65 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

In the style of 1001 Ways to Beat the Draft (1966)

Caitlin MacCutcheon, Staff Writer

  1. Don’t feel defeated
  2. Get up and come back to it later
  3. Pray to the writing Gods
  4. Cry a little
  5. Have some hot tea
  6. Listen to Joni Mitchell
  7. Cry some more
  8. Write down your grocery list
  9. Take a walk
  10. Hydrate!
  11. Meditate!
  12. Recalculate! (your creative direction)
  13. Drink some coffee
  14. Write a poem about your writer’s block
  15. Write a poem about writing a poem about writer’s block
  16. Sing a song about writer’s block
  17. Do an interpretive dance that expresses how writer’s block makes you feel
  18. Go see a movie (not about writer’s block)
  19. Stay for another movie
  20. Get kicked out of the movies for bringing in your own food
  21. Call your parents
  22. Call your best friend
  23. Call upon the muse
  24. Light some candles
  25. Accidentally singe your hair while lighting the candles
  26. Light some incense to cover the smell of singed hair
  27. Write down your current thoughts
  28. Write down last night’s dream
  29. Write down your daydream
  30. Read your favorite poem
  31. Reread the prompt/ reevaluate your original intent
  32. Think really hard
  33. Don’t cry when you can’t think of anything
  34. Reread what you’ve written
  35. Rewrite what you’ve written
  36. Rewrite your rewrite
  37. Sigh. A lot.
  38. Take your dog for a walk
  39. Ask your dog for creative direction
  40. Don’t get offended if your dog has none
  41. Wallow in your self-pity
  42. Sit down and try to continue writing
  43. Get up because you forgot to close your door
  44. Sit back down
  45. Stare at what you’ve written
  46. Wink at what you’ve written
  47. Scowl at what you’ve written
  48. Smile at what you’ve written
  49. Write a word
  50. Delete the word
  51. Sigh some more
  52. Try typing it on a typewriter
  53. Write it in colored ink
  54. Speak it into a microphone
  55. See it in your head
  56. Let your mom read what you have so far and see what she thinks
  57. Don’t take her advice if she only pretends to get it
  58. Don’t take her advice if she doesn’t know who Jack Kerouac is
  59. Call up your grandfather and receive a lecture about your future (the only way to get over the trauma that is writer’s block is to further traumatize yourself)
  60. Read what you’ve written aloud
  61. Ask yourself, “where am I going with this?”
  62. Visualize your next step
  63. Take a deep breath
  64. Clear your mind
  65. Just write