When The Words Won’t Come

This blog is about the dreaded writer’s block. We all suffer from it. Of course we don’t suffer all at the same time, but we do suffer from it. You’ll be writing and without warning. There. Are. No. More. Words. There are several reasons why you will run out of words like that.

The first is that you are worrying about something else, or someone else. That happens. It can also happen when you are forcing the action in a scene. Your unconscious mind is trying to tell you something here. That’s a clue to the problem. The scene isn’t working so your mind is telling you that by withholding words. This will also happen when you are taking the story in the wrong direction.

Fear not. There are things you can do. When the words slow down or stop coming at all, read what you have written. Try rewriting the scene from another point of view. Check to see who’s in the scene. Do you have a character that’s receded into the background? They are in the scene but not doing or saying anything. Try giving them something to do or say. This may help the scene along. If this doesn’t work, try reading a few scenes up to the problem scene. Sometimes we can veer off the story into a tangent line without even realizing it. It’s possible the scene doesn’t even belong in the story. Have a friend read the story so far. If they ask why that scene was there, that’s a clue that it doesn’t belong. Delete it and the words will flow again.

If the scene does belong in the story, brainstorm ideas for it. Have a character pour a cup of coffee, get a glass of water, or take something out of the fridge, water plants, anything. Sometimes that’s all you need to make a scene work. Ask yourself the five journalism questions about the scene. Who is in the scene? What happens in the scene? When does the scene take place? Where is the action happening? How does the scene advance the story? The answers to those questions can often get the words flowing again.

Another thing to try is to sit and meditate for a few minutes. Let your mind wander off wherever it wants to go. Go out for a walk. Sometimes the body demands attention, like a toddler tugging at its mother’s arm. Deal with the thing your body needs then come back to the writing. The words should flow then.

When all else fails, you can take a day off from writing and do other things. Work on a different project. If you are like me, you have several writing projects in progress. Work on a different one. Sleep on it. Let your unconscious mind have a crack at it. Discuss the issue with friends, relatives, or other writers.

The point here is that writer’s block is a signal that something isn’t quite right. Find out what that something is and your block will go away.


I am not one who is comfortable talking about myself but here goes. I enjoy writing, family history, and reading. I decided to do this blog because I wanted to try something new. I decided to make it a weekly blog because I wasn't sure that I could keep up with a daily one, and monthly seemed like I was writing a magazine. I think I did ok with my choices. You'll notice that there are not a lot of graphics on my site. That's because there are graphics plastered everywhere on the Internet and those sites sometimes take forever to load. This blog is a place where you can kick back, relax and be ready to be amused. At least I hope I willbamuse you. This blog is on a variety of subjects from my ficitional cat agency, the FFL, which is monthly, to instructional blogs to editorials, which are my opinions only. I admit that I don't know everything and could be wrong -- I frequently am. Now, stop reading about me and read what I have to say!

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in General Opinion, Writing Techniques

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 250 other subscribers
© Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den, 2010-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
%d bloggers like this: