Writer’s Block: 4 Tips to Overcome It and Write Your Life Story

How to overcome writer's block while writing your life story

Writer’s Block 

It happens to everyone, even when you’re writing about a topic that you know better than nearly anyone–your life story. But since writer’s block occurs, plenty of tips and tricks exist to help you overcome those barriers. Below are 4 of our favorite ways to overcome writer’s block. We love these tips so much for a specific reason: they work.

1. Determine what’s holding you back.

Is it your schedule? (See tip #2) Do you need help with ideas? Feeling unorganized? All of the above? You must understand where these feelings come from to treat writer’s block. Once you diagnose the underlying problem, you can apply the right cure. 

2. Establish a writing rhythm.

Have you been away from your writing desk for a while? Or maybe your writing schedule is less regular than it used to be. Whatever the reason, set a writing schedule, whether it’s day-to-day or week-to-week. Set a realistic and achievable schedule because if you set unrealistic goals, you’ll be overwhelmed before you even start. Beating writer’s block means making writing exciting and enjoyable, so make sure your writing schedule is something you can realistically work into your life. 

3. Take a hike.

Literally. Go for a walk. Get some fresh air and step away from your writing. Leaving your workspace may seem counterintuitive, but research shows that even ten minutes of physical activity can increase mental performance. Boosting brainpower through physical movement will help you break through writer’s block. Don’t worry if you can’t get outside or do “structured” exercise; any movement is good movement. In fact, when I’m in a writer’s rut, sometimes I’ll break out the vacuum. There’s something cathartic about pushing that heavy machine and instantly seeing results from a few minutes of effort in the form of a clean floor and a canister full of dust bunnies. Just be careful not to use movement as an excuse not to write: give yourself a time limit and stick to it. 

4. Re-read, revise and edit existing material.

Go back to stories you’ve already written and read them with a critical eye. Meaning: Pretend you’re unfamiliar with the story. Does the story make sense? Are there areas for improvement? Is the story interesting? You may also find sections that should move to other parts of your book. 

Bonus tip: Consult the DIYBook prompt library!

Our prompts are designed to get you on the path to writing success having to worry about writer’s block. And with 100s of prompts, there’s bound to be one that sparks your writing flame. (Available to members only.)

Author Barabara Basbanes Richter, Founder of DIYBook
About the Author

Barbara Basbanes Richter founded DIYBook, an affordable and easy-to-use book writing program. She also founded In Ink Ghostwriting, a full-service ghostwriting firm helping politicians, pundits, scientists, CEOs, professional athletes, and others get their stories into print.

Under her own byline, Barbara’s writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Daily News, The Vineyard Gazette, Humanities, The Sewanee Review, Fine Books & Collections, Literary Features Syndicate, High Country News, Ravishly.com, Westchester Magazine, and other outlets.

Barbara is a fluent French speaker, and her translation from French to English of Mademoiselle de Malepeire was called a “clever, inspiring gem.”

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