Over at Goodreads this morning, I wrote about an unconventional treatment for writer’s block. (You can read about that HERE.) If, however, you are reluctant to try underwater sneezing, there are other ways to deal with writer’s block.


1. Move. Step away from the keyboard and do something physical to get your blood pumping. Sweep the floor. Take a short walk. Unroll your yoga mat. Jump on the trampoline with the kids.

Physical activity increases your heart rate, thus pumping oxygen-rich blood to your brain. Even if you are not battling writer’s block, exercise is a great way to beat mid-afternoon screen glaze. Get up and move!

2. Breathe. Deep, focused breathing is something you can do without even leaving your desk. Inhale deeply, all the way down to your navel; hold the breath for several seconds, and then exhale slowly. Repeat for several breaths.

Increased oxygen intake translates into improved brain function. Pause often throughout the day to take a few seconds to breathe deeply.

3. Read. Take a break from what you are working on and read a news article or check in at a favorite blog. (Emily M. Akin provides links to short blog posts for writers on her Facebook page  HERE.)

A word of caution: do not get so sidelined with reading the next article or post that you forget to get back to your own work!

4. Write. Take a break from what you are working on and write something fast, short, and very different. My daughter calls these “writing slams.” Set yourself a short amount of time to write: maybe 5 minutes; maybe only one minute. Choose a topic, then start your timer and GO!

Your speed writing does not have to be good. In fact, the crazier it is, the better. Taking a few minutes to write something very different from your current project helps jar your brain out of a dead end rut.

For a list of writing prompts, check out 365 Creative Writing Prompts, the Creative Writing Prompts at Writer’s Digest, or simply pick a number at CreativeWritingPrompts.com.

5. If all else fails, try sneezing into a sink full of water.

Now, back to work!

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