The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Writer's Block

         Most writers get stuck in a rut.  The words don't flow.  There is no floodgate opening and the lines rushing out...not even a trickle.

         As writers we have to find out what works for us.  What gets us writing again?  What writerly habits can we develop that help combat writer's block?

        I once read one writer's way of making sure he wrote every day:  he did not go to the bathroom in the morning, upon waking, until he had written a whole page.

       Thinking of how urgent that need is, right after getting out of bed, I thought, ' I'll bet it is sometimes a fast page.'

       What are some things you have found that works for you as a writer?  How do you combat writer's block?

photo by Harriet Picturebug


  1. Closing the door in my office to avoid distractions helps, so does soft music.

  2. I encourage students who feel blocked to write in the form of a friendly letter. For many it opens the gate. At other times, I ask students to consider whether the block is lack of ideas or too many ideas "clogging" or blocking the flow. Then I suggest stream of consciousness, letter writing, list making, drawing, and sometimes I act as their secretary and tell them to just verbally list anything that comes to mind as they look at pictures, read quotes or listen to music. Regularly scheduled time, in my opinion needs to be included in a writer's workshop to just "discover" ideas and capture them on paper, much like Nancie Atwell's suggestion of writing territories. At other times, I think the blockage occurs from students who are experiencing maybe too much emotion around the events and they need more objective topics.


Thanks for your comments. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by...