50+ Tips for Blowing Past Writer’s Block

Welcome to the Question of the Week!

When you write for a living, or at least part of your living, there will be times when you hit a dry spell, and your brain feels like it’s on empty. Facing writer’s block can be scary, but panicking about it will only make it worse. Last week I wanted to hear from the experts on this topic and asked,

If you maintain a blog, you have a commitment to churn out valuable information on a regular basis. On those occasions when your words just won’t flow, what’s your best strategy for breaking free from writer’s block?

The response to this question was amazing! We received tips from over 50 professionals, who spend a great amount of their work hours writing. The most common tip seemed to be to push right on through and literally write anything, just to get the ideas flowing.

Some of my personal favorites were taking a waterproof pad and pencil into the shower — this would actually work for me since I am brilliant when in the shower; writing like you were speaking to a child; and sitting down with wine and snacks to get into the mood. There are so many more great tips below, that I hope you will find as inspiring as we did. Enjoy!

1. Jean Compton (@jeunesse1) – “There are different things I do to facilitate writers block. They are not terribly original and look like things you often hear:  like getting an idea while I’m out for a run; getting inspiration in the shower, etc. But, I do have a great writers block exercise that I learned from my writing teacher, Ariel Gore, and it goes as follows:

Write ten, random opening lines.  Just whatever comes into your head.  It could be a phrase you heard, something you said to yourself, whatever.  It’s a great way to cut through the brain clutter~and is a lot of fun too.”

2. Laura Click (@lauraclick) – “My best recommendation is to keep a list of ideas at the ready so you aren’t wrestling with topic ideas when it comes time to write a post. I keep a notebook and document handy where I can quickly jot down ideas that I can flesh out later.

However, if you’re well is dry, think about your recent conversations with your clients, customers or blog readers. What are their pain points? What questions do they have? Chances are, you’ll find a blog post or two by doing that.”

Founder and Chief Innovator of Blue Kite Marketing

3. Lauren MacEwen (@laurencubed) – “I blog constantly. I write for my site and for other sites and guest post and have projects. I hit writers block a lot.  Sometimes you just have to sit down and start writing.  Be willing to throw out everything that you have written, but sometimes just writing about anything will help you find your voice again.  I will also look at the news for my industry (social media) and see if I can find inspiration from there. I have even been known to write about the harrows of writers block! Writing is a discipline. If you are committed to your blog then you have a deadline you have to meet. Not everything you write is going to be mind-blowing or brilliant. But when you are building a blog, consistency is king.  Writing is not always easy, sometimes the words and ideas flow like water and other times it is like pulling teeth. So when all else fails, write about your challenges even if that challenge is writing that post.”

Primary Strategist and Creator of SM Cubed Consulting

4. Mattie Stevenson (@ABEventPlanners) – “I have ran into this problem a couple of times before and it has caused me not to be an effective blogger for weeks at a time.  I finally got over the problem by believe it or not watching TV.  I would be pondering over the next blog item to discuss and would be at a loss.  Once I found something of use in my occupation, I would begin to write down notes about a subject matter.  I would then put the notes to the side, get a glass of wine and an appetizer and the process begins.  Next thing I know, I am flowing with several blog ideas. Another thing I do is look to see what events are going on in my area.  If it pertains to my business, I get inspired and write about it.”

Founder of Founder of Above & Beyond Event Planners

5. Heather Rudalavage (@IntuitiveRD) – “Maybe this doesn’t solve writer’s block but it get’s me through. My fall back is always to do a book review. I read so many nutrition books and also self-improvement books it’s easy to do a review and also benefits my readers. I always do a direct link to the author’s homepage and often get a response from the author. Sometimes, if I just need something quick, I browse through articles and will repost with a link.”

Founder of Intuitive Nutrition

6. Stephanie Padovani (@bookmorebrides) – “I am a blogging fool!

First, I avoid “blogger’s block” by keeping a file of blog post ideas.  It’s always full of more topics than I can ever write, so I can draw inspiration from it.

