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10 Tips on Overcoming Writer’s Block

Video Production In London

writer's block

So you’re working nicely on a script, and then writer’s block comes along and halts your progress. What can you do to overcome writer’s block? Let’s discuss some of our top tips.


What is writer’s block?

Writer’s block is “the condition of being unable to create a piece of written work because something in your mind prevents you from doing it”. If you’re reading this post then you probably already new that.

What causes writer’s block?

In the 70s two clinical psycologists named Jerome Singer and Michael Barios led a study to find out the origins of writer’s block. They decided on four main causes:

1. Excessively harsh self-criticism

2. Comparison to other writers

3. Lack of external motivation, like attention, praise, and deadlines

4. Lack of internal motivation, like the desire to tell one’s story

So, let’s get into some tips that will help you out of writer’s block and into your journey towards your best work.

1. Relax on your first draft

If time is on your side and you’re starting a first draft, then relax. Allow yourself to use imperfect words. You know the feeling when a word is on the tip of your tongue but you just can’t find it? Use the words that do come to mind and worry about perfecting it in your next draft. You may even find that the simplest phrasing is what works best to avoid your writer’s block.

Free-writing is also a useful technique for a first draft. Freewriting involves writing without stopping for 5 or 10 minutes. Whilst free-writing you don’t need to worry about editing mistakes but it allows for ideas to flow onto the page and a lot of people find the technique very helpful!

2. Work on something else

When stuck on one writing project, sometimes it can be helpful to take some time to Write something completely different. For example, if you’re writing a comedy then try writing a drama. By changing pace you can open up your mind and find unexpected new ideas.

3. Do something mindless

Another way to clear your mind from the clutter that screenwriting can become, is doing something completely separate from writing. Washing dishes, taking a shower, mowing the lawn, vacuuming, and running are just some examples. Doing something to get out of your mind will separate you from your work and free up some space in your mind. This will help you to approach your work in a different way when you return to it.

This can also work if you do something new and uncomfortable, like volunteering, or a new sport. If you’re suffering from writer’s block you may be too close to your work, so do something else!

4. Develop a routine

It’s no secret that practicing something every day will make it easier. Do this with your writing. Develop a daily routine and stick to it, then break out of it sometimes to allow for creativity. For example, if you normally work on our writing in the morning, try writing late at night. Or if you normally work at your kitchen table, try working outside.

5. For those with a tight deadline…

The tips so far have been aimed towards those with time on their hands. If that isn’t you then a clear mind and plan will help you. Go back to the beginning and re-outline your story. Connect the dots of your main plot points, how A leads to B, B leads to C and so on. Having a clear basic plan with free up space in your mind and make writing easier.

6. Switch your tool

If you’ve been working on your computer, then it could be beneficial to take some time away from the screen and sketch out your next steps on paper. Switching your writing tool can create a more visual writing process and spark creativity. Another effective visual technique is to brainstorm or draw your ideas.

7. Listen to music

New music, old music, your favourite music, music you hate. Music is a fantastic tool for gaining inspiration. Use the lyrics, or the rhythm or the tone and get inspired. Another helpful technique is to create a playlist that matches with the atmosphere of the script you’re writing. For example, upbeat love songs could help with a rom-com, and more intense ambient music could help with a gripping drama.

8. Read the news

Inspiration is all around us, but the news is particularly good material at the moment. Use it to your advantage and take some inspiration from world events.

9. Write from a different point of view

If you are writing a story with multiple different characters, something that can help when you get stuck is imagine their different perspectives on the situation and choose where to go next on how you truly believe they would act.

10. Reason with your inner critic

At the beginning of this article we discussed the main causes of writer’s block. Your inner critic is one of them. Reason with it and don’t allow your own unfounded criticism to get in the way of your work.

Those are our top tips for combatting writer’s block, let us know if they were helpful! And if you need any help with your next story then get in contact.

Nostairway is a video production company in London, we can help you with all aspects of the video production process.

If you found this article helpful or interesting, check out our other blogs analysing the stages of video production and London videography, such as:

The 3 Stages of Music Video Production in London

The 5 Stages of Video Post Production

3 Stages of Creative Video Production

5 Stages of Corporate Video Production

writers block