Published Jul 9, 2024 ⦁ 16 min read
15 Proven Ways to Beat Writer's Block

15 Proven Ways to Beat Writer's Block

Writer's block got you stuck? Here are 15 effective strategies to get your writing flowing again:

  1. Create a writing routine
  2. Try freewriting
  3. Change your environment
  4. Break tasks into smaller steps
  5. Use writing prompts
  6. Read for inspiration
  7. Make a mind map
  8. Take regular breaks
  9. Exercise
  10. Practice meditation
  11. Collaborate with other writers
  12. Try new writing tools
  13. Set deadlines and rewards
  14. Accept messy first drafts
  15. Get ideas from other art forms
Strategy How It Helps
Routine Builds habit
Freewriting Overcomes perfectionism
New environment Fresh perspective
Small steps Less overwhelming
Prompts Sparks ideas
Reading Provides inspiration
Mind mapping Organizes thoughts
Breaks Refreshes mind
Exercise Boosts creativity
Meditation Improves focus
Collaboration Accountability
New tools Different approach
Deadlines/rewards Motivation
Messy drafts Reduces pressure
Other arts New inspirations

Try these proven techniques to push past writer's block and get your words flowing. The key is to keep writing, even when it's difficult. With practice, you'll find what works best for you.

What is Writer's Block?

Writer's block is when a writer can't write or struggles to write. It can happen to anyone, no matter how good they are at writing. Here's what writer's block looks like:

Signs of Writer's Block How It Affects Writing
No ideas Less writing done
Can't organize thoughts Writing doesn't flow
Can't start writing Missing deadlines
Feeling unsure Lower quality work

People with writer's block might:

  • Have a blank mind
  • Find it hard to put ideas in order
  • Be unable to start or keep writing
  • Feel unsure about their work
  • Worry about not doing well

These problems can make it hard to write enough, write well, or finish on time.

Why does writer's block happen? Here are some reasons:

  • Trying to be perfect
  • Fear of doing badly
  • Not feeling inspired
  • Getting distracted
  • Being tired
  • Having trouble turning ideas into words

Knowing what causes writer's block can help you find ways to fix it and start writing again.

1. Create a Writing Routine

Setting up a regular writing schedule can help you beat writer's block. When you write at the same time each day, it becomes easier and more natural. Here's how to start a writing routine:

Step Action
1 Find your best writing time
2 Pick a quiet place to write
3 Set small, doable goals
4 Cut out things that distract you
5 Make writing a daily habit

To make your routine work:

  • Choose a time when you feel most alert and ready to write.
  • Use the same spot for writing each day.
  • Begin with short writing sessions and slowly make them longer.
  • Turn off your phone and find a quiet place to focus.
  • Treat writing like any other daily task, such as eating or sleeping.

2. Freewriting Technique

Freewriting is a simple way to start writing when you're stuck. Here's how it works:

Step What to Do
1 Set a timer for 5-10 minutes
2 Write without stopping
3 Don't edit or fix mistakes
4 Keep going even if you get stuck

The main idea is to write anything that comes to mind. If you can't think of what to say, just write "I don't know what to write" over and over until new ideas come.

Why freewriting helps:

  • It gets your mind moving
  • You focus on writing, not on being perfect
  • It can lead to new ideas

3. Change Your Environment

Changing where you write can help you get past writer's block. A new place can make you feel more creative and give you new ideas. This works because the place we're in can affect how we feel and how well we work.

How to Change Your Environment

You don't need to make big changes. Here are some easy ways to switch things up:

Change How to Do It
Move things around Put your desk or chair in a new spot
Go somewhere else Try writing at a coffee shop or park
Get some fresh air Take a short walk outside

Why Changing Your Environment Helps

A new place can help you write better in these ways:

Benefit How It Helps
Breaks your usual way of doing things Helps you think differently
Gives you new ideas You might see or hear things that spark ideas
Helps you focus A new place can make it easier to pay attention to your writing

4. Break Tasks into Smaller Steps

When you have a big writing project, it can feel hard to start. Breaking it into smaller tasks can help. This makes the project easier to handle and lets you focus on one part at a time.

