Writer's Block

Break Through The Block

Think of writer's block as a symptom, not a condition that can’t be remedied. When we’re stuck and can’t get to our creative work, there’s usually a reason — and therefore a way to move forward.

If you’re experiencing a block and can’t seem to work on your novel, try the following:

  1. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths. Connect.
  2. How do you feel?
  3. Nervous because you’re coming up on a tough scene?
  4. Starting to wonder why you embarked on this project?
  5. Bored with sticking to your thorough outline and not wanting to admit it?

Feel what you’re feeling without attaching or rationalizing or arguing. Now, refocus on your breath. Imagine gentle snow or waves. When you’re calm inside, grab a notebook and pen (computers can amplify pressure instead of opening room for free scribbling) and write without stopping for three minutes, starting with the prompt, “I’m not blocked because…” After that, go for another three minutes, using, “The path back to my writing looks like…” Let yourself go. Let your hand tell you whatever you need to hear.


Discuss this exercise

Feel inspired? Share your story below.

Similar Exercises

Get your creative juices flowing with these similar creative writing exercises.

Writer's Block

The Truth Shall Set Your Characters Free

In order to dive deeper into your character’s emotional depths, ask a round of questions — both probing and seemingly innocuous alike. (Hey, you never know when your character’s favorite choice of ice cream topping …

Writer's Block

Charity

Your protagonist has just been bequeathed $5 million dollars. The money came from an anonymous benefactor who wants your protagonist to donate all of it to five charities. How does your protagonist react? In a …

Writer's Block

Fear Factor

Nothing can create conflict for your characters like good old-fashioned fear. Take time now to define your protagonist's biggest fear. Is it something physical (e.g. tight spaces or flying in an airplane) or internal (e.g. …

Writer's Block

Musicals

Your character’s story has been Disney-fied. At what point in the arc does your protagonist break out into song — and what is that song about?

Writer's Block

Stranger Comes Knocking

There’s a saying: “Everyone is the hero of his or her own story.” For a 10-minute writing exercise, enter your book from another character’s eyes. Think about how differently that character would experience your plot …

Writer's Block

Answer The W's

What can be more basic than the simple who, what, why, when and where formula? This common sense plan has proved over and over again that it is not only one of the fastest ways …