Second, I come up with ideas by sharing what I’m currently learning.  There’s always an application for our readers.

Third, if I feel stumped, I just start writing.  It really doesn’t matter what I write; once the first words are out the rest will follow.  Write without judgment and you can go back and critically edit later on.

To stave off writer’s block, make a list of topics your visitors are interested in right now.  Go deep and wide until you have at least 100 topics.  You’ll never go dry again.”

Co-founder of Book More Brides

7. Miriam Sagan – “On a purely practical level, I stockpile ideas and sometimes blog posts even if just in rough form. I try to think a few days ahead and create a curve. And as my blog functions in part as a literary magazine, I keep some contributors’; work on hand.

But my most creative approach is to just ask each day to be a muse. Whatever happens goes in to the blog–an idea, an image, a tiny poem, a thought of a fellow writer, et. al. Thanks! Good question.”

Founder of Miriam’s Well: Poetry, Land Art, and Beyond

8. Erin Ferree (@erinferree) – “When I need to break free from writer’s block, I go and talk to one of my clients about their needs, questions and concerns. They’ll usually ask something, and I’ll launch into the strategy behind it – and before I know it, I have a post or three!”

CEO of Brand Style Design

9. Matthew Stillman (@stillmansays) – “Writers block is an amazing opportunity to be really authentic. Normally we write on what we think are important topics. When you have writers block it a chance to really expose your readers to what you are thinking about and struggling with. If they feel they know you they will trust you and want to interact with you more. Write about how you are procrastinating and what you are procrastinating with. Write why you are frustrated writing about your normal subject matter. Write about where you would rather be and how you sometimes feel chained to this stupid blog. You may piss some people off but mostly people will admire your guts.”

Founder of Stillman Says

10. Seif-Eldeine Och “Three very simple ways to keep creativity flowing:

I run 5 blogs and a scribd account, I usually have 2-4 posts a day because I keep an idea bank for articles which I want to return to.

GO OUT AND DO THINGS. If you have an active social life, you will hear people ask questions about things they are interested about. Even if you do not know the answers, usually they are a click away, and your readers will be happy you did the work for them.

Relax. Usually I spend literally 2 to 3 hours a day writing and do other things to keep the juices floating, the most important of which is reading. Also try a balanced diet, exercise and TV. Many people will claim TV is the devil and it dumbs you down. Studies have shown quite the opposite, and IQ scores have been rising for a century now.”

Basketball, Poetry and Psychology Blogger

11. Laura Connell (@laurakimconnell) – “When I am faced with writer’s block, I brainstorm new topics by writing down the topics of my last five posts. I look at each one in turn and write down as many ideas as possible related to each post. I end up with many more ideas than I can handle and useful ones because they may be linked back to the original post which takes the reader deeper into the blog.”

Editor/Curator For Those About To Shop

12. Ryan Holota (@ryanholota) – “Writer’s block is a common ailment, even for people who write for a living. The best strategy that I have found to overcome it is simply to start writing anything. Begin retelling the story of your day from the moment you woke up, write about how to make a pot of coffee, or describe whatever you are seeing in front of you at that time. Once you get some words down, they will start to flow more easily, and before you know it you will be able to write what you had intended to write when you sat down.”

Freelance Writer, Arholota Business Writing

13. Eze Vidra (@ediggs) – “I founded VC Cafe (www..vccafe.com) in 2005 as a labor of love after my own experience co-founding a technology startup. I try to update it daily, but very frequently fall into the writer’s block zone. What I’ve found particularly useful to snap out of it, is GOOGLE ALERTS. I subscribe to a bunch of topics that are related to my blog, and the stream of stories that comes through my inbox daily often inspires me to write a response or add more light on the topic. For the same reason, I enjoy paper.li, which provides a personalized newspaper of the links shared by people I’m connected with on LinkedIn. “

Founder of VC Cafe

14. Dagny McKinley (@dagny73) – “I have two blogs and I often use photography to stimulate writing. For my dog sledding site, I go through photographs to see what they say, then translate that to the blog. I also keep a file of interesting stories, ideas or people I come across so when I’m stuck for something to write on, I can revisit those topics. Having a surplus of information always helps. 

