Many famous authors have suggestions for how to overcome writer’s block. Maya Angelou says, just write, even if its garbage. Neil Gaiman suggests putting the work aside and then editing the work you’ve done so far. Ray Bradbury says that when the writing becomes too much like work, then you aren’t writing the right thing. Twain says to get working but Hemingway suggests a nap. All are good suggestions, but what we can really learn from this list is that every writer gets a writer’s block and every writer has to find a way to get past it.

It is a common thing, but it is important to look at the reasons behind it. It will be easier to overcome a writer’s block if you understand the reasons why you were blocked in that particular situation. Did you write your characters into a place you  cannot get them out of and you don’t know what to do next? Try writing from a different place in the story, and come back to the place where you are stuck later. Perhaps write the story from a different angle. Choose another character and explain the situation from another point of view, or have your character write a letter to explain the situation to her mother. Whatever you do, do not think that you have to write from a completely linear point of view. Jump around a little inside your work. The way to overcome a writer’s block will be different for each writer.

Speaking of jumping around, try getting a little exercise. Sometimes thinking about your writing while you move can be helpful. A walk or a run can help clear the mind and open it up fresh. Mostly, new ideas come when you are not concentrating on them completely and a change of scenery and air can help a lot when you are trying to understand how to overcome writer’s block.

The block, unfortunately, most often comes from the inside. It is not really writer’s block at all, it is fear and self-doubt. Perhaps it’s not comforting to know that Gaiman, Bradbury, Twain, Hemingway and every other famous writer who ever lived, suffered from writer’s block. They know they are brilliant, and the world knows it, too. They don’t have to worry constantly about how bad they are, or about the critics who will take to the forums to talk about how much they suck. One, “how to overcome writer’s block” suggestion is not to listen to the fear. Of course, it is easy to say that, but harder to do. In that case, Maya Angelou’s advice is worth heeding. Just write whatever you can write; it will not be as bad as you think and if it is, you can always fix it later.

But perhaps what you need is a complete change of location. Take a vacation or a writer’s retreat. Go somewhere new and bring in new experiences. A workshop can help you learn to work on techniques to kick start your creativity, or find ways to get beyond the fears and learn how to overcome writer’s block.

This article was written by Alberto Merring on behalf of The Creativity Workshop, whether you are a writer, a business professional, an educator or artiste, we help you discover your creative potential. To know the subjective and objective styles of writing, visit

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