Writer’s Block: Some Advice & Antidotes

Ronald E. Yates is an author of award-winning historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and highly-acclaimed Finding Billy Battles trilogy.

Anybody who writes, whether amateur or professional, at one time or another, will suffer from the dreaded condition known as WRITER’S BLOCK. It is an unavoidable component of the writing life.

Many writers have devised distinctive remedies for this constipation of the brain. They range from running as far away as possible their computers (or typewriter, if you still use one of those) to altering their schedules, so they write at a different time.  image

My remedy has always been to plow ahead through the impenetrable miasma and continue writing even if what emerges from my shattered brain is gibberish. I have found that even among the horse apples I produce there is occasionally a gem or two. But most of all the effort to keep moving, as it were, allows me to avoid total catatonia.

That approach may be because I spent most of my writing life as a journalist and editors simply don’t believe in writer’s block. They believe in deadlines, and they are anal about reporters meeting them. Excuses about a lost muse or a lack of creative juices won’t cut it—at least not in any of the newsrooms I ever toiled in.  If my brute force remedy fails to break the curse of writer’s block, then my next antidote is to read. I always have several books in various stages of scrutiny, and I have found that reading unblocks whatever is producing my cerebral constipation.

Many writers suffering from writer’s block say they take their minds completely off of writing and replace it with something else. They may travel and experience the real world and thereby escape their exhausted imaginations. They may binge watch a bunch of movies, have dinner with friends or family and listen to what others are doing, thinking, and feeling. Or they