When Writer’s Block Sets In: What To Do When You’re Unmotivated


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Have you tried to prepare yourself for your writing routine and then getting nothing after about an hour of sitting down and staring at the blank page? I did – I’ve counted once a month for the last six months. It is just draining like something’s seeping all your energy because you’re trying too hard and your brain gets all mushed. They say the term for it is writer’s block. And it happens to everybody, as stated by psychologist and writer Melissa Burkley Ph.D. “Writer’s block is one of the few things that nearly all writers share, no matter where they are in their careers. The beginning writer working on their first book. The bestselling debut novelist trudging through the sophomore slump. The prolific author who fears the well has finally run dry.”

For me, it’s an utter effect of brain burnout. “A lot of burnout really has to do with experiencing chronic stress,” says Dr. David Ballard PsyD. “In those situations, the demands being placed on you exceed the resources you have available to deal with the stressors.”

I believe, though, when they say that writer’s block is impossible to overcome when you’re ‘at the moment.’ But some sneaky strategies might help you move past the block and still end up productive.

  • Read Something That You Love.


A good way to break the block is to find inspiration in books that you love. Reading is as helpful as writing in some circumstances, and this is one of those times. If you are fond of magic and the arts, read one of J.K. Rowling’s books. Scan books like Sherlock Holmes if you’re into detective stories. Sometimes you become more anxious and frustrated when the writer’s block slowly sinks in, so books that provide advice on how to be creative and persistent may do you some good.


  • Break Down The Task Into Portions.


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When you have a writer’s block, and you’re staring at a whole paper, it would look more challenging and intimidating. Try breaking down the task into portions, perhaps starting with a paragraph, filling the page with two or three, and then assigning numbers to them. You may be able to do a little and with slow progress, but at least you’ve done something.


  • Hang Out With A Friend While Working.


If you’ve regularly been writing, you’d know that sometimes it’s vital that you get an outside viewpoint on the work you’re doing. It’s not uncommon to get caught up in circles or the inner voice that persuades you to stop writing. So if you’re not in your usual imaginative and motivated self, invite a friend over to provide you with some constructive criticism to help you polish your writing. He may be there only to cheer you up or boost your energy, but he’s going to be a big help.


  • Go Work Somewhere Else.


Perhaps you can’t delve into your creativity because you’re too bored looking at the four walls of your home. Try changing your venue and work somewhere else. Check out the new café near you or the charming bookstore that just opened. Smell the brewing coffee while slowly regaining your creative juices. Take time and don’t rush. Maybe you just need a relaxing workspace.


  • Your Writer’s Block Will Definitely Pass.


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Indeed, the art of writing can be obscure, but there is always an opportunity to grasp it – within the day even! Obviously, when you have a deadline, and you need to write something right now, you don’t have the extravagance of relaxing and contemplating until you get the inspiration. Despite this, you can, and you will be able to write something great.

“It’s easy to get so busy juggling everything you have on your plates that you fail to recognize when you’re headed toward mental exhaustion or burnout,” says Megan MacCutcheon, LPC. This is causing your writer’s block.

Don’t mind that dark voice whispering to convince you to give up. Focus on the deadline at hand, and try doing the strategies mentioned above when writer’s block hits you. If you’re lucky, you’ll see the inspiration right before your eyes. Now work on that – fast!