Six Tips to Combat Writer’s Block

Written by Fitri Alfia

Edited by Salma Maulani


According to Oxford Languages, writer’s block is the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing. As most writers have experienced, whenever writer’s block comes, it will be a huge obstacle to face. It could ruin the mood and leave the story hanging without knowing how long it will take to overcome it. Some writers might know how to deal with it, but others might still struggle to figure it out. Hence, I am going to tell you my tricks to fight this writer’s block.


Step 1. Leave

Whenever I feel like I am stuck, I leave my writing. Then I forget it for a couple of days. I still remember I left my writing for about two weeks. I reckon this leave as a rest time.

During this time, I suggest you try to improve your mood and find the very first reason why you want to write the story.


Step 2. Outline

Some of you might think that writing the outline of the story is such a hassle and you might also have the confidence to write your story directly. However, it is very crucial to write the outline from the start because it is very helpful to maintain the story on the track and when the writer’s block comes you still know where your story is going. You don’t need to write it in complicated ways, just write the key points of every chapter you wanted to tell. You can take a look on the example below:

Chap 1: beginning/meeting/Prolog

Berry is a lonely Bear, lives in a jungle.

Chap 2: Chara A and Chara B get along together

Berry meets a rabbit named Bunny. They are interested in each other and become friends.

Chap 3: There’s a conflict

One day, Bunny leaves Berry alone without warning.

Chap 4: Climax/resolution

Berry is so angry until he knows that Bunny needs to go to find her little shoe. Bunny apologizes to Berry. Then, they make up.

Chap 5: Conclusion/Ending/Epilog

Berry and Bunny live together in a big jungle. Berry is not a lonely Bear anymore.

The example above is only the outline story of my version, you can make it as easy as possible or modify it to your comfort. I advise you to make a fixed format of the outline which covers up all the required parts.

Step 3. Research, Discuss

Wow, it sounds scientific. There is a saying “listen first before you speak, read first before you write”. The more books we read, the more ideas/plots/vocabularies we got. Therefore, doing research means that to read more various short/long stories from any writer. Try to identify what makes you interested in their story and keep reading it. Try to analyze the character, place and plot. Don’t forget to write it down on your notes.

The goal is to get more insight. Furthermore, we might accidentally get some fresh ideas after reading some books. In my case, it helps me build and modify the plot.

In addition, if you have friends from the same community, you can discuss your story with them. Discuss only the part in doubt. However, do not get discouraged from the critique. You are the writer. You have the absolute right to consider which part needs improvement. Don’t accept all advice and apply them at once. Choose wisely.

Step 4. Set Writing time

You might have other various activities than writing, that’s why managing the time, energy and mood to undergo all of the activities is important. Set your writing time in the most suitable time, energy and mood of yours. You could set it as you wish. It is totally in your hand to make it regularly every day or twice a week.

Personally, I prefer to write twice a day, at 2-4 pm and 8-9 pm. I put it into my schedule and make it regular.

Step 5. Posture and Surrounding

I don’t always write in a sitting position. Sometimes I write while lying down on my bed. Although writing in that posture is not good, I feel comfortable. However, please make sure to not stay in this position for a long time.  It could affect your posture and health if you do it regularly for a long term.

One thing for sure, Find your most comfortable position. You can lean on something whenever you need a break. If necessary, place a small pillow next to you.

Next, pay attention to your surroundings. Choose a comfortable place to write. Don’t forget to consider the noise distraction you might get. Some of us like it noisy when others need to be quieter.

Step 6. Begin to write again

Now, you are ready to start again.

Believe in yourself. You are a great writer who can build up a story from imagination and creativity. Remember that, if you can imagine it, you can write it. You will overcome this writer’s block. Let’s start again with a strong-willingness, strong-headed, and strong-heart.

Be confident in yourself that writer’s block is only a signal for break and rest. It is not to stop you from finishing your story.

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