Bahr: How to get rid of writer’s block


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Columnist Connor Bahr believes writer’s block is one of the worst things a writer can endure. Bahr writes about many ways to relieve writer’s block, and argues the solution differs from writer to writer.

Connor Bahr

I’ll admit it. I have no idea what to write about. I sit here, watching the small line that represents my cursor blink, yet my mind remains blank. As time continues moving, I feel as though I have remained in one spot, unable to think. 

The term, “writer’s block” was coined when a poet from England described it as “Indefinite, Indescribable terror.”

The French picked this term up and, in fashion, formed it to mean that the tortured writer can not write without terror and pain. There are many types of writer’s block. Not being able to come up with a workable idea is the most common kind.

Writer’s block can strike a poor soul at any point in their writing. You could have an idea outlined, but can’t figure one part of it out or maybe you are through the first half, but can’t come to terms with the rest of the plot. Maybe you are almost to the end and come to the realization that what you have been writing really isn’t that good, yet you can’t find a way to fix it. Finally, you could be completely done with your work, but you are petrified about what people might think of it, so you bury it. 

Luckily, a quick search through Google shows that a large number of self-help blogs have come up with answers to writer’s block. According to those blogs, the main way to cure writer’s block is to simply try writing anything. Ironically, that is exactly what this column is. Wiki-how (and its wonderfully helpful pictures) says to make time for your writing and come up with it bit by bit. One Quora user says the best way to get going is to write on a piece of paper to minimize distractions. 

However, I don’t think that there is a single way to get rid of writer’s block. I think writer’s block is a unique situation where everyone’s problem is different and so are their solutions. Perhaps the best way for someone to get over their writer’s block is to go outside and have a break, while someone else doing this is only going to get distracted and waste time. For me, personally, I think a nice mix of scrolling through Twitter for a few minutes and typing about anything usually can shake a few bright ideas onto the page.

Writer’s block is one of the worst things that can happen to a writer. It is infinitely frustrating to be sitting at a computer, deciding you are going to write, and not having any words to put on the screen. But it is a problem that every writer is going to have to deal with, and while there are infinite ways to get rid of it, each person is going to have to find the way that works best for them.