Writer’s Block: 10 Ways to Defeat a Writer’s Worst Enemy

By Reedsy

What is writer’s block? Writer’s block is the creative slump that authors face when they don’t know what to write. It affects writers in all stages of their career — and if left unchecked, it can impede your writing for days, weeks, or even months.

The good news is there are plenty of concrete ways to combat writer’s block! If you feel like you’ve hit a brick wall with your writing, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll reveal 10 ways to break through that wall and soundly defeat your writer’s block.

1. Determine the root of the problem 

Contrary to what you might think, writer’s block isn’t a sign that you’re a “bad writer” — it’s something that almost every writer will face at some point. But while most writers have this experience in common, the underlying causes can be quite different.

So let’s dig deep: why are you really blocked? Ask yourself:

  • Do I feel pressure to succeed and/or compete with other writers?
  • Have I lost sight of what my story is about, or interest in where it’s going?
  • Do I lack confidence in my own abilities, even if I’ve written plenty before?
  • Have I not written for so long that I feel intimidated by the mere act?
  • Am I simply feeling tired and run-down?

Each of these problems has a different solution. For example, if perfectionism is strangling your writing, you might try leaning into the fact that no one’s first draft is perfect — in which case, tactic #4 on this list could really help you. Or if you’re feeling uninspired, you could turn to some of the resources in #7!

Of course, there’s no quick fix for any one of these causes. But understanding where your problem lies will help you know which tips are best for you as you go through our list.

2. List your favorite books and writers 

What inspired you to start writing in the first place? Perhaps you’ve got a favorite book you could turn to — or an author you admire. When you find yourself feeling stuck, it can really help to return to these sources to reignite that initial spark. 

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