Struggling with Writer’s Block? Here are 3 Simple Steps to Beat it3 min read

Personally, I like the term creative bankruptcy more, but no matter how we’d name it, not being able to do something you love, that normally works like a dream, is incredibly frustrating.

This is your passion we’re talking about, not some boring, mindless chore that must be done.

And then, if you’re a professional blogger or author, you’ve got deadlines, you’ve got to earn a living.

And if words have abandoned you, who are you going to be? You’re a writer, right? Writers write, right?

So who are you if you can’t write?

A nobody?

Deep inside,  you know that’s nonsense.

Once a writer, always a writer. There’s no going back. Like being pulled from the Matrix.

But try telling yourself that late at night when all you managed to write for the day would fit comfortably inside a Tweet.

Now, there are many different types of creative block, and plenty of ways to tackle them and get back to writing.

But your time is limited, so we need to address this issue in a little less than a thousand words, so here are three critically important things for you to remember about being creatively blocked.

1. Once a writer, always a writer…

This is the most important part that you need to remember about being a writer.

To be blocked, you have to have written in the past. You have to be a writer.

So, you are still a writer.

And you will write again.

Just give it some time.

2. There’s a BIG difference between being hopeless and feeling hopeless

You are not your feelings.

This might not seem like much of an advice, but the truth is that objectively, you cannot write at the moment.

It’s a temporary block, since you cannot truly point to any creative individual who spent the rest of their lives being blocked.

But your mind, the way you interpret this temporary event and panic because of it, your mind is telling you that you’ll never write again, that you’re done, that others have it so much easier…

Remember the times before your block. When you were confident in your ability to sit down at your desk and write.

Well, your ability to write is still there. Maybe latent, but it’s there all right, deep in your nervous system. You don’t need to start again from scratch — just go back to what you were doing before.

3. Do other stuff

Do something else for a while. Like go fishing, travel for a while…

Interact with fellow human beings.

But most of all, absorb.

I once read this study that for every hour spent writing, you must read and accumulate information for like 12-14 hours.

So, read. Watch movies, TV shows.

Writing is simply a process of connecting dots, rather than being this god-like creature that can make something out of nothing, so you must have dots to connect.

How do you deal with writer’s block?

Which of these three things is most important for you to remember?

What would you add to the list?

Any other tips for beating writer’s block?

Cristian Mihai

Became Internet famous by the age of 23. Never recovered. I write short author bios all over the web. I’m an acquired taste. Don’t like me? Acquire some taste.

44 thoughts on “Struggling with Writer’s Block? Here are 3 Simple Steps to Beat it3 min read

  1. Had this for the first time today. Thankfully I found interacting with fellow bloggers gave me the inspiration I needed. Great timely post. Thank you.

  2. I once made a post while I was “feeling hopeless”. I knew what I wanted to write on, yet I couldn’t put words together to get it written. You know what I did? I made a post about being blocked; I was feeling at that time and asked my readers how they deal with such feelings. In other words, I wrote when I couldn’t write! Not writing was the only thing I was feeling at that moment, but then, it’s okay, because I can always put my feelings into writing.

    So the fourth point I’m trying to add here is:
    Write about how it feels to be blocked.

  3. Whenever I get the block, I simply engage myself in a flurry of activities, such as reading. I could read literature or articles written by other bloggers. Or I could just strum the guitar for an hour or two.

    I’ve tried to force myself to write during a block a couple of times, but I wasn’t successful. Things like this, it’s best to just wait for them to pass. And they will pass — after all, they ARE temporary.

  4. I run, I read, and I absorb. It’s always an inspiration also to read other blog posts. Thanks for the reminder about not being what you are feeling.

  5. I have scheduled posts to cope with the fact that I don’t always feel like writing. I batch write them so there are plenty in reserve for when life demands my attention.

  6. Quick question. I know that reading helps writers in ways such as learning new words, punctuation and all that (blah, blah, blah) but in what other ways can reading everyday help you to become a better writer?

    1. Well, it feeds your brain.

      Where do you think ideas come from? Some magical land. No. There’s a clear correlation between memory and imagination. The better the memory, the better the imagination.

      You must feed your brain, so you can have ideas, so you know what is possible. To gain a different perspective. To learn from those who have been at it long before you.

  7. Cristian, I liked your use of the phrase “creative bankruptcy” to label writer’s block. If you are stifled with a project, be willing to move on to something else that is on your “To Do” list. Sometimes, instead of writing, use some of your creative time to research for an upcoming project. Reading other blogs and writing thoughtful comments persuades your mind to write.

    Think of writer’s bankruptcy as a cookie jar running out of cookies. A writer needs to find some way or something to create a deposit.

    1. That is a must. We must feed our brains. I do so daily, not just by reading, but also listening to talks, speeches, etc. and watching movies, tv shows, documentaries.

