Overcoming The Dreaded Writer’s Block ~ Shalini P. Sawkar


Maybe something drastic happened in your life such as your dog died, or perhaps something small like you ran out of toothpaste at home, or suddenly developed a craving for some chocolate syrup… You run to the grocery store, and forget all about writing. Perfectly sound reasons that can send you into the dreadful writer’s block and keep you locked up there for days. It has happened to people before you, and it shall happen to people after you.

What is Writer’s Block?

I’d like to think of writer’s block to be like the flu. Can you protect yourself from catching the flu if you wear sweaters and socks in winter? Yes. But, can you guarantee its prevention for the rest of your life? No. Similarly, if you’re a writer you’re prone to fall prey to the writer’s block. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have run out of ideas to write about. It means you feel like you’ve run out of ideas to write about.


You’re afraid you are right. Hence, you don’t want to test your assumption by putting pen to paper, and this can go on for quite some time.

Symptoms may include watching endless hours of Netflix, sudden urges to clean your cupboard, your room, your house, gossiping with an old friend over lunch that might turn into dinner, insomnia, long showers, running on the treadmill for hours and so on… While all those things are essential, it’s not worth cutting into your sacred time: your writing hour. 


Has it been two days since you wrote? A week? A few months? A decade? It doesn’t matter. You can begin to break free of this confinement right away. Now, there’s no set blueprint that you must follow to get out of it. You can design your own creative paths. But, I can tell you some of mine.

•    Take a piece of paper and write down your feelings. What is happening in your life at the moment? How do you feel about it? It doesn’t matter whether your thoughts are positive or negative. Don’t think, just write. 

•    You could also go to the website www.oneword.com and write a few lines on the word of the day within sixty seconds. Another experiment along the ‘don’t-think-just-write’ lines.

•    Take a piece of paper and write about the Netflix series you binge-watched, or your favourite movie.

•    If you still feel stuck, try switching genres when you write: fiction to non-fiction, romance to fantasy, thriller to comedy, and historical fiction to tales on vampires.  

•    If you are working on a particular project and you’re suffering from perfectionism. Then, make some time to write for fun. And the words will start flowing again.

Happy recovery!