Want to overcome writer’s block? You need these 5 tips


“If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word” – Margaret Atwood

What do you do when you have writer’s block? I was asked this question a few months ago when I was facilitating a training programme on writing and gathering content. I can’t remember exactly what I said. I think I might have just danced around the question in fact. I however remember concluding my answer by saying, “when you have writer’s block, just take a break. You may need to cool off for a bit”

Writer’s block is a pain every writer has to deal with. If you are a writer and you have never had writer’s block then hats off to you. I’ve experienced writer’s block too many times to count. In fact, as I am writing I’m having writer’s block. Luckily I have finished all my pending work for my clients (you can heave a sigh of relief dear clients of mine). Since I’m having writer’s block I have decided to blog about the topic. Isn’t that creative?


Going back to the question, “What do you do when you have writer’s block”, here are a few tips that I feel may help. These are strategies I have come up with over the years to overcome writer’s block especially when deadlines are looming. As a commercial writer, you don’t have the luxury of lounging in the pool of writer’s block for too long. Your money is on the line so you just have to get those creative juices flowing one way or the other. The interesting thing about writer’s block is that the solution for it is a personal one; not a one size fits all type. Feel free to tweak these tips to suit you.

So these are Doyin’s tips for overcoming writer’s block. Finger’s crossed, they work for you.

  1. Step away from writing. Just do something else and refresh your brain. Writer’s block sometimes comes when our brain is clogged up. When you take a break, you unclutter your brain and who knows, an idea might just pop into your head and the flow will suddenly manifest.
  2. Listen to music. This helps me a lot. I love music. When I want to relax, I listen to soothing music. It helps me to release tension. If you are going to listen to music, then make sure it is music that is calm not heavy metal or rock music. Hmm…but what if that is what actually works for someone? Like I said earlier, you have to tweak these tips to suits you.
  3. Sleep. It’s another way to relax and take your mind off the work you are doing. Sometimes when you sleep when you have writer’s block, your subconscious is still at work and you find that when you wake up, you can get into the flow of writing.
  4. Do some research. I find this particularly useful when I have a tight deadline and I can’t afford the luxury of doing the first three tips. Thank God for Google. I just do a search on the topic I’m meant to develop content on and read the various things that come up from the search results. You can stumble on something that will unlock that creativity that went on a temporary holiday.
  5. Just do it (pardon me Nike). Again, this is good for times when you have tight deadlines. Just start writing. Like today, after wondering what I was going to blog about and not being at my creative best, I just decided to start writing whatever came to my mind. That is what you are reading now. Cool right? When you have writer’s block, usually the last thing you want to do is think and that is what the writer’s block feeds on. You force your mind to think when you just start writing and the writer’s block will slowly give way to creative ideas.

Those are a few of the things I do to overcome writer’s block and to a large extent, they have worked for me. I’ve used number 5 on many occasions because I cannot exactly tell my clients that the content they are expecting is not ready because a lovely someone is having writer’s block. That just won’t work.

What methods do you use to overcome writer’s block? Are they similar to mine or do you have more drastic methods? I know someone who goes running to overcome hers. That definitely won’t work for me; can’t run to save my life and when I eventually do, you would think I ran a marathon with the way I would be panting. So no.

I’ll end this post with this; writer’s block or not, make sure you are continuously challenging yourself as a writer. Don’t remain on the same level. Aim to break the creative boundaries in your mind. It takes a lot of energy (something a lot of people don’t appreciate) but the rewards, in terms of the words you pour out makes it worthwhile. So keep writing and don’t let writer’s block stop you from doing great things!


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