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Oct 17 / King Kaufman

Writer’s Block: The best advice on how to overcome it

Have you ever had writer’s block? I don’t think I have, but I was thinking about it yesterday after I didn’t post anything on the B/R Blog.

The reason for that silence was a different kind of block—the one in the pipes underneath my house. My blog-writing time was spent dealing with plumbers.

Writer’s block is just about as pleasant as a plumbing problem, and maybe harder to fix. It doesn’t even help if you can afford to call that person who can come over and reliably fix the problem. That person doesn’t exist.

But we do have each other, we writers, and we try to help each other out. So I turned to social media and asked everyone who happened to be within the sound of my typing if they ever got writer’s block, and their best piece of advice for cracking it.

I expected to get two or three responses from friends but the answers came pouring in. So I collected them into this Storify. Maybe it’ll help someone get through some dark night of the scribbler’s soul.

Feel free to chime in with your own suggestions in the comments.

  • apsims

    My advice is exactly the opposite from some of the advice above, but works well with sportswriting. Research and read about your topic. Say you’re struggling to find a creative lede, just read someone else’s writing or find some new info on that topic. You obviously shouldn’t copy anyone else’s lede/ideas, but there’s a good chance something else in their writing may spark something in your brain that will help you develop one of your own.

  • King_Kaufman

    Good link with more advice. Hat tip to @sporer:

    11 tricks for battling creative blocks from leading creatives.

  • Kelly Scaletta

    “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”
    (Mark Twain)

    Great advice here. I start by asking, “what do I want to say? Usually I find out right there what is the problem. I don’t know what to write yet because I don’t know what I want to say.

    So, then usually research is helpful. I learn something or discover something and then I have something to say.

    Alternatively, I don’t know how to say it.

    Research tends to help with that too.

    Of course sometimes I just need a cup of coffee.

  • Schottey

    Think was your advice at some point, King…”Just write.” Period. Writing is an activity, thinking you “can’t” is pretty useless compared to just willing yourself to do it. Eventually the block will break and you can go back and change what you were so anxious about.

    • Schottey

      Think THIS was*…

  • Roberto Alvarez-G

    Rest for a while and then return to write.

  • Bruce

    Never get the block and never get bored. Get over worked and tired … but there is plenty of inspiration out there and interesting thoughts in forums on my dog topic to keep me going for years.