How I Work through Writer’s Block: 8 Steps to Get Out of a Rut

get through writer's block
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

It’s not uncommon for writers to experience writer’s block, but it doesn’t have to be an insurmountable obstacle. Writer’s block can happen when you’re writing a blog post or article and you’ve hit a wall with what to write next. It can also occur if you spend too much time thinking about the piece before actually getting started on it. Here are 8 ways that I work through writer’s block:

1) Take a break for 15-30 minutes

Taking a break will give your mind time to relax and wander, which can help you find inspiration. Not sure how to spend your break time to get through writer’s block? Here are a few options to get you started:

a. Step away from your computer and do something else for a little bit.

b. Let your mind wander to different topics so when you come back, the words might flow more easily.

c. Getting up and moving around can help stimulate new ideas too. Try taking a walk or playing with pets if they’re around.

d. One of my favorite ways to get ideas is brainstorming with a fellow writer or blogger, but if they’re not available, you can still find inspiration by finding new blogs that are relevant to your topic and seeing what types of posts they write!

e. If none of these work for you then maybe take another break.

2) Write out all of your thoughts (don’t hold back!)

When writer’s block hits, it can be very tempting to wait for inspiration before writing. But the truth is that writers don’t need to feel inspired all of the time to write something great.

It’s important when you get writer’s block not to hold back your thoughts or ideas; even if they seem silly at first. Being able to get everything out on the page is an important part of getting writer’s block fixed.

Here are some ideas to help you brainstorm without judgment:

  • Draw a mind map of related topics and write down any thoughts that come up (don’t worry about grammar or spelling yet!)
  • Write a stream of consciousness by writing whatever comes into your head without stopping.
  • Write about writer’s block itself and how you’re feeling about not being able to write.

3) Read over your notes

Once you’ve written out all of your ideas, it’s time to go back and look at what you wrote. While writer’s block can make it hard to come up with original material for your post, oftentimes there are some great nuggets of information that we already have stored in our brains just waiting to be found.

Re-read your notes from brainstorming sessions and see if any ideas spark new inspiration.

Reading over what you wrote can help inspire creativity by bringing up topics that remind your brain of related content or concepts. It might not be useful for the exact piece you’re working on, but it can help jog your memory when writer’s block hits again.

Some other ways to spark creativity are by asking questions or writing titles in response to what you wrote down.

  • What are some things I could write about related to this topic?
  • What if instead of this perspective I wrote from this angle?
  • What if I wanted to challenge the writer of the X blog post and try writing why they’re wrong?
  • Where can I find research for these topics?
  • Why don’t people like my topic or perspective as much as I do?
  • How could I make this more interesting to readers by using different language, examples, etc?
  • What is a different angle that would make this more interesting to readers?
  • How come I’m having writer’s block on this topic when usually it comes easy for me?
  • If you could write from any perspective you wanted, what would it be and why?
  • What if I wrote about X instead of Y

4) Listen to music

Now it’s time to put your writer hat back on!

Listening to music can be a great way to find inspiration for writing. I like listening to classical or instrumental songs with no lyrics because they help me stay focused and not get distracted. If you don’t know where to start, check out YouTube playlists of popular artists like

John Williams, Hans Zimmer, or The Cinematic Orchestra. Or you can search “writing music” on Spotify for playlists made by fellow writers.

Writing to the beat of a song is also another fun way to get your creative juices flowing while staying in tune with what you’re working on. If you don’t have any music handy, try making your own playlist of songs that you find inspirational.

5) Read inspirational quotes

I love to fill my writer’s notebook with inspiring quotes that I’ve found online. They are great for when writer’s block hits because it helps get the creative juices flowing again by triggering thoughts around a certain topic or concept.

Some places you can find inspirational quotes include Pinterest, Goodreads, writer’s websites, or even on posters and mugs.

If you’re looking for a place to start with quotes about writing check out: Writer Quotes

6) Get rid of distractions

Distractions can be a writer’s worst nightmare.

If you’re anything like me, the minute I’m done with work my phone is in one hand and my laptop or notebook in another, while I try to catch up on everything that happened during the day (or week). If this sounds like something you might do too, then it’s time to take a break from all of your devices.

Keeping distractions out of sight can be helpful because writer’s block often occurs when you’re trying to force yourself into writing something that isn’t there or just doesn’t feel right.

Try keeping all of your electronic devices in another room while you work on getting writer’s block out of the way.

If you’re more comfortable with having some gadgets on hand, try limiting yourself to just one device at a time so that there are fewer distractions in sight.

Read more on how to turn your house into a work at home sanctuary

7) Read aloud

When editing your written piece, reading aloud helps you catch some mistakes you would’ve missed out on. It also helps when you are stuck.

When writer’s block hits, this is a great way to get inspired by something you wrote or spark creativity for your next piece.

Try reading the first paragraph of your current work in progress and see if anything jumps out at you that could be added later on.

8 ) Change locations

Sometimes writer’s block isn’t just one thing that is holding you back. Sometimes it can be a combination of many different things that are making your mind go haywire and not allowing you to focus on what matters.

The next time writer’s block hits, try getting up from your desk or wherever else you’re writing at the moment and go somewhere else.

Try finding a place that is inspiring to you, like your favorite coffee shop or the public library where writer’s seem to gravitate towards when they need to get work done. Just remember writer’s block doesn’t have anywhere near as much space as those places!

If writer’s block persists after following all of these steps, writer’s block might be a symptom of depression.

Get the inspiration back!

I hope these steps help get you past writer’s block when it strikes. If all else fails, don’t be afraid to take a break from the piece that you’re working on, go for a walk, or do some yoga.

Don’t think of writer’s block as the end of your writing journey. It happens to even the most seasoned writers. There are many pathways to getting past writer’s block and finding inspiration again. Don’t be afraid to try different methods until you find one that works best for you.

Now it’s your turn! Try practicing these writer’s block-busting techniques and let us know if they help get the words flowing again for you. Don’t forget to add in your writer’s block-busting techniques if you have any!

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