I also write a fiction blog and for that, I look to my environment and use ideas from people’s conversations, stories and interactions that I encounter on a daily basis. Sometimes all it takes is visiting somewhere new, or going to a new environment for new ideas to flow.”

Founder and Explorer – Undiscovered Earth

15. Dennis M. Lowery (@DennisLowery) – “Simple. Treat it as a professional responsibility and put your butt in front of the keyboard. Pick the topic and start typing what flows through your mind. Odds are at first it will be rough and choppy but something about the movement of getting anything down will lubricate your mental gears. Get a rough draft down and then come back for re-writes to polish.”

President & CEO of Adducent, Inc. / Fortis Publishing

16. Pat Ferdinandi (@ThoughtTrans) – “How I’ve overcome writer’s block is by:

Taking a walk (always clears the mind) and listen to experts on my iPod

Watch a video by an expert (Jeffrey Gitomer always has ideas that spark other ideas)

Read a few pages in a book.”

Chief Thought Translator – Strategic Business Decisions, INC.

17. Kathy Carlton Willis (@KCWComm) – “How to overcome writer’s block:

Go to: http://www.allsearches.net/searchtrends.htm and find out what subjects others are searching for online. This tells you what the water cooler topics are, and gives you fresh fodder for your writing. 
Search for national awareness days and months on various calendars online, and write up an article that fits with a timely day/month. For example: “Sneakers at Work” Day.

Discuss an issue that came up during a popular TV show this week. Lay out the pros and cons of various views, and your own point of view. Encourage interaction and comments to stimulate activity on your site.

Use Top 10 Lists and Bullet Point Lists on a certain theme, when paragraph writing is more difficult.

Quote another person, and give your insights on their quote.

Tell a story from your everyday life, and then pull out some life lessons from the example.”

Owner of Kathy Carlton Willis Communications

18. Jenny Schade (@JennySchade) – “As a trained therapist, I know that writer’s block is a huge head trip. That whole “how to begin” thing really gets in the way of our progress.

When I’m facing writer’s block, I get over the hurdle of ‘how to begin’ by ‘starting in the middle,’ meaning that I just start writing down my thoughts about my topic to get them on screen. Jotting down those thoughts gets the process going, and then I can back up to do the lead paragraph and finish by jotting down the conclusion. Sometimes I even do the intro last, just to mix it up. Freeing myself to start in the middle gets me over the hurdle, and I’ve learned to enjoy backing up to then think of a lead.

I practice what I preach. I write my own electronic newsletter and articles about marketing and communications – there are more than 25 articles on my website. Quite a few of these ‘started in the middle.’”

President of JRS Consulting, Inc.

19. Ken O’Quinn – “Brainstorm your ideas first. You can do a simple vertical list. The brain thinks associatively, so it will think of related ideas and you can add those as subtopics.

Just write. Don’t stare at a blank screen for hours trying to write the whole thing in your head. The brain doesn’t work that way. You need to get words on the screen. We discover more about what we want to say as the words appear in front of us.

Consult a list of topics that you have been collecting in a file. This is like a journalist’s story-idea list.

Talk to a colleague about the topic you want to write about, and listen to yourself. The way you are explaining it is often exactly what you are trying to write. As soon as we convert thoughts to conversation, they emerge easily.

Carry a writer’s notebook, in the computer, or the old-fashion kind of notebook, and write notes in there about topics that come to you as you are driving or sitting around the house. These would be topics you might want to blog about sometime.”

Corporate Writing Coach – Writing With Clarity

20. Allie Gray Freeland (@BanSheeWriter) – “Sometimes a change of scenery helps me. If I am working at my desk for 4 hours and have writers block, I take my laptop and move to another room and somehow the change of scenery lights a creative fire.”

