Writer’s Block: This Too Shall Pass

There comes a time in every project where you hit the wall. After a certain amount of inspiration and momentum comes the crash. The road block. Writer’s block.

I like to think that if something comes too easily, it’s not worth doing. But this doesn’t make being stuck in the depths of  ‘the block’ any easier to cope with. So, in this blog post, I’m sharing my tips on how to move on.


1. Breathe

This might just be me, but when I feel the inspiration, the passion I once felt for a project beginning to dry up, I panic. I panic about how far I have left to go, how little time I have, how much longer it will take if I have to wait to get a good idea. And of course, all of those things matter. Deadlines are important. But I’ve yet to manage to move time with my panicking. All it does is wind me up until I can’t see the problem anymore. So my first bit of advice would be to breathe. Step back.


2. Work backwards.

If you’re writing a long piece like a novel, you typically become stuck somewhere around the middle. Last week I spoke about plot planning where you might know the beginning and the end, but the middle is up for grabs. If this is the case, then start at the end. Write your big end scene, and then work backwards. It may be that ideas that didn’t appear when going forward start to show themselves.


3. Outside air.

A little fresh air can work wonders. When you have a project to get done it can be tempting to lock yourself indoors and work, work, work. Go outside. Even if it’s raining. Even if it’s cold. The elements will help. Fresh air can reach parts of your consciousness nothing else can. And a change of scene does wonders for inspiration.


4. Ride it out.

There’s an old saying, whispered by mothers into their children’s crying ears over generations: this too shall pass. It’s true. Most things do have a habit of working themselves out. If all else fails, keep trying, keep writing. The fog will fade. The block will lift.


And maybe more than all of these, remember that writer’s block is par for the course. Everyone stumbles along the way. It’s how you get up that matters.


Helen Dring is a fiction writer from Liverpool, England. She is studying for an MA in Creative Writing and is currently writing her first novel. She likes fairy tales, ghost stories and modern history.

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