Forum Thread: Ideas for Overcoming Writer's Block

You have a third draft to your editor, two articles to your clients, and a blog post due tomorrow, but your head feels like it has been run over by a truck. Unfortunately, you have been self-diagnosed with writer's block, a dangerous, but non-contagious disease. You feel like a deer caught in headlights, the world is ending, or you are the worst thing since furbies. Do not fret, writer's block is completely curable, and every writer goes through it, often. Here are 20 cures for the common bout of writer's block.

  1. Butt+Chair=Pages. If you sit at your computer long enough, staring at the bright white screen, another word might just pop out at you. You can thank my writing teacher, Jonathan Stephens for that incredible formula. I use it every day.
  1. Look back through your vacation pictures. Maybe a picture of a church, or the way the sun hit the canyon walls, or the way a child dropped his ice cream just as you clicked the shutter, will shark some interest.
  1. Think about the most repulsive person you know. Write out what repulses you about that person? Write down the qualities you find horrific or immoral.
  1. Go to Brainyquote and type in any word or person who interests you. For instance, I typed in "Leonardo da Vinci" and saw this quote, "I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." If you can't find something yourself, create a character who "pursues their principles unto death."
  1. Grab a pen and paper and go for a walk. Sometimes not looking at the annoyingly bright and pulsing white screen is exactly what you need. I often get my best ideas while walking to the grocery store, picking up the mail, or pacing around my complex. You'll get the wiggles out and come back feeling refreshed.
  1. Change your view. Go write at a coffee shop, a park, on your patio, or in a different room of the house. If you go to a coffee shop you will be surrounded by other people being productive, which may spur on your own productivity.
  1. Do the thing that scares you the most. Send a Facebook message to a celebrity, try a new hobby, eat a food you've never tried, or go to your local police station and ask a question about a local law. Seriously, how many people aren't just a little intimidated by cops.
  1. Clean your work space. A clean desk will not only boost your morale, but will provide fewer distractions, and enhance productivity.
  1. Skip the word or sentence you are stuck on and just keep going. If I can't get a sentence right I just do this *** and fill in the missing word later.
  1. Go explore a local attraction you've never been to. You might come across some interesting characters, or the location for a story's setting. Having lived in the Bay Area for over twenty years, I decided, on a whim. to go explore the beaches of Marin County and found Muir Beach, a quiet little surfer town, known for its shark population.

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