Rid Yourself of Writer’s Block!

How do you rid yourself of writer’s block? Personally, I go for a walk off the beaten path with no sounds of traffic or screaming kids. A walk often refreshes my mind and the ideas flow.
I asked a variety of writers, some former students, to answer this question, and I hope they will give you some ideas on how you can rid yourselves of your writer’s block. Unfortunately, we all go through fallow periods, but we hope they don’t persist, particularly if we are on deadline to produce something meaningful.

1) Casey Stephenson: I write novels. When I experience writer’s block, I usually turn to my favorite passages of classic novels like “Jane Eyre” and “The Grapes of Wrath.” These stir my imagination and love of language, and I start writing again.

2) John Bellows: I write essays. I keep index cards with affirmations in my desk drawer. When I have writer’s block, I turn to my batch of them. They tell me such things as, “I can write and publish inspiring work.” This gets me into a positive frame of mind and gets me going again.

3) Jim Bates: I love music, just as much as I love writing short stories. When I have writer’s block, I listen to slow jazz, like Paul Desmond. This soothes me, and really helps me get back on track.

4) Kelsey Black: I write poetry. I often have writer’s block. Gardening helps me relax and gets me out of my writing funk. In winter, when I don’t garden, to get me writing again, I do something mindless like housework. Then, the ideas often start to flow.

5) Shelley Petersen: I write short stories. When I have writer’s block, I often go swimming. This makes me feel like I’m washing myself off and clearing my brain. I feel refreshed and ready to go at it.

6) Phil Katz: I write poetry. When I experience writer’s block, I go to a movie to get my mind off the fact that I have writer’s block. Not focusing on my writer’s block takes the pressure off of me. Afterwards, I feel renewed, and my attempts are usually successful.

7) Jonathan Jameson: I’m writing a biography, the first serious piece of writing I’ve ever done. When I get stuck, I play the piano. Music has always been a part of my life, and it always puts me in a good mood. Then, I feel I can conquer the task.

8) Sue Ann Glisan: I write feature articles for newspapers. When I get down and have writer’s block, I do aerobic exercise. This gets me into a better mood.

9) David Silverman: I’m working on my first novel. When I get writer’s block, which is very often, I take a break to work on my old Ford. I’ve always been mechanical, and this relaxes me. After a couple of hours, I’m ready to go back to “mind” work.

10) Sandy Gifford: I’m a freelance journalist. When I get writer’s block, I turn to wholesome food snacks. They get my mind working again–grains and vegetables. They seem to nourish my brain, and I feel ready to dive into work again.

11) Russell McDonald: I’m a freelance journalist. When I get writer’s block, I clean my home office. If I can’t write, it’s usually because my office is such a mess, and I can’t find papers, books, hand-written notes, and notepads.

12) Anne Grayson: I’m a freelance food writer. When I have writer’s block, I either read cookbooks for ideas or go to the grocery store to look at foods and get the urge to write and eat!

Copyright 2011 by Charlotte Digregorio.

About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. In 2018, I was honored by the Governor of Illinois for my thirty-eight years of accomplishments in the literary arts, and my work to promote and advance the field by educating adults and students alike. I am the author of seven books including: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; Your Original Personal Ad; and my latest, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu by Charlotte Digregorio." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I regularly sign books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores, and do poetry readings at art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. I was recently nominated for two Pushcart Prizes in poetry. I have won fifty-nine poetry awards, writing fourteen poetic forms. My poetry has been translated into eight languages. I do illustrated solo poetry exhibits 365 days a year in libraries, galleries, corporate buildings, hospitals, convention centers, and other venues. My individual poems have been displayed at supermarkets, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I am self-employed as a public relations/marketing consultant, having served a total of 118 clients in 23 states for the past several decades . In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America, and for two years as its Second Vice President.
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