Ten Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

January 17, 2017


Thinking too much about writer’s block often keeps a writer stuck rather than help them engage their mind in different ways. If you’re stuck, use your so-called “paralysis” as an opportunity to try something new. These are not “tricks.” Writing is work, and the only way to write is to write. Rather, these are ways to approach your writing from a new lens so that you can look at your writing as transitioning rather than being “stuck.”


  1. Address the blank page with Dear: ____________. Pick someone you’d like to address your writing to. Having an audience in mind helps when you are struggling to find your voice on the page.
  2. Find ten books. Write down the first sentence from every book. Pick the one that compels you most and begin writing from there.
  3. Take an old piece of writing and change the point of view.
  4. Write about a room that feels meaningful to you, whether real or imagined. Be sure to include all five senses when describing this room.
  5. Write about two characters who know each other well. Have them be doing something like moving a couch or some other task that requires a group effort. While they are moving this object, focus the conversation on something different.
  6. Write a list of five songs that conjure a particular memory from a time in your life and write about that memory.
  7. Write in your journal by hand. Don’t stop to change or erase anything.
  8. Go to a coffee shop or to a park bench and try to eavesdrop on a conversation. Once you hear something that interests or compels you, explore it on the page.
  9. Write down a list of ten titles for a essays or stories. Try working backwards to see if any of these titles provoke ideas for scenes.
  10. Find a photograph. Describe it on the page using strictly observation.

Kate Wisel, Assistant Editor


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