How to Break Down Your Writing Tasks

Start by listing the main parts of your project. Then, split these into smaller jobs. For example, if you're writing a book, you might have these main parts:

Main Part Smaller Jobs
Research Find books, articles, and websites about your topic
Outline Make a list of chapters and what goes in each
Writing Write one chapter at a time
Fixing Read through and fix mistakes
Final Check Look for spelling and grammar errors

Why Breaking Down Tasks Helps

Splitting your work into smaller jobs helps in these ways:

  • It feels less scary: You only need to think about one small job at a time.
  • You get more done: Finishing small jobs makes you want to keep going.
  • Your work is better: You can focus on doing each small job well.

5. Use Writing Prompts

Writing prompts can help you when you're stuck and can't think of what to write. They give you a starting point for your writing. A prompt can be a short phrase, a question, or an idea to write about.

How Writing Prompts Help

Writing prompts can:

Benefit How It Helps
Give new ideas Help you think of things you might not have thought of before
Help you write faster Give you a place to start, so you can begin writing right away
Let you try new things Help you practice different types of writing

Examples of Writing Prompts

Here are some writing prompts you can try:

Prompt Type Example
Story starter Write a story that begins with "I still remember the day..."
Description Write about a place you want to visit but haven't been to yet
Character Write about someone you look up to

These prompts can help you start writing when you feel stuck. Try using them to get your ideas flowing again.

6. Read for Inspiration

Reading can help you when you're stuck with writing. It gives you new words, ideas, and ways to write. Here's how reading can help:

Benefits of Reading How It Helps Your Writing
New words and phrases Improves your vocabulary
Different writing styles Shows you new ways to write
Fresh ideas Gives you things to write about
Better understanding Helps you learn about different topics

When you read, you learn from other writers. This can help you write better and come up with new ideas. Here are some tips:

  • Read books you like
  • Try different types of writing
  • Pay attention to how other writers use words
  • Think about the ideas in what you read

Reading can also help you get back to writing when you're stuck. If you can't think of what to write, try reading a few pages of a book you enjoy. This might help you start writing again.

7. Try Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is a helpful way to beat writer's block. It lets you draw out your ideas and think more broadly. You can do it on paper, a whiteboard, or using computer software.

Here's how to make a mind map:

  1. Put your main topic in a circle in the middle
  2. Draw lines from the main topic to smaller topics
  3. Add more details to each smaller topic
Benefits of Mind Mapping How It Helps
Helps you think of ideas You can see how ideas connect
Makes writing easier Gives you a plan to follow
Helps with story writing You can map out plots and characters

Mind mapping is good because:

  • It helps you see the big picture
  • You can use colors to make ideas stand out
  • It's easier to remember things in a picture

To start mind mapping:

  1. Choose your main idea
  2. Add branches for other ideas
  3. Connect ideas that go together
  4. Use different colors for different parts

After you make your mind map, you can use it to guide your writing and stay on topic.


8. Take Regular Breaks

Taking breaks while writing is important. It might seem odd, but stepping away from your work can help you when you're stuck. Many people think they should keep pushing when they can't write, but this can make you tired and less productive.

Breaks help you:

  • Clear your mind
  • Get new energy
  • Look at your work with fresh eyes

It's not about being lazy. It's about giving yourself time to think and rest.

Here's how taking breaks helps:

What Breaks Do How They Help
Make you less tired You can think better
Help you focus You get more done
Make you more creative You come back with new ideas

To make your breaks work well:

  • Do something different from writing
  • Take a walk
  • Read a book
  • Listen to music
  • Do some stretches

The goal is to let your brain rest and get ready to write again.

