4 min read

What Is Writer's Block? (And 5 Tips on How to Beat It)

Chris Lu

June 2, 2022

Have you ever had writer's block? No matter how hard you focus, you can’t seem to write a compelling sentence. Your editor is open, you’re staring at the screen, but nothing comes to your mind. It may be terrible, but it happens to the best of us!

Writer's block affects most writers at one point or another, and there are certainly ways around it. In today's blog post, we'll talk about what causes this creativity killer and how to overcome it so you can keep writing!

What is writer's block?

Writer’s block is a common phenomenon in which one has trouble finding the words to express their ideas, thoughts, or feelings.

The term describes a mental inability to produce creative work, despite the creator’s best efforts. It is typically associated with writing, but it may also apply to other areas like drawing, painting, singing, acting, or designing.

The exact cause of writer’s block is unknown, but there are many theories about what causes it. Some of these include:

  • The fear of being judged by others
  • Anxiety about failure
  • Lack of motivation
  • Fear of embarrassment
  • Too much self-criticism
  • Lack of confidence

Writer’s block will affect most writers at some point in their careers — even best-selling authors and literary legends have discussed their struggles with the phenomenon.. It can be frustrating and demoralizing, but it’s also easy to overcome once you’ve identified the root of the problem and a strategy to deal with it.

How do I beat writer's block?

You’re staring at a blank page, and you can’t think of a single thing to say. It might take a couple of minutes to overcome the feeling, or it might take hours. But no matter what, there are surefire ways to get around your writer’s block and start writing again.

Tip 1: Take a break, try something new.

First, stop trying to write. It’s okay that you don’t want to write right now—maybe you’re tired, maybe you’re distracted. Maybe it just isn’t coming to you today. Whatever it is, take a break from writing for just one day.

This could mean traveling to a new place, going to a museum or art gallery you’ve been wanting to check out, or trying a new sport like football or rugby. When you are in an unfamiliar space, you are forced to see things with new eyes and think on your feet. This kind of free thinking will translate into your writing and inspire you with fresh ideas!

Once you have taken a break from writing and given yourself some time to refresh, try putting yourself in a new place when you write. This can be as simple as writing outside with a notebook instead of on your computer, or even just changing your writing habits by setting up shop at a local library instead of at home.

Take advantage of the creativity-boosting properties of these new places to get your juices flowing again!

Tip 2: Create an environment and schedule conducive to writing.

It can be difficult to concentrate when your mind is working against you, but there are ways to help give your brain the push it needs to get started. Create an environment conducive to writing by removing all distractions and making sure you have a quiet space. (Yes, this means putting away your phone.) Also, make sure you set up a schedule and routine around your writing time so you can make it part of your daily life.

Having a routine helps you stay focused and trick your brain into seeing writing as a daily practice. By setting up a schedule, you can avoid feeling rushed or out of place in your writing environment; instead, it will feel like part of your everyday life.

For example, if you set aside an hour at  10 a.m. every day to sit down and write, eventually you will find that your mind has adjusted itself to the routine of writing. If you stick with this routine consistently, writer’s block will become a thing of the past!

Tip 3: Write without fear of judgment.

One of the most effective methods is to “get the bad ideas out” so they don’t keep you from trying to write. Jot down anything and everything, even if it seems silly; this will give you a lot of material to work with later on, and it will open up your brain to generate more ideas without fear of judgment. After all, these notes are just for you—there’s no need to worry about what other people might think. 

Julian Shapiro calls this method the "Creativity Faucet." You've got to let the bad ideas out so the good ones have room to come through.

Write every single day, even if it’s just for a short time. If you can’t write for long periods of time, then write in short spurts instead; even just five minutes a day can be very helpful in the long run.

Tip 4: Switch up your projects.

If you’re working on a big project and struggling with writer’s block, try switching to a different project. Take a break from your current work and focus on something else for a couple of weeks. Then, you’ll have a fresh outlook when you come back to the original project, and you should be able to write more easily.

Ed Sheeran uses this technique when he’s having trouble writing songs. He "puts the guitar down and goes and does something else for about a couple of weeks and then comes back and then he's able to write the song." 

If you have the luxury of switching projects, it’s worth a shot! However, if you're on a tight deadline...

Tip 5: Get a helping hand from new AI-powered copywriting tools.

This is the twenty-first century, after all! With an AI-powered copywriting tool like Copy.ai, you can type a few sentences and receive dozens of ideas to get you started. Simply type in the topic and a brief description of what you need, and within seconds the software will give you an idea to get your creative juices flowing.

The tool leverages the latest advancements in natural language processing, trained on 10% of the Internet to create AI models that are extremely knowledgeable about almost every topic. 

Copy.ai in particular offers tools that can help you:

Writer's block is a completely natural part of the creative experience, whether it is a minor inconvenience or an all-encompassing crisis that wreaks havoc on the psyche.

The most important thing to remember about writer’s block is that it can be overcome with a little effort and patience. It might take some trial and error on your part, but don’t give up! Keep working at it, and you will find your groove again soon enough.

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