Free Write to Combat Writer's Block

As a freelance writer, I constantly need to have ideas flowing. My clients expect me to always be on, rightly so. However, I am always battling with a condition that many writers continue to combat today, writer's block. 

Symptoms of Writer's Block

Sometimes, writer's block feels like superficial insecurity. That's how I know it's all in my head. However, when it lasts a couple days and going from writing one paragraph to five resembles moving 500 lbs. of bricks up a hill, then I wonder whether writer's block is a force beyond my control. 

Neuropyschologist, Ellkhonon Goldberg, said it best in his book, The Executive Brain. "The distinction between the 'diseases of the brain' and 'diseases of the soul' is becoming increasingly blurred." In this analysis, Goldberg claims that writer's block can be an outside force or sometimes it's just in your head.  

Solution to Writer's Block

One solution that I have found to concur the everyday occurrence of writer's block, that insecurity head stuff I mentioned earlier, is free writing. Remember those exercises your short-fiction professors raved about. When they would get you to write 20 minutes on growing up in the wild. What your professor was trying to do was free your mind. Writing can be difficult when you're constantly worried about spelling or grammar errors, or you feel  you aren't expressing an idea clearly enough. Beginning a rough draft in this headspace can be near impossible. When you free write, you begin to chip away at the obstacles that stand between your deadlines and your genius. 

Write about Anything

One way to free write is to not have a topic in mind. Just get out a pad of paper, time yourself for 5-10 minutes and begin. Don't worry about grammar or if you're making up words. Right now, you're just getting your thoughts out on the page. It reminds me of therapy, but without the big check. You may not get any ideas for your project out of this exercise, however, you will make your brain feel lighter and uninhibited. 

Focused Free Writing

If you're running on a tight deadline, focused free writing can be a better solution to cure writer's block. Start with the topic at the top of the page, time yourself and you're off to the races. Don't take more than 10 minutes to do this, after that time the exercise becomes less effective. Once you're done, take a step back and without even trying to hard, you've probably written down at least two new concepts that you can implement into your writing project. If it doesn't work the first time, take a break and start again.

The funny part is, before I started this blog post I had writer's block. Now that it's completed, my mind's free as a bird, for the day at least. 


The Food Marketer is a global, freelance writing service. Services offered are blogging, editing, press release writing, website content writing, social media training and management and email marketing campaign creation. No project is off limits and every challenge is an exciting one.