Online Marketing Manager for Rasmussen College

21. Ford Kanzler – “Overcoming writer’s block ideas (not exclusive to just bloggers):

Make a running list of ideas you want to write about and hang it in front of you at your work place or stick to your laptop. Write short sentences and paragraphs relating to the topics you’re considering writing more about. Don’t edit yourself as you write. Just get it out into a file. Edit later.

Carry a pen and paper with you at all times or keep it handy. Don’t trust yourself to remember the ideas later. (A great idea may arrive on your way to the can at 3am).

Create a writing habit by writing something every day. (Your output doesn’t have to be published daily…just the good stuff..which, guess what, doesn’t happen every day.)

Read a lot of other stuff, even books, by smart people 🙂 (Reading good writing makes you a better writer)”

Managing Partner of Marketing/PR Savvy

22. A. Colin Flood – “As a business and technical writer, I churn out sometimes valuable, sometimes interesting, but rarely entertaining, information on a regular basis. With blogs, press releases and interviews, it is easy to think about what the reader needs. It is harder to craft something so special that it stands out from 255M other web sites! (http://mashable.com/2011/01/25/internet-size-infographic/ )

I don’t use a table to revolve my assignments around, as famous novelist James Patterson (Along Came a Spider) is said to do, but a busy workplace does require juggling one assignment after another. Suddenly switching gears from one manual or Help file to another helps keep the oil fresh.

Push away from that computer! Stretch. Walk around. Go outside. Get some fresh air. Make a phone call. Harass some poor clerk about some dumb mistake. Read a few passages from a favorite author.

The more eyes that see a document, the better. Circulate a draft to experts in your subject. Ask for their opinions and ideas. Suffer the slings and arrows of their outrageous opinions (“What! My words are golden? I might do better!)”

Author – Tampa Tech Writer

23. Kimberly Fleming, PhD – “Keep a list of “Blog Seeds” in your smartphone and jot down a few words whenever you have an interesting conversation with someone, read a great article, or have a question to ponder. When you feel stuck, visit your list, and grow your seed into a great blog post.”

President of Core Education, LLC

24. Mark McLaughlin (@Mancomm) – “I write movie reviews and books of fiction in addition to my work at MANCOMM. So, I’m writing all the time.   When a person has something they need to write about, but they just cant break free from writers block, their best bet is to pretend they have to explain the topic to an eight-year-old child. In doing so, the person has to break the topic down into its simplest components, and that often yields fresh insights. It might even bring some amusing aspects of the topic to light. Many facets of our adult world seem pretty wacky, and much more entertaining, when filtered through this process.”

PR/Marketing Director at MANCOMM

25. Michael Bruny (@ambassadorbruny) – “In 2010 I completed 365 posts (one per day) for my hip hop affirmations. When I was stuck there were a couple of things that came in handy:

Take a walk or exercise

Just start typing to clear your mind. A good site for that is http://www.750words.com

Affirmations, ‘My writing flows.’”

Speaker, Author, Certified Life Coach – Run The Point

26. Lisa Merriam (@LDMerriam) – “I keep a file of timeless ideas. When an idea comes to me, I jot it down. Then I have a great well of ideas for times when I can’t think of a danged thing to write about. Even if the idea is lame, I write it up. Then I leave it for an hour or two and come back fresh. With fresh eyes, I can always spiff up a mediocre idea. I’ve been doing this work long enough to know that writer’s block is often my own skewed judgment. It is better to put your thoughts out there and let the public decide what is good. One piece that I thought was my worst post ended up being in my top ten posts year in and year out. When I feel negative about what I am writing, I push through, do my best, and let it go.”

President of Merriam Associates

27. Anthony F. Prisco, Esq. – “Just start writing! As an attorney who spends most of his time writing motions and appellate briefs which require short turn around time, it is amazing how well your thoughts come together when you just start writing something, anything. When you look back at what you wrote, you will find much of it is useful, coherent and actually will not need much editing.”

