On The Block (7 Simple Ways to Defeat Writer’s Block)

NOTE: This is another guest post from my good friend Benjamin Cannon. Ben is the brains behind such companies as Spark Joy Music and Shine Indy. He is passionate about music and is an all around great guy. You can find him on the Spark Joy website, Facebook or Twitter.

Writer's Block

So let’s see, you’re staring at the blank screen. Your brain is fried, and you can feel a headache coming on right about now. You know you should be writing, but you can’t do this anymore. Your muse is gone and your well of inspiration is empty. You’re not just bored or tired, this is far worse, you have writer’s block. 

What Can You Do

You try to stop your mind from wandering off, and you try to stop being distracted by your long to-do list. You try to write, but you feel like everything you manage to jot down is… well… terrible. You know you have to keep going, but how can you get back into your writing groove?

Start by having some fun. No, not take a break, don’t go for a walk, and you may not need more sleep. All of that is fine and good for a simple case of boredom, but the real cause of writer’s block is you’re holding on too tightly to your objective: so loosen up! You need to go a little crazy. You need to let the goofy side of you out for a little while and get your creative juices flowing again.

So let’s begin looking at our different options and see if we can’t get you out of your rut!

1). Try using a different writing tool. For example, switch from Microsoft Word to Google Docs or type your post directly into WordPress for your website blog. Switch from your standard font to a new font just for the writing process, or change your font color and increase your font size. It seems silly, but it’s amazing how those small changes can make writing interesting again.

2). Try fueling your brain with some caffeine. True caffeine is not the best for you, but sometimes you need something to keep going. Don’t waste your fantastic ideas just because you’re in a fog or exhausted. Try setting a routine on days like this: Set a timer for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes of concentrated writing, take a break (stop even if you feel like finishing a paragraph), make yourself a cup of tea or coffee. Start your next 25 minutes and get back to work while you enjoy liquid support.

3). Stop writing for others and assuming you can write something that everyone will enjoy every time. Sometimes you just have to write something you want or need to write, and it doesn’t matter whether it suits your previous writings or not.
Just get on with it. Get it off your chest. Why not?

4). Stop planning every aspect of your writings. Sometimes it’s okay to just observe your surroundings and write what you see, write what you think the couple across the way are discussing, or just write about whatever is stewing in that beautiful brain of yours. It’s more important to keep writing each day, whether it’s something you use or do not use. This can be a great way to kickstart your creative juices again and get you back on track. True, writing with an outline can speed up the process, and it’s a proven technique, but it can also suck the joy out of writing. When you find yourself bored with a particular piece, stop planning. Write whatever comes into your mind. It may all be gibberish, but somewhere you’ll find a precious idea.

5).Embrace messiness and give your mind time to wander, get distracted, and embrace serendipity. Don’t read only blogs or articles about your topics and ideas. Don’t just follow industry peers on Twitter and Linkedin. Don’t just listen to what your favorite artist listens to or read what your favorite authors are reading. Get lost in a bookstore. Go to a random live show or pick a random music station to explore. Go to a museum. Surprise yourself. Find unexpected metaphors. The creative process is unpredictable, mysterious, and fortuitous. Fuel your creativity by getting outside your niche.

The creative process is unpredictable, mysterious, and fortuitous. @sparkjoymusic Click To Tweet

6). Shut down your computer and change what you use for your spill canvas this time. So turn off your computer, silence your phone, and get a pen and paper. Use pencils, markers, and even try index cards. Get the feeling that you’re making something and it will inspire you.

7).Get your inner critic on your side. The difference between good and great writers is your inner critic. As Mike Monday (music industry veteran and motivational speaker) says:
A good producer and a great producer have the same number of ideas – some good, some great. But a great producer will know the difference.

Your inner critic can help you become a better writer, and this starts by writing a few practice paragraphs. You’re just warming up now but listen to your inner critic to see how you can improve one paragraph at a time. Write and edit as you go.


The truth about writer’s block is that writing is hard work, and there’s no doubt about that. But you can make it even harder by accepting writer’s block, so don’t become a tortured genius. Choose to get on with your writing and experiment constantly. Find out what works for you, and let it consume you. Write where and when you like. Write every day, even if just for a few minutes. And most importantly, be as crazy as you want to be.

Question: What are some ways that you have overcome the dreaded writer’s block?

NOTE: This is another guest post from my good friend Benjamin Cannon. Ben is the brains behind such companies as Spark Joy Music and Shine Indy. He is passionate about music and is an all around great guy. You can find him on the Spark Joy website, Facebook or Twitter.


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