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Writer’s Block – How to Tackle That Sneaky Magilla

Writer’s block is a condition and expression coined and popularized by American psychoanalyst Edmund Bergler in the 1940s, whereby a writer or author loses their creative spark. This phenomenon causes imaginative writing to crash and burn. Artists, sculptors, musicians, and others also experience this insidious problem. The feeling of being stuck in a writing rut can be overwhelming. It sneaks up on writers when they least expect it.

Writers, you are not alone. This too shall pass. It may pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass. The culprit of stagnating original thought has zero to do with writing ability or time constraints. Writers experience different degrees of writer’s block for varied reasons. Below are some reasons and solutions.

Reasons For Writer’s Block and Solutions to Combat It


Self-Inflicted Fault Finding – It’s hard enough to swallow criticism from others, even when it’s constructive. It’s an even greater liability when that condemnation is self-imposed. Going down this rabbit hole serves writers no purpose except to chip away at their confidence as a writer.


Change the negative dialogue in your head. The one that says you don’t measure up, the one that’s on a fault-finding mission. When you find yourself strolling down the I-suck-lane, yell, “Stop” then replace a destructive thought with a positive one. If you do this enough times, the positive will soon outweigh the negative.


Striving For Perfection – Perfectionists want everything to be perfect before they even begin. They check and double check every word, sentence, and paragraph to hopefully save themselves from disparaging comments down the road by critics and others. This stifling doomsday approach to writing is counterintuitive and can lead to huge disappointment, producing a failure to write at all which is still failure. The very thing the perfectionist is trying to avoid in the first place. No one is a perfect writer. We all make mistakes.


Focus on making progress instead of being perfect. Put one word in front of the other and soon you’ll be writing sentence after sentence, and paragraph after paragraph. Try tricking yourself into believing that everything you write is a first draft. This takes the pressure off making it perfect which frees the mind and opens the door for new concepts.


Intense Pressure from Inside and Outside Sources – Writer’s block is sometimes experienced by those who don’t necessarily want to write, they must write. This pressure can pop up with writers who feel obligated to produce new and exciting articles for their own websites, blogs, newsletters, and other social media platforms. The burden exists from external sources as well, cue bosses, teachers, and parents exerting demands.


Give yourself a break. Meditate. Find a place for solace and rest. Listen to music. Take a walk. Watch a show. Go for a run. Clear the clutter from your workspace. All of the above can clear your head and spark spanking-new thoughts.


Exhaustion – Everyone needs appropriate sleep, including writers. The state of extreme physical and/or mental fatigue can deplete writers of fresh ideas. Feeling overtired and lacking energy can lead to a Catch 22. As defined by, a dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions. Physical fatigue leads to lack of fresh ideas which leads to mental exhaustion which leads to lack of fresh ideas and back to physical fatigue.


Visit an app store and download soothing, slumbering noises to help with mental rest and sleep. Just as writers set a routine for writing, they must also set a sleep routine. Adequate sleep helps the mind to focus. That focus can lead to the brainstorming of invigorated thoughts, plans, and goals.


Fear – F.E.A.R. – False Evidence Appearing Real. The acronym describes how our minds fabricate false narratives about how situations will turn out. Writers who are afraid of rejection, frightened of putting their ideas out there, and who fear an onslaught of criticism and judgment by agents, publishers, and readers may be unwittingly preventing the influx of original content.


Make a list of your fears. Seeing them in black and white can sometimes be enlightening. For every fear, come up with a solution. If your fear is a false narrative where you cannot control the outcome, flag it as such and take away its power by making a positive statement about what you do have control over. For instance, we can’t predict how our writing is received but we can strive do to our best and resolve to accept constructive criticism and make changes in the future, if the feedback makes sense. And always remember that your worth as a writer does not diminish because of rejection.


Lack of Inspiration – Writers must always be on the hunt for novel ideas, new twists on old notions or thoughts, fairy tales or fables, the next, best thing. Staring at the same four walls can lead to writing suffocation and lack of inspiration.


Follow the tips from these blog articles to help you gain momentum. The advice transcends the season.

Looking for more? Feng shui, I say. Use this ancient Chinese practice to rearrange your writing space, thereby creating balance within your immediate environment. The new energy generated from changing things up can stimulate the mind and encourage motivation.

Comb the Internet for creativity, something may ignite your imagination and spur your writing in a brilliant direction.

Ask Alexa to play your favorite songs. Songs can often trigger intense emotions and act as a catalyst for inspiration. Don’t have Alexa? Make a new song list on Spotify or Amazon Music. No? Pop in a CD or turn on the good old-fashioned radio.

Walk in nature. A change of scenery can work wonders.

Run on the treadmill or work out. Exercise is a proven way to reduce stress, increase productivity, stimulate creativity, and clear the mind so it can better focus.

Use writing prompts to combat stagnation and induce innovation.

Though it may come and go, remember, writer’s block is not permanent, and you now have some solutions to beat down that big magilla when it sneaks up on you! So, get back to work!


Hi. I'm Liz Ambrico, freelance proofreader and aspiring author. I too am querying agents, editors, and publishers in hopes of becoming a published author.



Wordy is the get-in-the-know hotspot for writers. From grammar to publishing find info, tips, and inspiration to take your WIP (Work In Progress) to the next level.


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I co-founded and managed a successful author and writer group on Long Island for five years. During events with publishers and authors I learned what matters, what agents are looking for, and the benefits and pitfalls of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing.

I've gained a lot of tips and tidings on my writing journey and want to share what I know.

Besides my passion for writing, I'm a fitness enthusiast, and I love coffee, chocolate, and animals. I'm mom to two amazing young men, and I live on Long Island with my husband, four zany cats, and the sweetest dog ever.

Whether you're new to writing, ready to query, or about to submit your manuscript,  welcome, you've come to the right place.

About Me


Alyssa is Wordy's website administrator and tech guru. She holds a degree in Communication and has always enjoyed writing and marketing, both of which are highly useful skills for aspiring authors. 

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