9. Exercise and Physical Activity

Moving your body can help you write better. When you exercise, your brain works better and you can think of new ideas. This can help you when you're stuck and don't know what to write.

Here's how exercise helps your writing:

How Exercise Helps What It Does
Makes your brain work better You can think more clearly
Gives you more energy You feel ready to write
Helps you think of new ideas You can get past writer's block

You don't need to do a lot of exercise. Even a little bit can help:

  • Take a short walk
  • Do some stretches
  • Try some yoga moves

Many good writers use exercise to help them write. You can do it too. Try to move your body a little bit every day. This can help you write better and come up with new ideas.

To make exercise part of your writing routine:

  1. Pick an activity you like
  2. Do it for 10-15 minutes
  3. Try to do it every day

10. Practice Meditation or Mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness can help you when you can't write. These practices can clear your head and help you focus on your writing.

Here's how meditation helps:

Benefit How It Helps Your Writing
Clears your mind You can focus better on your work
Lowers stress You feel calmer when writing
Helps you think You might come up with new ideas

To start meditating:

  1. Find a quiet place to sit
  2. Close your eyes
  3. Pay attention to your breathing
  4. When your mind wanders, go back to focusing on your breath

Start with short times, like 10-15 minutes. You can do more as you get used to it.

Remember, meditation takes practice. Don't worry if it's hard at first. Keep trying, and you'll get better at it.

Tips to help you start:

  • Do it every day, even if it's just for a few minutes
  • Find a quiet spot where you won't be bothered
  • Focus on your breath to help you stay in the moment
  • Be kind to yourself as you learn

11. Work with Other Writers

Working with other writers can help you when you're stuck. Talking to someone who knows about writing can give you new ideas. Joining a writing group or finding a writing friend can help you keep writing.

How Working with Others Helps

Writing with others can help you:

Benefit How It Helps
Get feedback Others can tell you what's good and what needs work
Stay on track Regular writing times with others keep you going
Learn new things You can pick up tips and ideas from other writers
Get better at editing Looking at others' work helps you spot mistakes

Finding Other Writers

You can find other writers online. There are websites where writers talk and share their work. Some good ones are:

Tips for Writing with Others

When you write with others, it's good to have clear plans. Here are some tips:

  • Set regular times to write together
  • Listen to what others say about your work
  • Be nice when you talk about others' writing
  • Decide who does what in your group
  • Be happy for each other when things go well

Working with other writers can help you get past writer's block and make your writing better.

12. Try Different Writing Tools

Using new writing tools can help when you're stuck. Here are some tools to try:

Speaking Your Ideas

Instead of typing, try talking:

Tool How It Works Why It Helps
Voice recorder Records what you say Lets you speak your ideas freely
Speech-to-text app Turns your words into text Helps you write without typing

Writing Apps

There are many apps to help you write:

App What It Does
Evernote Helps you take notes and organize ideas
Miro Lets you make visual outlines
Penzu Works like a private online diary

Try different apps to see which one you like best.

Picture Your Ideas

Some tools help you draw out your thoughts:

Tool What It Does
Miro Lets you make idea maps
Milanote Helps you organize ideas with pictures

These tools can help you think in new ways when you're stuck.

Keep Track of Time

Tools that track time can help you focus:

Tool How It Works
Toggl Tracks how long you spend on tasks
Pomodoro Sets work times and break times

Using these tools can help you stay on task and avoid getting distracted.

