Working with Writer’s Block

Writer’s block happens to the best of us. From forgetting your information to not knowing where to start, we’ve all been there. The good news is that it is temporary. Here are some amazing tips for coping with writer’s block.

Change Locations

Oftentimes, changing locations will help provide you with a new perspective. A number of authors (such as Richelle Mead or Michael Grant) have said that when they have writers block they leave their houses. Some of them go to a hotel, some to a coffee shop. The important thing is to avoid somewhere with a lot of distractions. Don’t go to the park, if you’re a people-watcher. Don’t go to a book store coffee shop, if you’re going to be distracted by the books. You know what works best for you.

Take Breaks

If you find yourself drifting off, it’s time for a break. You can go on Facebook, read a book, take a walk. Most importantly, you need to give your brain a break so that you know you are producing your best work. It’s also important to allow yourself time to process what you’ve already written. It will stop you from thinking too hard about something, which can cause your piece to sound confused. Most likely, you’ll confuse yourself as well. For example, you could be thinking it needs to be researched and cited, but really you just need to write your opinion.

Free Write

Write about something else for a while. This is akin to taking a break. It will allow your mind to focus on something else. You could write whatever comes into your head on a separate piece of paper or in a separate document, in a manner similar to a journal. There doesn’t even need to be cohesion. If your brain jumps from a test to a train, follow it. However, be careful not to mix your paper and your thought stream together until you are struck by a new idea for your piece. You should try to brainstorm for a while and don’t get so absorbed in your new topic that you forget about what you need to do. This gives your mind a break and allows you to get some of your distracting thoughts out of your head. If you happen to write something related to your topic, incorporate it into your old topic. Most importantly, know your limits. If all you can think about is food, it’s probably time to eat something. You won’t be able to produce your best work if you aren’t able to focus on it.


Listening to music stimulates the brain. Multiple studies, including one by Johns Hopkins School of Education, show that music helps students learn and remember new information. It also focuses the student on the task at hand. I have found that music helps me to get past writer’s block. In fact, I’m listening to music as I write this. Music is important. You can create your desired environment through the different genres of music. If you want relaxed, listen to orchestral music. If you want upbeat, listen to pop. There is a music genre for any type of environment you want, it just might take a while to find it. I personally listen to my Lindsey Sterling station on Pandora while working on papers. The instrumentals help me to focus on my work without distracting me with lyrics. She also has a bunch of cool songs.

Keep these ideas in mind next time you are working against writer’s block. It is necessary to learn how to get around it, so you can write your paper the way you want. Writer’s block happens, but we don’t need to let it rule our finals weeks.