Monday, January 23, 2012

Guest Blogger: Regina Sunderland Offers 10 Ways to Beat Writer's Block

***Today, The Writer's Block welcomes Regina Sunderland who offers some creative tips for breathing life back into your storyline and getting past the dreaded writer's block. Have some tips of your own? Leave a comment!***

Writer’s block is caused by feeling pressured or overwhelmed. When something stops being fun, the mind sometimes rebels. By shifting focus and doing something you consider either fun or challenging, you can overcome this short-term blockage. I would like to share with you the ten writer’s block breakers that have worked best for me in the past:

1) Have a written debate with yourself!

Take a real pet peeve of yours. Now open a brand new word document or reach for a writing journal, and start systematically arguing the points with yourself. Turn it into a debate trying to sway your mind into the opposite direction and counter it back. Once your mind is engaged (and it will be) you can return to your original project. The creative flow has returned and you have even opened up a new way of thinking in the progress.

2)  Create a writing challenge and share it with other writers!

Create a timed writing challenge or exercise and share it with fellow writers on a forum or writers group. Make sure you do your own challenge as well and share the post. It is also a great way of sharing thoughts and building traffic with and for each other. So it has multiple benefits! I love that!

3)  Get a “word-a-day” calendar and work your way through it!

Part of honing your writing skills is learning new words. The “word- a-day” calendars are great for this. It is also a great writer’s block breaker as well. Gather seven days of words for the week and try to write a story using the words. Make sure the story flows easily and makes sense.

4)  Interview your characters!

Have your main character interview your supporting character and you may just notice that there is a lot more depth to both characters than you ever realized.

5)  Go for a walk!

Sometimes you just need to get away from it all in order to flow again. It is called finding inspiration! Take a notebook and a pen with you just in case it strikes.

6)  Play a puzzle game!

Playing a free puzzle or match-3 game actually helps you unlock the mental doors to your problem-solving mind. As the little pieces slide into place and you see the fun explosions of colors and sounds you’ll grow more relaxed and will be able to pick up your writing where you left off.

7)  Work on a rewrite!

Dig out something you wrote a long time ago (at least 1 year prior) and work on a rewrite from your more experienced perspective. I don’t just mean experience as in writing either, but the life experience you have gained since then as well. It works because you are not forced to come up with a new theme, but it will get you writing.

8)  Left-handed writing!

If you are right-handed, take a piece of paper and a pen. Put the pen into your left hand and start writing the following sentences: “My mind is fully engaged and I have no blockages anywhere! I can overcome anything and I am wide open to the flow of creativity.” Write them a couple of times, put the pen down, and see if this didn’t just unlock your right-brained (creative) thinking.

9)  Put on some music and dance!

Don’t worry, nobody is going to watch. You can do it in your living room and be as silly as you wish to be. Shake those cobwebs out of your body and release the tension in a fun way. I have some of the best ideas come to me when I dance around my house like a little puppet on a string. The joy that bubbles up in you, releases feel good endorphins and the silliness might just give you the needed boost for the story you are stuck on.

10)  Turn off the computer and step away!

If all else has failed, I turn off the computer, walk out of my office, and go into the bedroom with a journal and a pen. Instead of forcing myself to write a story, article or blog, I pour my writing woes out into my journal. Ironically this “whining” session eases me out of the writing block. I get it off my chest, I am writing (ironic isn’t it?), and I feel better.


Regina Sunderland is a 41-year old freelance writer, artisan and life coach. She is the author of several books and magazines which are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Lulu Marketplace. She writes under the Pen Names: Regina Kamrud, Regina Sunderland, Shalamar or Goddess Bella Donna.

Originally Regina is from Germany, but has made her home in the USA since 1988. She is a mother of 3 fully grown children and happily married. She currently resides in Las Vegas, NV where she runs her online businesses. Learn more about Regina's freelance work at

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