13. Set Deadlines and Rewards

Setting deadlines and rewards can help you write when you're stuck. Here's how to do it:

  1. Break your writing into small tasks
  2. Set a time limit for each task
  3. Use a calendar to plan your writing time
  4. Give yourself a treat when you finish a task

How to Set Good Deadlines

Step What to Do
1. Make small goals Write 500 words a day or finish a chapter in a week
2. Use a planner Write down when you'll work on each task
3. Set reminders Use your phone or computer to remind you to write
4. Tell a friend Ask someone to check if you're meeting your goals

Choosing Rewards

Pick things you like as rewards. This makes you want to keep writing. Some ideas are:

  • Eating your favorite food
  • Taking a walk outside
  • Doing something fun

For big goals, give yourself bigger rewards. If you write 10,000 words in a month, you could:

  • Go on a short trip
  • Buy something you've wanted
  • Have a day out with friends

By setting deadlines and rewards, you can:

  • Stay on track with your writing
  • Feel good about what you've done
  • Keep writing even when it's hard

14. Accept Mistakes in First Drafts

Many writers want their first draft to be perfect. This can make it hard to write anything at all. It's better to know that first drafts are often messy, even for great writers.

Why Messy First Drafts Help

Benefit How It Helps
Write faster You don't stop to fix every mistake
Have more fun You're not worried about being perfect
Get more ideas You write down everything, even if it's not great

Tips for Writing First Drafts

  • Don't stop to fix spelling or grammar
  • Write down all your ideas, even if they seem silly
  • Focus on getting your thoughts on paper, not making them perfect

Remember, you can always fix your writing later. The first step is to get your ideas down.

What to Do After Your First Draft

  1. Take a break
  2. Read your draft
  3. Pick out the good ideas
  4. Fix the parts that need work

15. Get Ideas from Other Arts

Looking at other types of art can help when you can't write. Taking a break to enjoy different creative things can give you new ideas for your writing.

Music is very good for helping with writer's block. Many writers find that listening to music helps them feel more creative. As Plato said, "Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything." Listening to music you like can help you think of new ideas.

Other arts like paintings, movies, and dancing can also give you ideas. Taking time to look at these can help you see things in new ways and make your writing better.

How to Use Other Arts for Writing Ideas

Art Form How to Use It Why It Helps
Music Listen to songs you like Makes you feel things and think of new ideas
Paintings Look at art that you enjoy Helps you see things in new ways
Movies Watch films that you find interesting Shows you how to tell stories
Dance Watch dance shows Helps you think about how things move and flow

Tips for using other arts:

  • Take a break from writing to look at or listen to other arts
  • Think about how the art makes you feel
  • Use those feelings to help with your writing
  • Try to think of new ideas based on what you see or hear


Getting past writer's block is about using your brain in the right way and facing the problem head-on. These 15 tips give you ways to start writing again when you're stuck. Remember, being stuck doesn't mean you're a bad writer. It just means your brain needs a new way to think.

Try different tips to see what works for you. Here's a quick look at some ways to beat writer's block:

Tip How It Helps
Change where you write New places can give you new ideas
Write without stopping Gets your thoughts flowing
Look at other art Music or paintings can spark ideas
Take breaks Resting can help you think better
Set small goals Makes big tasks feel easier

Everyone writes differently, so what helps one person might not help another. The main thing is to keep trying new things and not give up.

It's okay to:

  • Stop writing for a bit
  • Try new ways to write
  • Ask others for help

The more you practice, the better you'll get at dealing with being stuck. Keep writing, and don't forget that every good piece of writing starts with just one sentence.


  • First drafts don't have to be perfect
  • It's normal to get stuck sometimes
  • Taking breaks can help you write better

Keep these tips in mind, and you'll find ways to write even when it feels hard.


What is a writing exercise that can help overcome writer's block?

Freewriting is a good way to get past writer's block. Here's how to do it:

Step What to Do
1 Set a timer for 10-20 minutes
2 Write without stopping
3 Don't check spelling or grammar
4 Keep writing, even if it doesn't make sense

The main goal is to write without judging yourself. This helps you get words on the page and can spark new ideas.

What's a quick way to fix writer's block?

Reading is one of the best and fastest ways to beat writer's block. Here's why it works:

Reason How It Helps
Gives new ideas You might find something that sparks your writing
Shows different writing styles You can learn new ways to write
Reminds you it's possible Other writers have gotten past blocks too

Try reading books or articles you like. This can help you feel ready to write again.

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