  8. I love this so much! Creative blockage is just part of life. I meditate a lot, and also find that writing during active meditation sessions sometimes helps…most of the time it’s all just gibberish, but every now and then a word or phrase sticks out, or triggers some random thought or memory that gets me at least kind of inspired. Usually, that gets me out of my “rut.”

    And sometimes, I’ll purposely block myself when I feel my mind struggling to find flow – if it feels like I’m forcing it, it’ll probs also sound forced. At that point, I’ll maybe have a cup of coffee, read a book, play The Sims 4 (shhhh, lol), do something with my husband and kiddos, or some combination of those 4 things. It does help to step away from it all – changes of scenery! 🙂

    1. Sims 4 is cool. I even thought at times I should write a novel based on my “stories” and all that I did with my sims. Anyway… yes you are right: the are times when you’d much rather do anything but write, and maybe you should do that. Just don’t use those moments to procrastinate.

      1. Agree! No procrastination, it’s definitely not good for my process. I also considered writing something based on my stories from the Sims as well – might still be something cool to explore, though I think mine would just be short stories or novella-like. Thanks for the tips!

  9. If I know what I’m intending to write about, I just pretend that my hands can’t stop typing so I’m just going to type. I remind myself that I can just erase it all in 10 minutes if I want to. What comes out isn’t necessarily awesome, but it’s usually something I can work with rather than just erase. Often, somewhere in the words, I can spot MY words.

  10. “You are not your feelings”…I LOVE that! So many people get hung up on their emotions and they let it define them, they let it direct their decision making, and it can be so debilitating. I think I might have to post those words on my fridge!

  11. You’re pretty wise with this whole blogging world. I’ve been telling my friends about this blog in particular because I have a serious appreciation that you give out your wisdom for anyone willing to read. Thank you for that.

  12. I take time out and try to relax and pace. Fibro fog days mean I am sometimes blocked from seeing which key I need to press, despite having done so a million times before!

  13. I love the one which says “once a writer always a writer”, no going back. I can always say this to myself when block hits and must write no matter how terrible it comes out.
    In the past, I battled with writer’s block a lot, until one day, I read a blog that said there no such thing as writer’s block. I was annoyed with the post because this is something I experienced and other writers experienced too and someone is coming up to say there is no such thing? On a second thought, I decided to write everyday nonstop for consecutive thirty days to test this but I was sure I was going to fail. It turned out that the person who said it could be right because I was able to write for 23 days non-stop. But the thing is, during the time when the words didn’t flow, my writing was terrible. That’s just by the way.
    I still have writers block every now and then but when it hits, I follow the last step. I do other stuff but whatever happens, I try to put some meaningful or terrible stuff down on paper day in day out.

  14. Very intriguing and helpful post, Cristian! One thing I would add is that it helps to take time for self-care. Exercising and eating healthy can really pull you out of a slump. Cheerio!

  15. Great post! I especially like #2, that’s a very important one to remember. If you let how you feel about yourself dictate what you do, you’ll get to where you want to be.

  16. This post hits home! I’ve been recently struggling to put pen to paper so this article resonates with me a lot. It’s a reminder that we’re all humans and that creativity takes time. Thank you for sharing!

  17. Very good advice. While writing I must step away often because I easily burn myself out. When I write I become so involved that the whole world fades away from me. That’s all well and good for my writing, but it tends to wear me out mentally lol. Stepping away helps me recharge, so to speak. However, when I try to step back, I lose all train of thought and hit a writer’s block. What I do to combat that is to force myself to start writing. I jot down the most minuscule irrelevant idea and let my hands do the work. It will start off as gobbledygook, but the more I force myself the faster my little hamster starts running on its wheel lol. Once my hamster gets fast enough then it can hurdle over the block and I’m back in business.

  18. Very encouraging list. I’ll try to remind myself the next time I suffer “creative bankruptcy” that, “Once a writer, always a writer! ”
    Great Post!

  19. This post is really timely for me. I haven’t been blocked exactly, but I have been struggling with a blog post of my own. The advice you gave in point three seems like it might work in this case. It’s kind of a new type of post for me, so I’ve been struggling a lot with the structure and content to include. I’ve just kinda been writing points aimlessly. It seems to me that going and accumulating some information by reading examples might be the thing to do. Definitely something I should have thought to do before, but at least I have the idea now. Great post, and thanks for the help!

    Also, the advice I’ve heard for writer’s block is to just write regardless of whether you think your ideas are any good. Just get any words down. That’s sort of what I did with my recent problem (potential) blog post, hence the aimless writing of points. Still, it’s definitely helped me start to identify what I think is most important or relevant to add though.

    1. The truth is that if you force yourself to write, no matter what, after a while you will begin to feel inspired. As they say, inspiration has to find you working.

  20. I agree with everything you said, especially #3. Because I had writer’s block a few months back. It was really bad that I couldn’t finish the story I was working on. I literally had zero inspiration so I went for a small trip, met new people, relaxed. It helped me a lot.

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