Do you sit down to write, only to spend hours staring at a blank screen?

Perhaps you have the odd blog post under your belt, but you’re scared you’ll run out of ideas?

Writer’s block can happen, and it really sucks. But it’s also quite easy to overcome. The trick is to have a system in place that’ll kickstart your brain and get those creative juices flowing.

Here’s how to do it.

1. Stop Stressing Out

Everyone hits a dry spell once in a while. Even professional writers. And that’s perfectly ok.

What isn’t ok is beating yourself up about it. That’s a creativity killer, right there.

If you’re staring at your laptop in a cold sweat, worrying you’ll never come up with anything half decent to write about, stop it. It’s time for a break. Watch some Netflix, go for a walk or do whatever it is you do to take your mind off things.

Sometimes you just need to clear your head, and you’ll be back banging out those paragraphs in no time.

2. Read. Read. Read.

If you’re serious about writing, you need to read. A lot.

Reading is how you increase your vocabulary and knowledge of written language, which will make you a better writer.

And it’s not just reading good books that’ll sharpen your skills, either. Sometimes reading badly written material can be just as valuable.

For one, it’s a great motivator. Most writers could probably point to at least one book or article which made them say “Heck, I could do better than that!”

Besides, how else are you going to learn how not to write?

Books make you smarter!

But reading is also a great source of inspiration.

When you’re stuck for ideas, looking at what others have written can be an excellent starting point. It’ll show you what’s popular and what’s been milked dry. And, who knows? You might even discover an interesting angle that hasn’t been tackled yet.

But don’t just stop there. Read critically and ask yourself all sorts of questions.

Do you agree with what the author said?

What’s your personal experience?

How would you tackle the topic?

Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and your readers.

3. Start a Note-Taking Habit

Ideas are fleeting things. One minute they’re there and the next they’re gone.

A neat trick is to start an idea notebook. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. The basic note taking app on your smartphone is perfectly fine.

The goal here is to make it a habit to write down all of your ideas, no matter how vague or undeveloped, as soon as you get them. That way, you’ll have a record before they’re gone.

Whenever you come across anything that’s relevant to one of your ideas, or which tickles your fancy, write that down too.

Note-taking rules!

Some ideas will remain just that – raw and formless seedlings that’ll never sprout. But others will grow and might even take on a life of their own. Over time, you’ll build a treasure trove of ideas you can dig into whenever you want.

4. Limit Your Options

Sometimes the problem isn’t that you’re short of ideas. It’s that you have too much to say.

Having too many options can be just as bad as not having any. You’ll feel overwhelmed and your brain will shut down.

When this happens, limiting your options is a powerful tool.

If you’re stuck or just don’t know where to start, write a brief outline of what you’re trying to achieve and make a list of points you need to tackle to get there. Then, try to narrow down that list. That’s sure to get you focused.

Use your list as a roadmap for your writing assignment. With a plan in place, it simply becomes a question of filling in the blanks and tying it all together. That’s sure to make a blank page look much less threatening.


Creativity doesn’t just come out of nowhere. It’s a muscle, and, like any other muscle, it needs consistent exercise to stay in shape. Reading as much as you can and taking notes is how you exercise well and often.

But too much exercise is just as bad as no exercise at all. Nip stress in the bud by taking regular breaks. This will keep your mind sharp and working efficiently, which will keep the ideas flowing.

Finally, set yourself up for success by having a plan. After all, you can’t go anywhere unless you know how to get there.

Media Shower writer André Spiteri is well-known for his writing about food, home improvement, and technology. You can follow him on Twitter.

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