Salamon, Gruber, Blaymore

28. Karen Hancock (@redplume) – “I’ve seen a pattern with my writer’s block – it usually appears when I’m too dredged in the details of life. When my focus has become singular on the to-do list, I’m not open to new ideas that are all around me or even floating around in my head. So taking a breather from the focus – a walk outside, cooking something new, listening to music – allows room for new ideas and gets the creative juices flowing.

But in general, the best tip for beating writer’s block that I have is just to write. Move away from your usual place of writing, get a fresh piece of paper (I’m old-school – you can use a new Word doc as well), and just start where you are. Describe the chair, the weather, your breakfast, how much you hate writer’s block – whatever, just start writing. And continue for about two full minutes. Without your brain realizing, you’re taking the pressure off yourself to create something specific, and usually ideas flow from there. I also find that great ideas come to me in the shower – a place where you’re distracting your overworked mind by doing something, but nothing important. Seriously, it works.”

Writer – Red Plume Marketing

29. Jill Mikols Etesse (@JacketsandJill) – “It’s funny when you used to hear “writers block” you would imagine some great writer of the classics etc..but today there are so many of us writing (for fun & career) but none the less occasionally suffering from writers block!  Also I write a fashion column – geared mainly to moms to “work it” instead of just “work”- every time I see something that may apply to a future column I tear it out, print it out or jot it down…so when the ‘block’ hits I refer to the pile of these items and always find something to pull me out!  Like you said it is a 24/7 job writing a blog but it’s like the little black dress:  ‘buy it, the party will come’…..same with the inspiration:  ‘save it, the words will come!’”

Author – Jackets & Jill

30. Christian Russel (@christiantjr) – “I’ve found that when bloggers struggle with writer’s block, it is often because they have not yet found their ‘blogging voice.’ Finding your voice is often a pivotal moment in a bloggers path to success, because it gives you a never-ending reserve of ideas.

A ‘blogging voice’ is not the same voice as that of a journalist or novelist. Its more personal, less reserved and free from the traditional encumbrances that most writers must bear. A blogger connects with their readers much more readily when they treat their blog as a conversation, as opposed to a monologue. Theres simply not as much pressure, and this allows us to simply be ourselves. We don’t struggle with ideas for content anymore than we struggle with what to say while conversing at a bar with friends. Bottom line: we make it too complicated. This doesn’t mean we throw editing out the window. It means we simply allow ourselves to love what we do. And when you love what you do, not only is it easy to write, it also gets a more genuine response from our readers.”

Owner of Dangerous Tactics

31. Kate Nasser (@katenasser) – “To break writer’s block, I do the following things and they work:

Write down thoughts on various topics as I get them — long before I write the post. I even have a waterproof pad/pencil in the shower where I seem to be very creative. True I swear.

I always write down one question: Who cares? This gets me thinking of different angles on any topic rather than stuck in my own head.

Learn whether you write from conflict/tension or from 
ease/relaxation. I definitely flow better when I feel passion/tension. Write when you feel it not later when you are 
thinking it.

Start the day reading/observing – TV news, internet, local coffee shop. I write better when the world has activated my senses with new thoughts that affect what I am writing about.”

The People-Skills Coach – CAS, Inc.

32. Barry Maher – “Here’s the best piece of writing advice I’ve ever received, one I share whenever I speak at writers conferences. 

Forget inspiration. Forget writer’s block. Sit your butt down in front of the computer and write. Treat it as a profession, as a job and you can master the necessary skills. Wait for inspiration or for the words to start flowing on their own and you’ll still be waiting while those willing to put in the time and effort are gaining followers. Write and the writer’s block will vanish. And at some point the words will start to flow almost on their own.”

Author / Speaker – www.barrymaher.com

33. Robert Medak – “When words aren’t flowing try:

Take a break

Read a book

Do a search of questions being asked about your subject.

Answer questions

Search for other blogs in your niche and read them

Post comments on other blogs in your niche

See if you write about a subject you already have from a different angle

Go for a walk to clear your head.

