Strategis for Helping Writers When They Get Stuck

People sometimes get stuck in the middle of a piece or not know what to write about in the first place. This is sometimes called “writer’s block,” so what do writers do when they get stuck? Here are some fun strategies to encourage or support writers in your group, either in group meetings or at home.


Dump your thoughts on the page: Write or word process whatever is in your mind. Do not worry if the ideas are coherent or even make any sense. Just keep your pen (or cursor) moving. This is a great way to loosen up and brainstorm possible writing. You might keep just one or two bits and throw the rest away — that’s OK!

Get up and go away from the writing: Take a walk, get a snack, do some calisthenics, drink a cup of tea.

Focus on something other than the writing: Clear your mind. Sit outside and listen to the birds or street sounds. Put on a piece of relaxing music.

Switch channels: Write something different about the topic. Write on a different topic.

Read and reread: Read what you wrote. Ask yourself questions such as, “What do I want to say? What do I want the reader to know? Why am I writing this?” Read what you wrote again, looking for key or favorite phrases or words. Write about why you like them.

Explore the internet: Look for details or facts related to your writing.

Read to a partner: Share your writing with someone you trust and ask what the writing makes them think about.

List your ideas: Make a list of words, or phrases, ideas connected to your writing.

Take a power nap: Give yourself a 5-10 minute power nap (though not during your writing group meeting, of course). Lay down, close your eyes and breath in and out slowly, intentionally, and let you mind rest.

Read for inspiration: Read something enjoyable — an interesting article on the Web, a magazine, or a book you started.