Writer’s Block & You



That essay for your English class is due next week.  You’ve paid attention in class, you understand your prompts and all you have to do is write.  Throw some words on paper.  But you can’t seem to type.  Your pen even refuses to write.  

Now that week has turned into a day or two;  the deadline looms, haunting your sleep with terrible dreams of bad thesis statements and a lower GPA.  

You have writer’s block.

It’s kind of awful, especially when you know exactly what you need to write.  But, for whatever reason, you can’t form words.  Writer’s block is aggravating, but not insurmountable.  In a twist of irony, writer’s block is the very reason I started writing this article.  I was having trouble putting words on paper.  

So, in an attempt to assist you in defeating that dreaded brain block, I offer you a handful of “solutions.”

When I find it difficult to ink my thoughts, I just start typing (or writing, if I have a yearning for the nostalgia of real paper).  There’s no real science to it.  

Whatever is on my mind, I write.  “I don’t know what to write.  It’s not fun not knowing what to write.  These are words.  Cantaloupe.”  Eventually, doing so leads me to words that actually have something to do with what I set out to scrawl in the first place.  If I’m still struggling, I throw in additional “treatments.”  I’ll listen to instrumental music, like a favorite movie soundtrack.  I try to avoid anything with lyrics.  

Listening to words while trying to create my own is usually counter-productive.  If it’s really bad and I’m getting nowhere, then I walk somewhere.  

Stop trying to think and just walk somewhere.  

If you’ve never tried this before, it can be surprisingly effective.  

There’s probably some psychological or philosophical reason for why going for a walk gets the creative juices flowing, but I don’t know the intricacies of either of those explanations, so I’m not going to pretend that I do. 

These are solutions that work for me; they might work for you, they might not. Give them a try the next time you’re stuck in a writing rut.  

And if they don’t work, lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling for a while.  

I’ve heard that works for some people.