Top Writing Tips to Beat Writer’s Block

Close up of a person's hand as they write with a pen in a journal

Problems with Writer’s Block?

Everyone is busy, especially now. Even so, try not to let your writing fall to the wayside. I say this because I’ve noticed that if I take a hiatus from writing, it’s harder to get back into the groove. Here are a few writing tips to help with writer’s block.

5 writing tips
  • Change it up

Having problems with writer’s block? Change your routine. Instead of using Google Docs or Microsoft Word to type your story, try writing with a pen and paper.  If you usually do pen and paper, try the opposite. Sit somewhere with a view. Try a writing prompt instead of coming up with something from scratch. You might be surprised at the results.

  • Break it down

Write scene by scene and line by line. If you write a small section of your actual story, that is a lot less intimidating than sitting down and expecting to finish your entire piece. Especially if, like me, the time you can write is late at night and you have to work the next day. Start by writing the introduction in one sit down, followed by the first scene, and so on.

  • Stop nitpicking

Keep writing. Don’t go back to edit, just keep typing or moving that pen. (Yes, some people still use pens.) Write in a continuous motion—forward. Don’t edit until you have something finished, no matter how rough the rough draft.

  • Schedule time to write

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you a magic solution for finding the right time to write. Everyone always has one more thing to accomplish on their To-Do list, especially this time of year. If you wait for a better time in your life to write, that time may never come. Try to work writing into your schedule. If you have 15 minutes in the morning when you drink your coffee, can you fit in five for writing? Do you have time right before bed? At lunch? After your children and significant other are asleep? Use that time to schedule 5, 10, or 15 minutes of writing as often as is practical. For instance, I know that scheduling writing time more than once a week isn’t practical.

  • Use your local library

Don’t forget about the library. We have a lot of resources available at your fingertips including books, eBooks, databases, free Wi-Fi, laptops you can check out to use and a lot more. Check out our in-person Writer’s group at the Batavia Branch on the first Tuesday of the month at 6 PM.

  • Read and listen to music   

Remember to read as well as listen to songs. Reading merits a bullet point because it can bring inspiration. Read short stories or books that fit with the theme of the piece you want to write in order to get yourself in the mood. Playing quiet music in the background that fits in with the tone or time period of your story can also be galvanizing. Additionally, you can read books about the craft of writing that might help get you started.

Books that may inspire…

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Written by Ashley LeMaster, Branch Supervisor – Bethel and Williamsburg Branches