Trying to Unblock & Prevent Writer’s Block

Hi all! I don’t normally post on Thursdays, and I’m still not posting, but I have a fellow writer, Jakob Barry, who would like to share his ideas on how to blast away writer’s block. Please welcome Jakob!

Jakob BarryJakob Barry writes for He covers various home improvement topics including cleaning estimates and eco-friendly window cleaning services.

I admit it. I’m a writer who occasionally suffers from writer’s block and, as any other writer knows, it’s especially painful when there’s a looming deadline. Every moment that goes by adds to the stress and makes the hole seem deeper and deeper.

However, since most of what I write about is home improvement related I’ve learned a great deal about space and found some ingenuous ways to overcome and even prevent this predicament. For example, consider the following:

Our surroundings: It came to my attention years ago that the state of our workspace can greatly affect how well we produce. This is true for most professions but unlike some trades where working in the center of chaos can be normal, writers generally need some sanity. That’s why whether you work from home or in an office keeping the immediate desk top space immaculate and the surrounding space clutter free is important. Depending on how busy you are it may require hiring a maid for the house work or a cleaning service for the office but, in the end you will breathe better and have an easier time getting over the hump.

Vantage point: It used to be that writers stared at rectangular pieces ofWriter's Block cartoon paper for hours on end. Today it’s a computer screen, but the effect is the same with our eyes getting overworked, causing information traveling back and forth, to and from the brain to get lost in a lot of static. That’s why stimulating the eyes elsewhere can be helpful in trying to stay focused and remain unblocked. Windows are a key ingredient in allowing a person to look past everything that surrounds him into another domain without going far.

Unfortunately, sometimes the view isn’t all it’s cracked up to be or the writer finds himself in, what some would literally call, a writers block: a room without windows. If that’s the case the best thing to do is go outside for a few minutes during a break and try to catch some horizon. Other options are placing mirrors, paintings, and designs on the walls to come to the eye’s rescue.

Positive distractions: Sometimes being distracted from a distraction is a positive tool for getting out of a funk, as being creative in an alternative way may help restart the flow. It may be drawing, playing an instrument, or simply writing about something you don’t usually write about or something you want to write about. I keep a guitar next to me whenever I need to strum a few chords. Either way it can give the mind a chance to feel free enough to enter back into your priorities.

Exercise: Very often getting the heart pumping is a good way to reclaim your focus. Make the time to go for a jog, a bike ride, do yoga, or lift weights. These are all examples of challenging physical activity which are good tools for reviving the spirit.  

Would any of these techniques work for you? What have you found to break through that concrete wall?

Thank you, Jakob!

For more help with Writer’s Block, check out author, Holly Lisle’s selection ofHolly Lisle writer’s courses, one of which is >>>>>>

You know I love hearing from you and anxiously await your comments!

Stay tuned tomorrow for my From the Heart post on tackling another hurdle in Talk to Your Mountain.


12 thoughts on “Trying to Unblock & Prevent Writer’s Block

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  4. Hi Jakob – great tips, thank you for sharing them here at Marcia’s blog! I too find that giving my eyes something other than my screen to look at (a walk or hike or even just a trip to the gym, store or pub for a change of scenery) helps hit the refresh button on my writing mojo. I also agree that exercise helps – I recently started working out again with some reluctance because I didn’t want to give out writing time. But I’ve found that I’m more energized and clear-headed when I DO write, and that makes up for a little sacrifice in terms of time. I also find that stepping away from the piece I was writing when I “got stuck” and writing something else – ANYTHING else – helps remind me that it isn’t my writing that is blocked so much as my thoughts or feelings on the work in progress. That restores my confidence and keeps me going.

  5. Pingback: An Alternate View of Writer’s Block « bardicblogger

  6. Great ideas! My desk is a cluttered mess, but that’s how I like it. I’ve got dragons and castles all over the place and they inspire me. Okay, so not really, but they’re fun to look at.

    Also, I keep an exercise ball in my office so I can switch my desk chair to the ball every now and then to mix it up and help strengthen my core. Works wonders.

    Thanks for the informative post!

    • Hey Tameri, that idea with the ball instead of the chair is one I need to use. My ball sits on top of an armoir where my cat can’t get to it. Need to get it down to strengthen my core!

    • Tameri, Thanks so much! I also admit to keeping a few things around the work/creative space too; some old toys that bring inspiration, other tchotchkes, and some hats for when I’m really bored and out of it.

I love it when you tell me what you think!

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