. Good games with some engaging story lines can trigger new ideas and strategies on how to write.
  11. Get involved with anagrams.
  12. Creative writing games.
  13. PLAY PICTIONARY – By observing on how different players draw out their answers, you can try to practice new ways of outlining your storyline. Or just have fun while you’re taking your short breaks.
  14. PLAY TYPING GAMES – Those random generated sentences that you have to type as fast as you can may represent great sources of ideas.
  15. Play around with your emotions (at least not intentionally) and take advantage of it . Certain emotions might prepare yourself to write differently and provide you with the variety you need. Not an outdoor person? Try Xbox Kinect or Virtual Reality games.
  16. BE AN ADRENALINE JUNKIE – Jump on the roller coaster, go for bungee jumping, etc. Try experience something you’ve never done before. For some, this triggers a new set of emotions which you can apply on your writing.
  17. Get rid of any negative emotions. When you’re bothered, your mind is confused. Fix your problems, run your errands, solve everything that you can think of, and let your mind to focus on one and only one thing – your writing.
  18. Brainwash yourself to erase terms such as “writer’s block” from your mind. For all you know it’s just laziness. (Refer to point no #2).
  19. Eat healthy food, and eat well. Your mind does not function well on an empty stomach.
  20. Being equipped with information is the key to a smooth free flow of ideas. Keep a writer’s journal, keep receipts, items, pictures, souvenirs, presents or any items that can aid you in your writing.
  21. Visit places which you think will give you ideas (closely related to the story you’re writing). Don’t forget to bring a paper and a pen, or anything that you can write them on. The last thing you want happening to you is knocking yourself on the head for not being able to remember.
  22. When you’re not progressing in your writing, write / note down everything you can think of, even if it’s bad or totally irrelevant. Lower your standards and keep writing. You can refer these points later and might conveniently construct new ideas. In other words, don’t be a perfectionist at this point of time, just write down what you can think of. Even if it’s not related to what you’re currently writing, write it down. It might come in handy even for your next projects. Abandon nothing when it comes to ideas.
  23. Research, research, research. Do your homework.
  24. Instead of following the normal flow of things (research and then write), rehearse what you’re about to write before going out on the field to cover your story.
  25. Unplug the internet, don’t check your emails, don’t log in to your IM. Basically, wipe out all the common distractions.
  1. If you happen to work very well with distractions, listen to some music, podcasts, audiobooks, etc. while or when you’re not writing. Alternatively, visit crowded places. Humans are complex beings, some need minor and indirect distractions to be able to function.
  2. Tackle / overcome the most difficult part when you’re fresh (early in the morning, after your run, etc). In the evening if you prefer to write on a graveyard shift.
  3. Consume coffee, tea or any energy drink. Caffeine is a great boost and will stir your mind. Focus and alertness is your priority.
  4. SLEEP – Get sufficient amount of sleep. There’s no point slogging yourself throughout the night, cracking your brain, when nothing is coming out.
  5. TAKE A BREAK – Your brain needs some rest as well. Exhaustion is not an option – take a break. Perhaps a short nap could help a great deal in thinking department. For those who are gifted enough to remember their own dreams, this is another platform where you can extract ideas from. Our brain / mind is by far the best story generator and movie director one can ever find.
  6. Alcohol, not in excessive amount though.
  7. Talk to your writer friends / close acquaintances to get their opinions or what they have in mind, etc. Go for both constructive suggestions and criticisms.
  8. SET A PERSONAL DATELINE – Some authors work better under pressure, some don’t. Change your dateline according to your comfort level. Talk to your publisher or agent if you need to.
  9. TIME – Time is a very important factor, regardless you’re within a dateline or not. Always start early, prepare yourself sufficiently and this should prepare yourself to face any obstacles you may find.
  10. Commit yourself in achieving a certain amount of “word-count”. Aim for your daily optimum number of words, increase it if you’re feeling motivated. Otherwise, just aim for your minimum.
  11. FEEDBACK – If you have published a few books before, read your readers’ comments. Their comments and suggestions might give you some idea on how to proceed and improve.
  12. START AT THE END – Instead of writing from start to end, write from end to start. Formulate an ending and figure out how it starts and how it flows. Or you can even start in the middle. Start with a few short stories if you think it will help your readers to understand better. Throw in poems, historical facts, etc.