Keep a journal and write in it daily to clear the gunk from your brain

Try some freewriting”

Writer, Editor, Proofreader, Reviewer, Marketer – http://stormywriter.com

34. Roderick Low (@rodericklow) – “My best way to combat writer’s block is to list down the sub-headlines of the topic. Since I don’t drive and commute through public transport, usually I will take the traveling time to write my article. And because I have the sub-headline in place, it makes it easy for me to write what I think about that particular sub topic. 

Another thing is this, as a blogger, you want your article to be as conversational as possible. Therefore, I realize that writing blog posts are nothing more than conversation in print. I will only edit the article only after I have finish writing because I won’t want to waste my time concerning about the grammar mistakes I might make.”

Founder of 4Pillars Marketing

35. Nancy Germond – “Don’t try to start at the beginning, just start and figure out later where the beginning is. The lede will present itself as you write!”

President of Insurance Writer, LLC.

36. Susanne Alexander-Heaton (@abcfaeries) – “My best strategy for overcoming writer’s block is to get outside for a quick walk and get some fresh air. It helps me to relax, to think of other things, and to just let the creativity flow. I come inside refreshed and ready to tackle what needs to be done.”

CEO, Motivated by Nature

37. Sarah Moore – “I swear by the ‘caffeine nap’ for overcoming writers block. Drink a cup of coffee, take a 15 minute nap (in Starbucks itself if necessary) and wake up and smell the creative possibilities in the air. Don’t just take my word for it, this top tip is backed by research: http://www.sleepdex.org/caffeine-nap.htm.”

Founder of Vappingo

38. Acharay Sri Khadi Madama (@yogacelebrity) – “I’ve been writing for decades and I’ve taught writing. I don’t believe in writer’s block. If a writer feels blocked it’s either because they are unprepared, aren’t in the mood to write, or something else is taking up space in their mind instead of their work. To get through that, the best thing is to prime the pump by writing anything, maybe just an email to a friend; get up do something physical and mentally ask your divine muse for subject matter, which will come shortly if you just keep your mind open. If you have time, put off the assignment until that spark happens, which it usually does once you get away from the keyboard.”

Speaker / Public Figure / Author – www.yourstrulyyogatv.vpweb.com

39. Karen Reyburn (@RANONEGlobal) – “I write a Marketing Tips blog every week, and often deal with writer’s block. My strategies are:

Just start writing anything. Often once I start typing, the thoughts come.

Be honest. Use a real life situation or address the fact that I have writer’s block. Once I completely forgot to send the email/make the post, so I owned up to it a day later and used that as an opportunity to address ‘being real’ with your customers.

Read. Picking up a recent business book and reading even a chapter often gets many ideas flowing.

Keep notes. Every time I think of a topic that would make a great blog post, I note it down. Then I’ll set aside a few hours and write out five or six blog posts at once, so I have those available for a ‘blocked’ day.”

Managing Director of RAN ONE Europe

40. Laura Rose – “Best strategies for breaking free from writer’s block:

I get ahead of the game. I use experiences from my workshops, discussions, issues I’ve encountered, and even helpareporter.com queries to write about. I then write and place in a queue. At this point in time, I have several placed in the queue for future publications.

I also reuse the materials and concepts from a different angle. For example, the blog: ‘What remote employees need to know about staying in the spotlight’ – was flipped to ‘What managers of remote employees need to know.’ The ‘Warrior Tester: Translation of Sun Tzu’s Art of War technique for the software development realm’ was flipped to ‘The Warrior Solo-entrepreneur: Translation of Sun Tzu’s Art of War technique for the small business owner.’”

Certified Efficiency Coach – Rose Coaching

41. Richard Laurence Baron (@Signalwriter) – “Unless you’re in the middle of a 10-year dry spell, taking the pressure off yourself is one way to unblock. A break helps me accomplish this – especially the no-brain-involved walk break. My straightforward ambles have offered the best pace to let my mind churn through options for opening paragraphs and post structure: where I’m going to pose the problem and offer solutions. By avoiding ‘power walking’ and other hard-charging exercise modalities, I give my mind time to relax and enjoy itself. (It’s part of my ongoing effort to not to take myself too seriously.)”

