Writer’s block: Are you stalled or speeding ahead?


You’re spent. You’re out of gas. There is not a single word left in the tank. It’s a challenge that every writer faces at some point. We can call it writer’s block. But smart writers see it as an opportunity to grow and learn the craft.

writer's block

(Flickr: Yves Jusot)

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Writer’s block as an opportunity? Actually, yes. Believe it or not, writer’s block gives us the chance to slow down, reflect and refuel in our writing efforts.

Read: Tranquil or troubled: Keep a steady writing pace

Not convinced? Check out the following advantages of writer’s block:

Writer’s Block

–If something in your writing mind has given way, then it’s possible that your subconscious is putting the brakes on to keep you fresh and on track. It can be easy to veer off course when you are tired or overworked. Trust that mechanism that shuts you down and let your engine cool for a bit.

Read: Dead end writing– how to find your way out

–So, now you’re stranded on the side of the road, right? Not really. This is your chance to get out of the car and look around. Take in the scene around you. Soak up the sights and sounds that have eluded you when your eyes were trained forward. Doing so will afford you a sense of clarity and awareness that may be lacking in your current writing project.

–Still can’t get that engine humming again? It might be time to call in a “mechanic,” a trusted writing colleague or expert who can provide support and ideas for how to get moving again. Networking with fellow scribes is a necessary and helpful process for writers at any place in their journey.

Read: Procrastination tips for well-meaning writers

–As your writing engine begins to sputter and rev back to life, don’t be surprised if new ideas start coming to you. That’s because, while you may have been stalled, your creative wheels were still spinning. They never stopped spinning, really. Give thought to these new little nuggets. They may even send you in a new and vital direction once you are up and running.

–Finally, choose to see writer’s block as only a temporary pause — a rest stop on your incredible writing journey. You needed only to refuel. The world and all of its many possibilities still await you.

Where are you right now? Stalled on the roadside? Or hurtling loose and free on the highway?

Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor at EducatedWriter.com and founder of Breeze Media & Communications. Learn more about her at kerrismabee.com.

Kerri S. Mabee

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