Every writer knows the story: You’re on an incredibly tight deadline but you cannot move forward on your piece because you have writer’s block. The stress is getting to you, which only makes it worse. Before you know it, you’re in a shame spiral of doom and gloom.
The end of this story depends entirely on you – but like all stories, the only way to get to it is to write your way out.

Here are 5 common writers’ blocks and solutions for getting around them:

Every writer knows the story: You’re on an incredibly tight deadline but you cannot move forward on your piece because you have writer’s block. The stress is getting to you, which only makes it worse. Before you know it, you’re in a shame spiral of doom and gloom.
The end of this story depends entirely on you – but like all stories, the only way to get to it is to write your way out.

Here are 5 common writers’ blocks and solutions for getting around them:

1. You have no ideas

Problem: Staring at a blank screen or paper just will not help; neither will start to write something and then constantly deleting it because it doesn’t work.

Solution: Think outside the screen. Jumpstart your creative juices with a quick walk, some house cleaning, or – when you need to bring in the big guns – a hot shower. Allow your mind to relax; the ideas will follow.

2. You have too many ideas

Problem: You just cannot commit to one idea and have ideas in all sorts of possible directions.

Solution: For the sake of sanity, write down all the ideas on a piece of paper. Review all the ideas and begin to link one or two ideas as concepts. Start writing and allow the flow to create a logical conclusion. Any ideas that did not make it to this particular piece can be integrated into another piece of prose at a later date!

3. You’re paralyzed with perfectionism

Problem: While we all strive for perfection, perfectionism creates paralysis and self-doubt that leads to creative blocks.

Solution: Get messy. Give yourself free reign to write and save the self-criticism for the editing phase. Journaling every day is a great way to get comfortable with messiness and knock the debris out of your mind.

4. You are stuck in the middle

Problem: You’re stuck at one point and you can’t move forward.

Solution: Consider going slightly off-target or restructuring your piece. Sometimes a midway block indicates that you’re getting to the true meat of your work – ask yourself if you’ve buried the lede, or harken back to your thesis statement. This is another good opportunity to take a break and shake the cobwebs loose before trying again.

5. You can’t find the right words

Problem: You know what you want to say, but you can’t find the right words to deliver your message. This could be due to space constraints, style guidelines or just pure writerly intuition.

Solution: First write down the idea or thought then work on getting the right words. Break out the thesaurus too. It is easier to have the idea right in front of you and then craft the perfect sentence.