Monday, October 2, 2017

How to Overcome Writer's Block

...and solve plot problems "in your sleep".

While you may not be able to work through every intricacy of your story's plot while asleep, you CAN solve a few problems subconsciously with these tips.

You may even be wondering if writer's block is a real thing. What is writer's block anyway? How do you deal with writer's block?

Yes, writer's block is real. If you've ever experienced it, you know what I'm talking about. Some would argue otherwise, but it really depends on how you define it.

How to Overcome Writer's Block || is writer's block real, how do you deal with writer's block, what is writer's block,

What is Writer's Block?

According to Wikipedia, the definition of writer's block is...
Writer's block is a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work, or experiences a creative slowdown. The condition ranges in difficulty from coming up with original ideas to being unable to produce a work for years.
But I'd like to pose another definition for writer's block:
Writer's block is the effect of a creative slowdown that causes a person to have a temporary lapse in the ability to solve problems.
Think about it. We all hit roadblocks from time to time. It doesn't matter if you're a mechanic, a doctor, a musician, or a parent. We encounter things that stop us in our tracks because we simply don't know how to move forward.

So why did writers get a special name for it? Probably because we write stories and encounter plot problems more than the average Joe. We don't know how to make the character get from point A to point B. That kind of creative slowdown is just as difficult to overcome for a writer as it is for a parent to figure out how to get their kids to go to bed on time, or maybe even at all.

What causes writer's block, anyway? In a nutshell, fear and timing.

Perhaps you aren't quite ready to write the masterpiece you had in mind. When that happens, you'll hit a block for sure.

And the other cause? Well, fear is what paralyzes most people from taking action. Fear of dying - no freefall jumping out of a plane for me! For writers though, it's the fear of rejection. The fear of not being good enough. The fear of not being perfect. The fear of failure. The fear of success. The fear of feeling like a fraud.

All kinds of fear can cause writer's block. The fear creeps up and inserts itself smack dab in the middle of your story. Usually at a critical point where a character needs to make some kind of decision. It's like time has frozen and the clock keeps ticking, but nobody sees any way out. It's a stone cold block of ice. But somehow, you've got to chisel your way out.

More Ways to Overcome Writer's Block:
Discover 3 Proven Methods That Work

Is Writer's Block Real?

For anyone who has experienced the inability to solve a plot problem as quickly as they would have liked, yes, writer's block is real. Perhaps you struggle with coming up with new ideas. Or maybe you're stuck in your writing because you don't have all the research, or you haven't figured out transitions or point-of-view yet. All of these are examples of how writer's block can affect you.

Being stuck because you don't have any ideas is definitely hard, but writer's block isn't really about not having any ideas. It's really about not have any idea how to solve a specific problem. More specifically, a plot problem. And that's a real problem. One that takes guts, knowledge, ingenuity, and determination to find out how to overcome.

How do You Deal with Writer's Block?

Learning how to overcome writer's block is a skill you can learn. While there are lots of things you can do, the simplest thing is to "Just Do It." Yes, write through the pain. Sometimes during a run, I feel a slight kink in my neck, or a strange click in my hip, but usually when I run through the "pain" it works itself out and I feel a lot better afterward. The run loosens me up. Makes me more flexible. Works out the stiffness.

When you are feeling that stubborn stiffness in your writing, it's time to take action! You can't simply not write and expect the Muse to show up and help you with your writer's block problem. Creativity is the antidote to writer's block. So how do you boost creativity when you feel paralyzed by the fear of not knowing where to take your story next? PLAY!!!

There is more than one way to overcome writer's block. You can boost your creativity and play in the following ways:
  • CHANGE your environment: write somewhere different.
  • FOCUS on the writing: Eliminate immediate distractions so you can actually get some writing done.
  • DISTRACT yourself: Read a book, listen to music, or watch a movie.
  • GET UP and get active: dance, clean house, garden, go for a walk or a run (my fave).
  • PLAY with your writing as you just write through it.

Think of the most wild and wacky thing your character could do to get out of the trouble they're in. Just write. Write no matter how crazy it sounds. Write anything. Even if you think it's the stupidest thing you ever thought of, heard of, or wrote about. You don't even have to write on your current project. You can free write or journal to help get the wheels turning. You could even play a word game.

The point is to keep moving (whether literally or figuratively) and keep your writing head in the game. Forward momentum will help you bust out of that writer's block and finally get your characters from point A to point B.

There are other ways to overcome writer's block, too. Ways that I've seen HUGE results with. Get your 3-Tier Writer's Block Guide to boost your efforts to overcome writer's block.

More Ways to Overcome Writer's Block:
Discover 3 Proven Methods That Work

What do YOU do to combat writer's block? Share in the comments!

Keep on keepin' on...



  1. I like the idea of having your character, out of character. With my block I had to change environment. I actually went back to my old writing grounds, my office. I have for a few years been using a laptop on the kitchen bar. If I got slow I clicked the remote for the TV. Bad.

    1. Thanks for sharing! Yes, changing your environment and your routines can help a lot. Watching TV can be good for studying story, but bad for a productive writing session. Glad you found a way to push through your writer's block.


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