  13. REWARD YOURSELF – If you manage to conquer a difficult part of your writer’s block, reward yourself to a good weekend with your friends and family, etc. Enjoy a sitting of an unhealthy set of food you’ve always been craving for. When you’re emotionally contented, things might come in more naturally in the next stages of writing.
  14. TALK TO YOURSELF – Some may think you’re crazy, but saying it out loud is a brilliant way of bringing clarity and to explore the different options that might come. Speak. Shout. Get a tape recorder, a microphone perhaps? etc. Sometimes ideas travel faster from the brain to the mouth than from the brain to the hand.
  15. Question yourself continuously and consistently. Perhaps religiously? You never know what kind of answers you might come up yourself. Instead of plotting what to write next, write down questions instead. Then move on.
  16. Hand-write instead of typing it in your computer.
  17. Try to distract yourself with meaningless activities like copying a paragraph of your story into Google translate. Simply translate it into another language and change it back to the original. Inspirations might be non-existent from this method, but at least you can have a good laugh from the results. The “modifications” from the numerous translations could be a blessing in disguise – a new writing style perhaps?
  18. Typing in phrases into search engines and look at how are these phrases are written. You may discover new building blocks you may keep for later reference.
  19. Don’t be afraid to experiment, people tend to learn faster and better when they make mistakes.
  20. Work on more than one project at a time. It helps to minimize fear, monotony, and boredom. It seems to prevent writer’s block for many people.
  21. GET COUNSELING – Many therapists specialize in helping artists and writers reconnect with their creativity.
  22. BE MOTIVATED – Who are you writing this book for? Why are you writing this book? If you can focus on questions like these and enhance them by visualizing them constantly, they should aid you in your writing process. Don’t underestimate the drive that can be derived from motivation and results. Imagine the rewards you’ll gain from consistent visits to the gym. Similarly, you’ll write more and more frequently, whenever you start noticing that you’re getting more work done. Improvements = results. (Refer to point no 1).
  23. TRY WRITING EXERCISES – Loosen up the mind and try to write things you would never write otherwise.
  24. Read quotes by famous authors on writer’s block.
  25. VISION – It’s not the words, but your vision. Try to narrow down on the topic. Starting from a Country > Town > Street > Shops > People > Walls > Bricks and so on and so forth. Start with the favorite object in the story and use it as the main topic of discussion.
  1. Think differently and find connections between seemingly unrelated concepts and items. E.g. Try connecting the dot between a car and a piece of rubber band. This might stimulate some unused sections of your thinking cap, and trigger some brand new ideas.
  2. Imagine / put yourself in the shoes of different characters and objects. Think the impossible – try to imagine yourself as a 100 year old tree, a grizzly bear’s claws, etc. How would you feel and do? Attack different scenarios from different standpoints.
  3. Ask yourself why and where are you currently getting stuck? Focus on the issues and do a research on all possible scenarios involving those areas that you’re not able to continue. How if, What if, etc.
  4. Set your priorities, your main focus.
  5. Stop being a perfectionist throughout your writing process.
  6. Don’t rewrite until you’re done. Focus on your structure, flow and ideas. Corrections and beautifications can come later. Learn how to prioritize your time between composing and editing.
  7. If you can’t find the proper phrase, write down whatever comes into your mind, highlight / bookmark it, and then come back later if you’ve found out the proper phrase to use.
  8. Prepare yourself a set of phrases that can be used as your building blocks. You can also utilize different words and sentences. Form your own writing style.
  9. Your goal is not to write the greatest article or poem for how-to guide or epic novel ever created. Your goal is to satisfy yourself. Write for yourself.
  10. Perform interviews, distribute questionnaires and run surveys. Try to collect as much data as possible.
  11. Pretend someone important to be your fan. Your former English teacher? J.K. Rowling? Imagine yourself writing for someone else who is greatly interested in your writing. The urge to impress motivates one beautifully.
  12. Ensure writing is your passion. There’s nothing wrong writing when you’re currently spending the bulk of your time climbing rocks. It’s just easier to accomplish something when passion is the main pillar of support.
  13. Don’t feel down or demotivated when you’re going nowhere, it happens even to the best and most experienced writers. The last thing you want to worry is about false impressions that you’re incapable of writing. You are a great writer.
