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Writing Tips - Prevention and Causes of Writers Block

By Edited Oct 9, 2016 2 4

Writers block can affect any writer no matter what their age. It is a fact that most people will suffer from this at some stage of their writing career. There is nothing worse than sitting and staring at a blank computer screen or a blank page and you cannot think of anything to write. Why does this happen?

Here are a few things that can cause it:

Insecurity or Fear

· Putting their words on paper, or hearing unacceptable or bad criticism scares many.

· A student is often scared of what the teacher will think of their work

· Anyone can feel afraid of being laughed, ridiculed or of being a complete failure at writing anything.

Writing and Research

· All writers need to do more research for the subject or topic they wish to write; whether it is an article, fiction or poetry.

· The most important part of any article or story is learning how to start that first paragraph, and this can be very daunting.

· Unable to find the right subject to write about.

· Learn how to construct sentences.

· Punctuation causes problems for many writers of all ages.

Sentence beginnings

Many people tend to use the same beginning lead word over and over again. Yes I am also guilty of that. Why do we do that when let's face it we all have a dictionary why don't we use it more often. Is that too hard or are we being lazy?

Here are a few ideas:

· In the event

· To demonstrate

· However

· Anyone could

· How to

· Although we agree

· Anyone can

· After all

· People can

There are also many other ways of prodding that little brain into action. Here is an idea to try, it works for me when I cannot of think of a new subject to write about. I open my dictionary and poke my finger at a word. No cheating, this is supposed to help prompt your brain remember. I am doing this as I write this article.

My first word is dental; now continue doing this until you have twelve words. Do not look for good letters in the alphabet, just close the book and open it and jab until you are finished. My next word is forage, mastiff, suppose, brig, vaccinate, incline, until, panda, contagious, grand, and reverse. Whew! Not very interesting words, you are so right.

The idea is to make a short story by using each and every one of those words. Or you can start by writing a different sentence for each word.

Now I am in a spot of trouble as I am going to do this without any prior preparation; so let's see, this is supposed to show you what writing is all about.


We sat huddled in the brig watching as the ship forced its way through the storm of waves hitting the bow. It was moving violently up and down at a steep incline, at the same time we were rolling from side to side. The day had started badly, why should they expect it to change? Trouble was contagious the moment the panda was loaded onboard.

The vet was supposed to vaccinate all the animals but because the Captains beloved mastiff had a dental problem everything else took second place. I suppose it wasn't until they had set sail that the mistake was discovered. This made Captain forage through his emergency bag of medical supplies to reverse the situation.

At last the storm settled allowing the grand old sun to shine once more.

Please do not laugh; I know it is not a real story. Although this is just to show you how to create something out of nothing. If ever you think you have writers block try something like this.

I went to a writer's workshop and from the twelve words we were given that night we all wrote a very short story, even though we all used the same words we had so many different stories.

And I actually wrote a romance novel from the same twelve words. How about that? No it was never published.


There is more. This is another way to find words similar words. By using the same words you can achieve other words. The best way to do this is to write one word in the middle of a circle, then branch out with words of different themes, take the word: vaccinate, what other sorts of words can you think of that that word can conjure up in your little-ol-brain?

Vaccinate - Immunize, diseases, medical, nurses, doctors- no they're not the same words although you can associate them together. You can do that with any word by changing the theme.

Romance – you can take on this theme -engagement, marriage, children,

Then again word association could give you these words – gifts, shopping, Valentine's day.

Similar words

Then there are the same words with different meanings:

Panda is an animal, or panda to someone's whim.

Incline is a steep hill, or incline to believe someone.

Go to the shop- he had two cats-it was too far to go.

It did not affect me-the sound effects were incredible.

It was their car- put it over there.

Keep a journal

Always keep a journal or notebook and when you hear an interesting snippet of conversation, write it down. You may see something interesting or think of a new word, sentence or even a new idea. Make sure you write it down because you will never remember it when you arrive home.

You will never ever have to sit in front of that blank screen again, if you try something like this. The only way to really learn is to read how other people do it. Look at the way they start and finish their sentences. Also remember when you are writing that you need to show the reader with color, sense, touch and smell, not tell the story.

Use the five words starting with W, where, when, why, who and what. Now, please do not ever say you have writers block again.



Jan 30, 2010 12:49pm
That's really useful. Yes I use the same words over and over again :) I shall try some of your suggesstions
Jan 30, 2010 8:39pm
We all do it, probably just force of habit or like I said lazy I suppose.
Mar 5, 2010 10:20am
Great article on the causes and preventing writers block.
Jun 11, 2010 11:15am
Thanks, for stopping by jhkersey. I appreciate you comments
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