Writer's Block — What Causes It & How to Cure It

Writer's block: a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece.

Writer's block. We’ve all been there. The hardest part of having this intrusive and debilitating plague in our lives is that it prevents the ability for solid ideas to develop. Some days you might have a handful of topics ready to dive into at the drop of a hat and other days you might question how you can even consider yourself a writer in the first place.

Unfortunately, writer's block doesn’t just start and end with the initial topic. Writer's block can get in the way of a perfect pitch because the writer is unsure of what to begin with. The lead might still be developing, the angle isn’t fitting in with the original narrative or the motivation just isn’t there because, lets face it, we can all be a little lackadaisical sometimes.

Whatever the cause for your writer's block is, there’s certainly a cure. Check out some of the tactics that could rid you of the inevitable disease.

Read, Read, Read

Reading makes the brain smarter and gets the creative juices flowing. Pick up a book that interests you and if you’re an aspiring journalist, I highly recommend reading books or essays written by professional journalists. You’d be surprised at how many ideas can come to fruition while you’re reading up on a topic that already appeals to you.

Jot Down Ideas

Have you ever had a random thought pop into your head? Of course you have. Now take those random thoughts and write them down, either on a notepad or in your phone. Refer back to them later on and try and translate them into potential headlines or pitches. It’s important to jot down these fleeting thoughts because you might not expect them to come up and you could essentially forget them later on. Once you’ve got them written down, you can revisit them and further elaborate on the direction you’d like to take those ideas in.

Attend Workshops

Got the idea down but can’t seem to come to terms with the piece itself? Most college campuses have writing workshops, whether they be for resumes, cover letters, or actual articles. Regardless of the writing format, attending any kind of creative or writing workshop is a fun way to both try something new and receive critical feedback on your work.

Writing Exercises

Get into the habit of writing whenever and wherever. On long train commutes to an internship or while relaxing outside, pull open your laptop or have a notepad readily available and get to writing. Write down what you see, who you see and where you’re headed. Get creative with it! The best way to improve your writing and exercise your brain is to continuously do it, even when you don’t feel like it. Even a quick internet search for writing prompts will do the trick.