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  • Writer's pictureDonna Carbone

Writer’s Block: Is it real?

Is writer’s block a real phenomenon? Or is it a story you tell yourself when you aren’t writing?

In this episode, we’ll discuss our thoughts and experiences surrounding writer’s block, what others say, and provide you with some tips to keep the words flowing.

According the the New York Times article “How to Beat Writer’s Block,” by Maria Konnikova,

psychologists deem it a real phenomenon. The term was introduced in the 1940s by a psychiatrist named Edmund Bergler who claims writers are blocked psychologically and need therapy to become unblocked. In the 1970s, two Yale professors Jerome Singer and Michael Barrios did a study that showed anxiety, depression, perfectionism, OCD, and self-doubt were the result of blocks to writing.

Not all blocked writers fit into these categories, however.

What are some characteristics of Writer’s Block?

  • feeling unmotivated

  • feeling uninspired

  • staring at a blank page

  • lack of ideas

  • writing below one’s standards

What are some tips to combat Writer’s Block?

  • determine the cause if you can

  • establish a writing routine and stick to it

  • word sprints

  • join the NaNoWriMo challenge

  • assess how you’ve prepared/outlined a work

    • it may simply lack planning or be too rigid of a plan

  • write through the crap & come back to it later to make it shine

  • refrain from ending a writing session at the end of a scene or chapter

    • instead, stop in the middle when you already know where the scene is headed

  • work with writing prompts to get the juices flowing

  • brainstorm with a writing group or critique partner

  • write in a different locale

  • work on a new project

  • journal

  • take a writing break (go for a walk, shop, meet a friend for coffee…)

  • work with a book coach


Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg

Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper, Sark

Write for Your Life, Anna Quindlen


Make a list of what you could do IF you encounter writer’s block. What are the fixes you will try?

Join us for our next episode: Reviews: How to get them, when to listen to them and how to let go?

Hope Gibbs, author of Where the Grass Grows Blue

Donna Norman-Carbone, author of All That is Sacred

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