Hughes PR, Public relations

You can lead a man to a computer…but you can’t make him type!

Writer’s block is annoying. And as a junior PR consultant I fear I’ve been more prone to it than my senior colleagues. In fact I had it just a few moments ago when thinking about this post.

I’m sure you too have experienced it at some stage – it is an ongoing problem for writers young and old. There have been movies around it (Stranger than Fiction), there are plenty of tweets to help you avoid it (see @advicetowriters and @bookwritingtips) and if you type it in to Google it returns a search of 2,530,000 websites.

Samantha Cain: writers' block!

Samantha Cain, writers' block sufferer.

Most of the time, overcoming writer’s block is bit like getting all the green lights when you’re running late for work – it’s just not going to happen.  In fact your writer’s block may be coming from deep rooted psychological trauma experienced during your childhood. If this is the case… I can’t help you.

In all other scenarios I’ve found these tips to be the most useful:

  • Go for a walk around the block to clear your mind and start fresh. Perhaps stop for coffee on the way
  • Jot down the main points you want to make and build sentences around them
  • Accept that your first draft will be rubbish and move on. You can resume your perfectionist traits during the  edit process
  • Staring at a blinking curser may be the problem. Try switching to ye olde pen and paper
  • Listen to music…or stop listening to music. Try both.
  • Reward yourself after meeting targets. i.e. ‘After I write 3 paragraphs I can check my Facebook!’
  • Switch between project to avoid getting stuck in a rut

If all else fails perhaps consider these words of wisdom from American poet William Stafford: “There’s no such thing as writer’s block for writers whose standards are low enough.” – Perhaps that’s why I always get stuck 🙂

If symptoms persist seek advice from your doctor. Good luck!

Hughes PR is a communications and public relations consultancy with proven and extensive experience in publicity and media relations, issues management, crisis management, digital media and social media strategy and implementation, community consultation, event management, media training, publications and strategic problem solving. Find out more.


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