  14. Join a writers group. Get together, throw out your notebook or iPad, whichever you’re comfortable with and start writing. The presence of individuals with similar objectives and obstacles could push you forward, unknowingly.
  15. Try to think like a chatterbox or observe one. It’s interesting to note on how they can present a topic and then move on gracefully to another subject which has no relation whatsoever with the main topic of conversation. This should give you plethora of strategies on how you can approach your own story progressions. And it’s not that difficult to find one these days.
  16. MAKE USE OF THE THESAURUS – List down a list of words, run them through thesaurus and see what you can find. Their meanings and usage can open a door to brand new ideas and writing styles. Explore the synonyms and antonyms as well.
  17. Vary your writing styles & approaches:
    • Describing people, places & things
    • Narrating events
    • Explaining a process step by step (Instructional)
    • Clarification & Explanation
    • Comparing & Contrasting
    • Classifying & Dividing
    • Examining Causes & Effects
    • Arguing & Persuading
    • Reviews & Predictions
    • Lists
    • Case Studies
    • Problems & Solutions
    • Rantings
    • Inspirational
    • Research
    • Debate
    • Hypothetical
    • Satirical
  18. DIG BACK YOUR OLD WRITING MATERIALS – Still keeping your old writing assignments? You might get lucky and find some great ideas you’ve kept aside long time ago.
  19. Dig into your email and re-visit the conversations you had with your contacts. Explore all the ideas you shared and the things you’ve discussed in the past.
  20. If you’re a travel writer, even a small item like a used cigarette butt can generate / trigger new ideas. Keep all the items and capture all information that you’ve encountered during your journeys. Take pictures, videos, audio recordings, etc.
  21. READ – Read anything online to experience a variety of new storytelling forms. Go with topics outside your discipline, such as architecture, astronomy, economics or photography.
  22. Read books that help you to write.
  23. Search through free eBook sites:
  24. Start with a prompt:
  25. Start with a hook sentence.
  1. Write using the Snowflake method.
  2. Try Asemic writing.
  3. Contribute to a collaborative story. Free your mind and at the same time, test your creativity and absorb a lot of great ideas from the community.
  4. Browse “minimalistic” one sentence / one word story hubs.
  5. Join a writing contest or submit your short stories. Just a small one to pull you out of your “routine”. This new writing task and the sense of accomplishments, hopefully, will clear off some of the obstacles blocking your ideas to flow.
  6. Use an online generator, e.g. Character name generator, poetry generator, random line generator, Title-o-Matic, etc. Through its randomness, it may spark new ideas and allow you to explore new territories.
  7. Use a Blog Idea Generator by Hubspot. It helps you to generate topics, ideas and titles for any keywords that you specify. Free and Paid versions available.
  8. Browse through newspaper archives online.
  9. Study the lives of other writers can also provide essential insights into why you’re facing resistances in your work.
  10. Read all the latest news in one place.
    • News360
    • Reddit
    • Muzli – Muzli is a new-tab browser plugin that instantly delivers relevant design stories and inspiration.
  11. CATCH A MOVIE – incidents happening in the storyline might help. Or if you’re busy, watch online movies.
  12. Listen to music lyrics and read movie quotes (IMDB)
  13. Search new ideas and information from blogs. You can simply Google it or browse through Blog Directories.
  14. Browse through popular online article directories.
  15. Search and read online news.
  16. Search forums and communities related to your topic:
  17. Take advantage of the keyword tools out there. You’ll be amazed what can be derived from just a single word. Use this tool and expand your ideas.
  18. Find questions and answers from the community:
  19. People say an image is worth a thousand words.
  20. Browse through postcards from your nearest bookstore and absorb the ideas from them.
  21. Go to social bookmarking and content sharing sites to find ideas based on your topic.
  22. Searching through social networking sites could provide some interesting and beneficial results as well.
  23. Get a proper writing software, or something that you’re comfortable with. Getting rid of small annoyances (e.g. lack of certain functionality, no auto save / backup feature, etc.) can free up more room for effective thinking. We would recommend Evernote.
  24. Store your ideas and notes in the form of charts, diagrams and mindmaps.
  25. Grab some chocolate and surrender to your libido. Some de-stressing should do the trick.
  26. Other tools, tips and tricks:
  27. Finally, if everything still fails, repeat steps 1 to 101. Happy writing!

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