Writer’s Block

January 30, 2010  |  Note-Taking

Unfortunately we all know what writer’s block is and how painful it can be but is there a way to overcome it?

First of all, let’s try to define the word to get a feel for it. Writer’s block is a condition in which an author momentarily loses the ability to produce new work. This condition varies widely in intensity, sometimes it lasts for a few seconds/minutes and other times it can last for months.

There are many different ways to overcome writers block, below I will mention some that I find very useful. Remember that, although it may be difficult at the moment to get anything down on paper, if you have patience and keep trying eventually it usually starts to flow.

6 Words That Eliminate Writers Block

What are these six words you ask? Before I reveal them, let me introduce the man who came up with the neat little formula we’re about to learn.

His name was Rudyard Kipling and is regarded as a main innovator in the art of the short story. During his lifetime he wrote this powerful, yet concise poem describing these 6 amazing words:

“I keep six faithful serving men
Who teach me well and true
Their names are What and Where and When
And How and Why and Who.”

If you ever get stuck while writing, always think of those 6 words:

Blue Arrow What: What am I writing about? What will be included? What type of content is relevant and so forth.

Blue Arrow Where: Where does this take place? Where can I collect the information needed and so forth

Blue Arrow When: When does it take place? When will I be finished and so forth…

Blue Arrow How: How did this happen? How can I collect more information on the subject and so forth…

Blue Arrow Why: Why did this happen? Why should I have to do it in this manner, can’t I do it in this matter instead?…

Blue Arrow Who: Who was responsible for this? Who can I talk to in order to get more info and so forth…

Movement is good

What’s really stopping you from writing is usually the movement it self and not so often the lack of ideas. This means that, as long as you keep on moving that pen (or keep on pressing those keys) you won’t (hopefully) face any writers block! For instance, you might start out your story in this manner:

“I had just opened the door when all of a sudden yada yada so I called out in fear yadayda” The yada yada represents the block and instead of just stopping completely you should write yada yada instead. Remember, you’re writing a draft so nothing says it has to be perfect. It’s the end result that matters anyway, right? When you feel that you’re finished, just go back and revise it. It’s as simple as that.

Write With Passion

What I am about to reveal to you is so chocking it could give your English teacher a heart attack! :) Here it goes: You should always (momentarily) FORGET about grammar when starting on a novel/essay and just focus on writing. Write with passion, write with insight, write as if your life depended on it!

Turn Off The Inner Editor!

Have you ever noticed that your writing is the most intense when it comes naturally without any external compulsion? Why is it so? I really don’t know, all that matters is the fact that it works like this and that you should write in this matter.

Yes, grammar are is important but you’re not writing in stone which means that you can always go back later and edit your material. The important thing is; just write and let your passion splash all over your draft.

About the author

ABDERISAK ADAM is an author, blog writer and a PhD candidate in the institution of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology. He is also the owner and webmaster of www.study-habits.com, a website dedicated to the discussion of study techniques in the context of higher education. Adam is the author of a number of publications including 'The Study Guide PRO'. You can connect with him through Google+, Linkedin or by submitting a form.


  1. wow
    this is most passionate article i have ever read.

  2. Thanks, I don’t get that very often.

  3. Thank you so much! This is so useful! :)

  4. Thanks for the article. That’s interesting.

    But have you ever felt like a blank page rather only blocked by something? It’s a terrible feeling. I have this text in my mind for about a year or so. But I simply can’t put it in on the paper. Damn.

    Cheers, mate. Keep the good work.

  5. Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it! :D

  6. Yea I know that feeling, can be agonizing indeed. The difficult thing is to get those first few lines on paper, the rest usually flows along.


  8. Hmmm… write with passion and turn off the inner editor… its like “write with your heart and edit with your head.” :)

  9. Thanks so much! I have this long essay I have to write and have had writer’s block for a while! This helped quite a bit :)

  10. Really Great,Passion do matter a lot and, it shows our originality.

  11. Wow, this article was great! I am currently writing a short story and couldnt think of anything to put on the paper. This just helped me out. Thank you very much! :) :) :)

  12. Glad I could help.

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