Amazing Kids! Magazine

How to Break Through Writer’s Block

By Salma Danuningrat, Writing Tips Editor


Writers block – every writer’s worst nightmare. We sit down with an idea and start writing uncontrollably, not minding about spelling and grammar – just writing. Characters, settings and dialogue appear in our mind faster than we can jot them down and then, just as quickly as it started, our burst of writing comes to an end, leaving us wondering, what happens next?

Writing is like a firecracker – we light the string with an idea, a spark. From that spark, we fuel that idea with writing. We write longer and more detailed, absorbed in our own, imaginary worlds until suddenly, we see the fireworks and then, the smoke – the end of our writing streak – writer’s block. All of us have experienced writer’s block at least once before, so here are a few tips to keep the fireworks blazing a little longer:

Set a timer – For some writers, writing under a time limit – writing under pressure – helps improve the flow of their ideas since they’re forced to come up with something immediately. Set your timer and set a goal for yourself, for example, finishing a page in five minutes. Don’t give yourself a goal and a time that you 100% know you can complete – push yourself. The shorter the time, the faster the ideas come out. Remember that the point of this is not to finish writing something in a certain amount of time; it’s to get your ideas flowing.

Don’t think about revising/editing – When you are recovering from writer’s block, don’t stop and worry about revising or editing. Every idea is crucial for you to put on paper, and if you’re in the middle of changing the spelling of a misspelled word, all your good ideas will fly past you. Your first draft is pure ideas, which means it’s okay to have endless mistakes in spelling and grammar – you’ll have the chance to fix everything in your second draft.

Write everything that comes to your mind – One of the things that causes writer’s block is turning down every single idea that comes to your mind. Maybe it’s because you don’t like it, maybe it’s because it doesn’t fit with the character’s traits but whatever the reason, write it down anyway. It will get you over that one little hurdle that’s keeping you from writing the rest of your story, and even if you aren’t satisfied with what you wrote you can always change it later or use it in another story. Any idea can turn into a great idea, so write them down before they’re gone.

Take a break and think – Take a break from writing and do something that will make you think. Maybe it’s listening to music, drawing or free writing, as long as you’re doing something that is keeping your mind active, it will get your ideas flowing. Do an activity that makes you feel and wonder something. Keep a piece of paper near to jot down ideas that come to you for your writing.

Sleep on it – If you’ve already tried every possible way to break through writer’s block, and you’re still looking at a blank page, it might be best to sleep on it. You’ll have a new confidence and attitude when you wake up the next morning to move along with your story, plus new ideas from any possible dreams or thoughts you had that night.

Every writer has a different way of breaking through writer’s block, so if you’ve tried every tip and way you can possibly think of, and still seem to have a clear notebook, that’s okay! It might be time to take a break for a while, but don’t forget to come back to your writing at least once a day. If you’re ever tempted to quit your story, always remember why you started it in the first place – because every story is worth telling.