Don’t Look Now…It’s Your Old Pal Writer’s Block!

Don’t Look Now…It’s Your Old Pal Writer’s Block!

Is it possible to escape the clutches of the nemesis of Writers everywhere?

Wordsmiths, let’s get real for a bit! There is one thing, one phrase, that all writers dread. We hope that it doesn’t come for us and that we can avoid it at all costs. But none of us can. Unfortunately, you already know what I’m talking about. Writer’s Block.

The Woes of “Writer’s Block”

For some of us, Writer’s Block is an old friend; some of us encounter it less frequently. (Just FYI, we are secretly jealous of you.) As I deal with my own bout of Writer’s Block at the moment, I think about all the ways I’ve tried to combat the gear-halting force that ails the cogs of our writing minds.


Five Exercises That Can Bust Up That Writer’s Block
This is what Writer's Block looks like.

  • *Play Video Games* —You might think I’m joking, but I’m really not, and I’ll tell you why. Over time, video games have upped their storytelling game; games aren’t just for entertainment anymore.

–For instance, gaming can help you with Worldbuilding. If you struggle with this concept, take a break and play that video games you’ve been saving for a rainy day.

–Let yourself be immersed into the imaginative world in front of you. It’s important that you power through this rut, though, because the world you’ve built in your story is just as crucial to its success as it is in the game.

–Video games also have great examples of complex and believable characters. I can admit that I sometimes struggle with creating multi-layered and believable characters.

–The more memorable and relatable your characters are, the deeper the connection your readers will form with them. So, pick up that controller and give it a go.

-Video games can forge an emotional relationship with its players. If you want to grab the readers attention and keep it through the entire book, then present them with characters they can form connections with. I mentioned above about creating complex and believable characters, you can capitalize on this by tapping into your reader’s emotions.

–A fantastic example of this is Bioware’s Mass Effect franchise. Most of the characters in these games were consistent throughout the last three games. Yet, these characters weren’t just digital constructs made to act like people, they were people.

Writer's Block At Work!–I, for one, was emotionally invested by the end of the first game. By the time the third game drew to a close, I couldn’t help but feel the substantial loss of Mass Effects most-influential hero, Shepard. (Someone, please get me a tissue!)

–Video games also do an outstanding job of keeping the conflict of the story front and center. No one knows how important conflict is to the success of your story better than a writer.

A fitting example of this is the storyline for a recent game called The Witcher 3. It’s an RPG with a remarkable story that’s actually based on books written by a Polish writer by the name of Andrzej Sapkowski. Sure, there are many side quests involved in Geralt’s story, but if you think about it, novels are precisely the same way. Because spoilers suck for everyone, I won’t go into the nitty-gritty details of the plot.

Suffice it to say, every action in the game circles back to the central conflict in some way. Everything the MC does in the novel loops back as well!


  • *Take A Break/Write Something Else* —Chances are, you’ve been working on your WIP for a while, and a couple things have happened.

You’ve hit a Road Block. Your “writing mind” may not recognize it at first, but the other part has. Something has stepped in your way. The plot isn’t working well, and you’ve written yourself into a corner you can’t get out of. The words, which came so easily before, are lost to you; now, is a great time to consider the direction of your plot.

–You simply need a break from the story. You’re burnt out—but your “writing mind” demands that you keep creating. In short, you need to recharge your creative cells and give them time to breathe.

–You might want to move onto a different story. As horrible as it sounds, you might want to take a step away. You know what they say about “seeing with fresh eyes.” Give yourself a week. Take two or three even. Come back to the story, it’ll be waiting for you. Who knows, you might catch something immediately as you’re re-reading things and then it will be like you never stopped writing in the first place.

  • *Freewrite* –I know it’s cliché, but let’s be honest, we all need to be a little cliché sometimes. I can’t tell you how many times I’m working on one story and ideas for another pop into my head at the wrong time. At the time, I try to push the thoughts away and keep focused on my current project.

–Unfortunately, the ideas keep coming back, like little subliminal messages that I can’t seem to ignore for long. Freewriting may help you get rid of what I like to call “writing restlessness.” The idea is that if you spend enough time on a story, you can become restless or hasty in making crucial plot decisions and nobody wants that.

  • *Read a Book* –There’s nothing like immersing yourself into another world for a while and that may just be the remedy you’re weary mind is looking for. Often, I’ll take some time and read an entire book if I’m struggling with words. I can’t put a value on reading other books, but if I had to…it would be around a million.

–Sure, reading another book can give you insight on sentence structure, unique ideas on plot twists, an-on-the-go grammar lesson (if you struggle with it as I do), and the most essential necessity for writing stories…inspiration!

Whew, this is quite the post! Thanks for tuning in and listening to what I have to say. I hope this gives you more ammo for your arsenal when the need to conquer “Writer’s Block” arises.

What do you do to get past Writer’s Block? At the time, did you ever think you would get past it?

ALSO: Before I go, here’s a link to other things I’ve done in the past to push the block out of my way.

In A Nutshell Link:

Hope this helps you guys out! Thanks for reading!

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