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There are times when the writing is as difficult as dragging your thongs out of the mud.

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Writers block is a simplistic name we give to a range of problems that are both psychological and practical.

By identifying your problems specifically, you can apply a solution.


Audio From Kim Wilkins – Writers Block


Writers block is a simplistic name given to a range of problems. Listen as Kim talks about how to identify the issues and create solutions.

Don’t forget to download the audio notes below too (available in PDF format) before you listen to this week’s lesson so you can take notes.



PDF (right click and ‘Save As’): Audio Notes – Lesson 14 – Writers Block

Use this document to help to organise your notes while listening to the audio on ‘Writers block’.


Let’s identify whether your block is psychological or practical and the potential solutions to some common problems.



Lack of time.

o Carve out small areas of time.

o Make a time commitment to write.

o Synchronise time with other writers.

Inadequate physical resources, Lack of space, broken computer.

o These are just excuses. If you have a broken computer, write with a pen and paper, that way you can do it anywhere and transcribe later.

Sitting down and not knowing what to write.

o Be prepared; have scene notes and plot outlines.

o Just write something, the mere act of writing does much to unlock a scene in your mind.

Uncontrollable interruptions.

o Be kind to yourself.

o Don’t turn your back on your project.

o Do what you can.

Social responsibilities to family and friends.

o Plan your writing times and make your loved ones aware that it is vitally important they leave you alone for this 2hrs, 1hr, 30mins etc.



Fear of failure

o You are right to be afraid, but people live through rejection.

Fear of success

o What if I’m a big success and I’m only an amateur? How do I live up to that?

o Happiness doesn’t come from publishing contracts.

o Refocus your energy on the story and the process.

o Don’t worry about what will happen down the track and how that will make you feel.

Lack of belief in your project or yourself.

o This happens from time to time.

o Keep working anyway.

o Learn to trust yourself.

o Give yourself permission to write a shitty first draft.

Expectations of your story are too high.

o Loving your story so much that you can’t bear to wreck it by writing it.

o Commit to writing an ordinary first draft.

Uncontrollable procrastination.

o Set little goals and meet them.

o Ask people to keep you accountable.


Ask yourself this question:

Why might I be feeling this way and what sneaky benefit might this be offering me?

Then start applying some manageable solutions like the above!

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red avatar 5EXERCISE: What Is Your Block?

Sometimes it’s easier to solve someone else’s problems than your own. So let’s manage the range of problems that stop you from writing. Post your own writers block problems on the What’s Your Block Forum. Offer a solution to someone else’s problem so that no problem is left unsolved.


1. Go onto the What’s Your Block Forum and add one psychological and one practical problem that causes writers block for you.

· If someone has already posted a similar problem, think of another.

· Don’t post information that is too personal or makes you uncomfortable.

2. Look at the problems posted by other classmates and generate some solutions for that problem. There may be more than one solution for every problem, but every problem presented must be solved.


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