The Joy Of Writing – How To Overcome Writer’s Block

Overcome writer's block with a bang

Oh, the joy of writing

As I assume many of my readers are writers, I know they will understand when I say that there are times when the words just get stuck.

Some call it writer’s block, but really it’s just a moment in a story when the ideas dry up or you feel that the story is drifting.

While there is a vast repository of information and ideas on this topic, I didn’t think it should dissuade me from offering my own little helpful tips to keep the joy of writing alive.

When these wordless moments hit me, I resort to some of the following tactics to help me get going again. They usually work.


Related reading: The Blank Page Holds No Fear For A Brave Writer


6 Ways to immediately cure writer’s block


1. Make a sudden noise

A loud explosion, a door slamming or something smashing against a wall just near the protagonist’s head. This one always gets me underway again and at the same time adds a nice element of surprise in the story.


2. What would my character just hate to happen right now?

An email from an angry ex-spouse or a demand for payment from the bailiff. The onset of a nasty head cold just before the wedding day. A secret affair is not a secret anymore. What about choking on a fishbone in the middle of a romantic dinner for two?


3. Open a door or drawer

This is an oldie but a goodie. You just never know what you’ll find hiding in there.


4. Leave it hanging

This usually means extensive use of the delete key. Go back a few paragraphs and stop the chapter as something is about to happen. ‘She opened the drawer and couldn’t believe her eyes.’

Stop it there and start a new chapter about her next-door neighbour’s gay son.

But don’t forget Chekhov’s gun. Make sure you come back to the drawer.


5. Trip over something

Another oldie, but it never fails. Just get your character moving and ‘kerplonk’! Break a leg, arm or even better open a gaping wound and let the blood flow freely.


6. Start an argument

This is a brilliant way to get the dialogue going and moving the story along at a pace. Lots of screaming and yelling, expletives and throwing of coffee mugs.


So what are your favourite writing prompts to get you moving again?


More reading: 17 Easy Ways To Cure Writer’s Block Fast And Start Writing


Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

3 thoughts on “The Joy Of Writing – How To Overcome Writer’s Block

  • January 10, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    What works for me is leaving a tricky section and working on either research or something else completely different. Usually, the words I want come back to Mama like a needy child, either in the middle of the night or early morning. Thank you for the suggestions.

  • September 18, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Thanks for the tips! Im going to try to use them. Now a tip form me, there is a double sentence in there :)

    “Some call it writer’s block, but really it’s just a moment in a story when the ideas dry up or you feel that the story is drifting.”


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