Anyone who has sat down at a computer to write a poem, book, play or screenplay has experienced a time when their brain seizes and creative writing is anything but easy. However, there are ways to overcome writer’s block. Here are some tips:

Be Prepared

Writer’s block frequently occurs when a person is not ready to write. Before writing something, it is critical to know what the subject is and research that topic thoroughly.

It’s also helpful to have an outline prepared. Outlining events reduces stress associated with having to come up with ideas as you go. Creative writing software can assist you in developing an outline.

Get in the Mood

Some people take a business-like approach to writing, while others prefer to write for fun or as a way to relax. Whatever your mind-set is, get into it. It may help to put in a CD or work in a relaxing place. Everyone has their own routine and sticking to it will help.

Remember: "It’s all in your head."

As much as we may not want to believe it, writer’s block exists in our heads. So clearing our minds can be a good way to overcome writer’s block and evoke creativity.

Everyone has a different method of clearing out his or her cranium. Some people like to meditate, others like to take walks, go on drives or listen to relaxing music, anything to get away from whatever it is they are writing. Find out what works best for you and next time you find yourself struggling with a sentence, do it. It will make creative writing much more enjoyable when you come back to it.

Laurie Halse Anderson, author of "Thank You, Sarah" and "Catalyst," had this to say about writer’s block: "I subscribe to the school of thought that writer's block comes from trying to write perfectly. As long as I am allowed to write horribly bad first drafts, I will not suffer from this dread disease. Sometimes writer's block is your body's way of telling you to go for a walk."

Work on Something Else

One of the reasons great authors are able to produce such quality work is that when they’re having difficulties with one project they can move to another. By doing so, not only are they able to produce better work, but their amount of work increases as well.

Working on something else allows you to keep your mind going and can help you find new ideas to keep your project moving forward. If there are no other projects, organizing and cleaning your workstation is a good way to keep working and your mind going.

Look for Ideas

There’s a lot of helpful information out there. Surf the net or go to the library and pick up a book that can help you generate ideas. Don’t plagiarize, but at the same time don’t be afraid to use an idea that somebody else has come up with if it helps you further your writing.

Also, look at things you’ve written in the past. Maybe you’ll find something that can help you get moving again.

Brainstorming is a great way to come up with new ideas. Write down all ideas that come into your mind—use these ideas to spawn other ideas. Many creative writing programs include helpful brainstorming activities—try one.

Ask for Help with Your Creative Writing

Don’t be afraid to ask a friend or family member for advice. If you know a writer or an editor, don’t be afraid to pick his or her brain. There are also websites available for writers that offer tips on how to overcome writer’s block.

Writing enhancement software can also be of help. Most programs offer assistance in nearly every phase of story creation. These programs can produce character names, provide plot skeletons or generate ideas that will help you move forward with your work.

Writers contend with writer’s block on a regular basis; however, they can take comfort in the fact that there are ways to free themselves from the clutches of writer’s block and finish their masterpiece.

References Anderson, Laurie Halse. (2005)

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