Signal Writer

42. Michele Rosenthal (@MichelePTSD) – “The topic of busting writing blocks is near and dear to my heart — not only because as a published and produced poet, playwright and nonfiction author I am a professional writer, but also because I used to teach writing and creativity at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. The most common writing problem is, of course, what to do when the words wont flow!   Heres my submission for your piece:   My two favorite strategies for breaking free from blocks are:

writing what you’re thinking, and

facing your fears.

In my years as a professional writer and also professor of writing I’ve noticed that an enormous block to flow is a writers own thoughts. Sometimes, your mind is just somewhere else and the distraction inhibits writing. Allowing yourself to write what you’re thinking – even just as a means to getting the juices flowing – helps ground you in the moment, focus your thoughts on task, and can lead to a more interesting and provocative perspective that is full of your genuine personality and voice. In the case of fears, the best way to bust them is to own up to them! Being aware of why the words aren’t flowing, and then processing and moving through that issue can unblock flow and lead to a tremendous release that causes the words to tumble out.”

Author, Speaker, Self-Empowered Healing Coach Founder, Heal My PTSD

43. Janet Podolak – “I am a newspaper food and travel editor who has in the recent years of newspapers’ downward spiral also acquired the regular production of Thursday Health, Sat Religion and Sunday Community. So on a regular basis, I am doing five stories a week each with hopefully three sources plus a column. And I blog, shoot videos and am supposed to tweet but don’t have time. Obviously I don’t have time for writer’s block. So my secret is JUST WRITE IT. Then come back to it and fine tune.

Editor for News-Herald

44. Jack E. Appleman, CBC (@writecoachjack) – “As a business writing instructor and author of one of the top-selling books in its category (10 Steps to Successful Business Writing), I have found the best way to break out of writer’s block is to think about how you’d express an idea or your thoughts in a conversation–because most of us speak more naturally than we write.”

Founder of Successful Business Writing

45. Sue Northey (@TheUnplanner) – “When I encounter a writer’s block on my blog, I go to favorite websites that report on the same topic (advertising). Favorites include: Ads of the World, Brand Freak, Ad Age. I look at what their top news stories are and what they are writing about and use that as fodder for my blog.”

Director Research for Branigan Communications

46. Kevin Benton (@fieldtriptohell) – “One of the best ways of handling writers block is to take a refreshing break that takes your mind of off your writing and then when you return to your work, keep a handy thesaurus next to you so that you can find synonyms and antonyms for words that will help you continue to convey your stream of thought. Once your able to do this your thoughts will begin to flow again.”

Founder of Kevin Benton Ministries

47. Jim Magary (@Boomient) – “To solve writer’s block, I maintain a “side blog” where I allow myself to be much more whimsical, and free of the need to write about anything remotely professional. It’s just a place where I can rant without worrying about spelling, grammar, or even representing my business. When I have trouble writing I just free-wheel it by doing a post on the other blog, which I may or may not publish to a few of my friends. A good example of an easy side blog is Tweet Press, at http://www.140plus.com. The idea of their site is an extension of Twitter, allowing extra space for your thoughts when 140 characters is not enough. It’s a perfect “low expectations” blog to reset your creative flow and hopefully get your blogging mojo back.”

Founder of Boomient Consulting

48. Kim Masterson (@GrassRootsInc) – “Writer’s block tends to hit because you’re trying too hard to write an effective entry and are over-thinking the topic. Instead of feeling pressured to write your new post, take a deep breath, relax and speak your advice out loud first. Since your blog entries should be written the way you speak, casually “talk it out” to yourself first and then blog away. If you’re really having difficulty, record your advice first and then write the entry afterwards. While your entries should always be valuable to your target audience, the blogging process should be natural and enjoyable for you as well!”

