Writers Block - Help
Is writers block grinding you to a halt? You're not alone. Students, executives, even
world-class authors—all who write are fair game.
We're writers and creative professionals who've suffered through and overcome the same
block issues you face. Our goal is to help you break down the barriers that stand between
you and your writing potential.
Beat immediate block with
Writers Block Quick Cures.
In Writers Block Prevention Strategies and
Creativity Secrets, you'll learn
how prolific writers use the latest developments in mind research to avoid block,
supercharge output and increase work quality. Visit
Writers Block Products for books, software and
tools designed to help you find your writing “zone!”
(TO ALL GRAMMAR FANS!
Please note that when you see "writers block" spelled without the apostrophe, we mean
"writer's block." Please forgive us for selling our souls out for SEO.)
Writers Block History
Writers block has plagued humanity since the first words were put to paper—or
stone! The names of many famous authors, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Joseph Mitchell,
Ernest Hemingway, Joseph Conrad and Leo Tolstoy can be found among its documented victims.
Definition of Writers Block
Writers block is a temporary or long-term restriction of thought that can surface during
any stage of the writing process.
- Initial idea: You're unable to start because you have no clue what to write about.
- Concept expansion: You're stuck at a midpoint, unable to build on or integrate ideas.
- Editing: You find it difficult or impossible to refine your work.
Writers block can last for hours, days, weeks, months—even years.
Writers Block Causes
Writers block most often results when environmental influences, psychological fears
and/or an overactive inner critic interfere with your thought process.
- Distractions are everywhere these days as multiple communication devices compete
24/7 for your attention. Frequent interruption invites writers block.
- This endless flow of information imposes a constant demand on the analytical side of
your brain to process it. Most often, this results in the suppression of the brain's
- Not being perfect—Perfectionism is rocket fuel for writers block because it spurs
your internal critic into action.
- Exposure—You fear that your writing will be criticized by anyone who sees it.
The Internal Critic
- Writers block is most often the product of an overactive internal critic. This is the
voice within you that harshly judges and hyper-analyzes your ideas to the point where
decisions are difficult to make and follow through on. Because the internal critic emerges
subtly and gradually, you can be unaware of its presence (or power) even after
full-blown writers block has set in.
How Writers Block Works
- Over-analysis, often an attempt to deal with information overload or the need to be
perfect, brings up the inner critic. This leads to left-brain-biased thought, where critical
analysis monopolizes brain function at the expense of creative thought.
- Stress caused by perfectionism, information overload, or outside influences
(including deadline pressure from work/school projects) can create enough
tension to activate the brain's instinctual “fight or flight” response. When
activated, this mechanism, designed to help our primitive ancestors deal with
life-threatening situations, can suppress the brain's cerebral processing system.
Because these mind states surface gradually, you can be completely unaware of them. This
often leads you to believe that you simply lack ability when writers block sets in.
How to Beat Writers Block
When facing writers block, the first thing to realize is that it's not due to your lack
of writing ability. Again, it's usually a result of outside distractions, inner fears of
failure or, most often, your critical inner voice telling you that your work isn't good
When dealing with current writer's block, the objective is to sidestep fears and distract
your inner critic.
- Designate an area for writing only—free of phone, text or other e-distractions.
- Write quickly with no regard for errors.
- Write as if conversing. Most people find that words flow more easily when speaking
than when writing.
- Take breaks where you can completely separate from the work. These pauses distract your
inner critic and allow your subconscious to process the project. Exercise, walk or take in a
- Read past work or notes—old ideas can stimulate thought.
For many more suggestions, please see
Writers Block Quick Cures /
Writers Block Products
Writers Block Prevention
Thwart future writers block by learning how to prepare your mind for the
- Try to notice if any fears are activating the more instinctual parts of your mind and
- Watch for your inner critic and learn to catch it in the act. During creative idea
sessions, notice if you are hyper-analyzing or blocking ideas. Because your critic's arrival
is usually subtle and not always obvious, this can take practice.
- Check out our Reporter's Matrix worksheet to learn how it can help you stimulate and
- Keep a journal where you can write down feelings and thoughts. Journaling is an
outstanding way to identify fears, define beliefs and generate ideas.
- Learn how the brain (especially the creative side) functions. Most people have
little idea how their minds explore, generate or expand thought.
For more information, please see
Writers Block Prevention /
Writers Block Products.
About Unlock Writers Block
We are writers and creative professionals committed to helping you beat your writers
block. We do this by uncovering the productivity secrets of history's most prolific writers
and highlighting the latest discoveries from brain function research. The site is organized
to help you:
1) Overcome present writers block
2) Prevent future writers block
3) Enhance creativity
4) Discover products to make your writing experiences productive, rewarding and
We are always on the lookout for feedback and suggestions—please contact us…