Writer's block can strike at the worst of times. A vague malaise, a lack of inspiration, desperate inarticulacy, frequent trips to the coffee machine: these are the heralds of an unproductive work day.

1. Fight the causes

While beating the block itself might sound a bit nebulous, there’s nothing confusing about eliminating its causes. Tiredness and stress can play havoc with your ability to think clearly and creatively, so don’t expect big results if you’re not feeling your best.

2. Write like it’s your job

Writing, like anything else, takes preparation and motivation. While words sometimes come easily, if they don’t, you might just have to knuckle down and put the effort in. Often, I get stuck when I know what I’m writing won’t ever be good enough for the final draft. Unfortunately, the only way to get around that is to keep writing, editing, and rewriting until you’re happy.

3. Deadlines work

Even when they’re not strictly enforced, it’s amazing what an artificial deadline or two can do for your productivity. Feeling like you’re in control of your writing schedule, that you’re achieving milestones and making momentum is one of the best ways to beat the block. If you’ve only got an hour to write that article, the words simply have to find a way onto the page.

4. Try something else

For those of us who don’t respond well to deadlines, another handy strategy can be to take a break and work on something else, particularly if it’s not overly demanding. A bit of downtime gives your subconscious a chance to brew up some new ideas, and because you’re still working, you’ll be free of guilt.

5. Don’t give up

The most important advice anyone can give you is not to surrender to the block. Steel your determination, commit to putting pen to paper, and, if you need some extra help, check out our selection of content and copywriting tips. You might find the inspiration you’re looking for.

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Image: Writer's Block II by Drew Coffman is licensed under CC BY 2.0
AuthorAlex Stevenson