Director of Grass Roots Marketing

49. Michelle Salater (@writtenbysumer) – “As a professional writer, I’ve trained myself to write on command. Does this mean I don’t occasionally experience writers block? No. When it does happen, I know what I need to do to break free and keep writing. Heres what I do: I don’t write and I don’t force creativity. I take a walk, get in the shower or bath, play with the dog, or do something else. The act of shifting focus helps the subconscious work for you. Its amazing what ideas you’ll get just by not focusing on the fact that you are blocked and don’t have a good idea. Another way to avoid block is to set a schedule with topics to write about. That way, when you have to sit down and write, you know the direction you need to go.”

President of Sumer, LLC

50. Richard J. Atkins, Ed.D. (@IMPROCOMM) – “If You Start Me Up…THE WRITING PROCESS 

‘Where do I start?’ ‘How do I start?’ These are good questions. Sometimes, writers must start without knowing the answers to these questions. They just need to start the process. By putting fingers to keyboard or pen to paper, the ideas will begin to materialize. It takes a risk to start. Later, the written work can be changed and improved. Knowing the process allows you to examine and understand how you create written messages. 

Some writers start by brainstorming ideas. Other writers simply write out their ideas; then they re-write them until they feel satisfied with their message. Still, others outline their ideas before writing sentences and paragraphs.”

Founder of Improving Communications, LLC.

51. Francine L. Trevens – “The trick I use when words don’t want to flow is to pretend I am writing to a good friend I have not been in touch with for a while. I stick to the subject which I would cover in my blog or creative writing, and write her what’s in my mind. Later, I edit what I wrote and have all the words I needed for the writing task.”

Book Author, TnT Classic Books

52. Derrick Hayes (@encouragement4u) – “The BLOCK will help you overcome:

Begin. Pull out a piece of paper and just write. On the computer just type.

Listen. Turn on music or programming that inspires you.

Open. With your mouth speak life and affirm that there is no writers block.

Communication. Talk with others and get their thoughts on things to write about.

Keep. Don’t give up too soon. When you get started keep going.

Founder of WOE Enterprises

My sincere thanks to all our respondents this week! Openly sharing your expertise and experiences is a huge asset to this blog and the readership. I wish you all a wonderful week and hope to see you here again.

This week’s question is –

Every business owner makes mistakes when starting up, and learns valuable lessons. But if you had the chance to go back in time, and were given one do-over during your startup process, what would it be and how would you do things differently?

Why should I join the discussion?

Because this online forum is a great place for us to exchange ideas, learn from each other and network. My goal is to unite successful women entrepreneurs to share our insights and solutions to the challenges we most commonly face in our businesses.

How do I get involved?

Every Monday I will post a new Question of the Week. This is a great opportunity for you to bring your expertise to the table. Using the link below, please submit a one paragraph response by Wednesday, and the following week I will share our community responses on my blog.

Click here to submit your answer

I look forward to your response to this week’s question! If you have any questions you know where to find me. Have a great week!


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  1. Posted February 7, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for including Sarah’s comment. Great article and some fantastic tips.

    • Posted February 7, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Sarah, Great to have you as a contributor this week! You are welcome any time. 🙂

  2. Posted February 7, 2011 at 7:27 am | Permalink | Reply

    Great list to use!

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  1. By Writing Samples « Alliefree's Blog on September 11, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    […] https://blog.drshannonreece.com/2011/02/07/50-tips-for-blowing-past-writers-block/ […]

  2. By How do you get past writers Block — Blog Cubed on February 8, 2011 at 12:11 am

    […] weeks question by Dr. Shannon Reece asks how do we get past writers block?  Click here to see our answers! Filed Under: Recent Guest Post blog comments powered by Disqus […]

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eze Vidra, Dondi Scumaci, Adam Paulisick, Dr. Shannon Reece, Dr. Shannon Reece and others. Dr. Shannon Reece said: 50+ Tips for Blowing Past Writer's Block http://wp.me/pKJr1-sk […]

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