Prevent Writer's Block

Writer's block can put a real damper on your details, so here are some tips to prevent it. Some of these steps can be taken while planning your writing, while others are more appropriate while you're in the writing process.


  1. Get your materials ready. Keep a sheet of paper, a pen, or a recording device with you. You never know when inspiration will strike you, so always have something with you to capture your thoughts and ideas right then and there.
  2. Write down all your details for your story, essay, or poem before sitting down to write your actual story. These details can be your characters, or when your story takes place.
  3. Write down words that can help you remember ideas about your story, such as a yellow house, black dog, and cafe on the corner. When you sit and write your story, you will have these ideas to look back on, and it will keep your thoughts flowing.
  4. Keep a list of other ideas or topics you would like to write about. When you feel mentally spent on one topic, switch to another. Even if you aren't going to use these ideas in your story, if you keep writing these words down, you will come up with so many more than you thought possible. You may even change your story with a new character or ending that you know is worthy of being published.
    • While you're in the middle of writing these words down, you can even make short paragraphs, and that will help you even more in the end when you're piecing your story together.
  5. Don't stop writing when you've finished a section. Always take the extra minutes needed to write the first paragraph of the next section. It may seem natural to take a break from writing when you've hit a natural place to pause in the story (e.g. end of a chapter or scene). However, it is much easier to pick up again if there is some raw material there for the next bit, even if you need to completely rewrite it.
  6. Write your first draft in a notebook. That way, when you want to edit and you're not sure what to do next, you can look back in your notebook for your first idea. If you like it, keep it. If not, tweak it so it suits you. If you're writing on the computer, make sure to keep a copy of the first draft of your story.
  7. When you're stuck, try freewriting. Set the timer for three minutes and just write. Don't even write about your story. Think "restaurant." Write about your favorite restaurant, and then maybe what you did that day before the restaurant. Didn't you go swimming? Who did you go swimming with? Where / when did you meet this person? Keep making connections, write as fast as you can, and whatever you don't stop until the time is up! Don't worry about spelling, grammar, legibility, etc. Use online tools such as 420fables to make freewriting a regular part of your daily writing discipline.
  8. Or you can take a break, do a crossword puzzle, mow the lawn, read a book, or just simply relax. Research has proven that the brain keeps working on a problem, even if we have moved on to another activity.


  • Never try too hard to prevent writer's block. If you try too hard, you will only make things worse.
  • Whenever your train of thought tapers off, don't wait for another one to just come wandering along. Work your brain over what's already happened in your story and try to start another train.
  • If you're writing something you would like others to read try to have fun writing it. If you're not having fun writing it your readers will not have fun reading it.
  • Write what you would like to read.
  • If all else fails, consider a Creative Writing class.
  • Relax and think from your character's point of view then ask yourself what would happen next? Or what would I say next?
  • Spend a minute just writing every word that comes into your head, then read it over afterward and pick up ideas.
  • Make sure the room that you are writing in is free from noise so you can concentrate unless you think better with noise. It's all up to you. See the wikiHow article on Finding Your Own "Writing nest."

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