First Aid for Writer’s Block

First Aid for Writer’s Block
April 14, 2017 No Comments » For Authors, Writing Advice Stacy Overby

Inspiration. The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. At least according to Google, this is the definition of inspiration. But, as any author knows, inspiration can be as elusive as finding the truth in a room full of teenagers in trouble. Let me help you out some. Stick with me and we’ll turn ordinary experiences into inspiration.


One of my favorite sources of inspiration is music. For me, it must be music with lyrics. Try it with me. Pick a song, any song. Turn it on, sit back, and close your eyes. Focus on the story the lyrics are telling. Can you see it playing out in your mind? What happens next after the song is over? How about the emotions the song conveys? What were the events leading up to that song? Who are the key figures in the song? Remember, song lyrics are essentially poetry set to music, so each word carries weight in the song.


Now days just Google photographs and you will find thousands upon thousands of images. Pick one and study it. Don’t worry about the facts of the image unless you will use the image somehow in a publication, even just on your website. Then make sure you’re following all applicable copyright laws. Where do you see this image occurring? If there are people in it, who are they? How did they get there? If it’s a landscape, how did the scene come to appear the way it did? What have the objects in the scene witnessed? There’s a reason they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Use that to your advantage in finding inspiration for a story.

[bctt tweet=”Kick #writersblock to the curb with these writing #inspirations.” username=”OurWriteSide”]


Yes. Question everything. One of my favorites is What If? What if human beings did not evolve as the dominant species on the earth? Or what if we colonize space? What if we find a way to stop aging? What if we find a way to never have to sleep? My guess is as you read those questions, you thought about a book that answers that question. I hope more than one came to mind. If you need help, find young children to talk with about anything. My four-year-old son has been a wealth of ideas with his questions about how the world works, why it works certain ways, and why not other ways.

Writing Groups

If you have not already, join a writing group or three. Seeing what others are working on and being part of an atmosphere of creative energy can help get things moving in the inspiration department. And, before I get any protests, you’re not “stealing” from your fellow authors in these groups. You’re interacting and absorbing what they are doing and morphing it into your own. In the wise words of Stanley Kubrick, “Everything has already been done. Every story has been told, every scene has been shot. It’s our job to do it one better.” Now, the definition of better is up to you. I’m not getting into that debate here.


In this information age, we have way more writing prompts than we could ever respond to right at our fingertips. A quick Google search brought up about 17,300,000 websites, and I know many of those websites have more than just one prompt. Even cutting that number in half to adjust for duplicate prompts, we are still talking about nine million websites with writing prompts. Nine million people! Poke around here on Our Write Side and you’ll find a variety of great prompts here. Even if all you do is practice the flash prompts enough to lay claim to writing something for the day, you could discover the seeds of a great story.

Kick Writer’s Block to the Curb

So, the next time you sit staring at the computer screen or blank notebook page, take a look around you. Put on some music. Google random things though this one needs a little caution and restraint or you’ll be sucked into Google-land where Googlites eat all your writing time. Join a writing group or three, again some restraint may be necessary to keep from using this as one more procrastination technique. Find a writing prompt. This is writing what you know and is excellent first aid for writer’s block.

[bctt tweet=”Best first aid for #writersblock? #Writing #prompts! ” username=”dontpanic2011″]


Stacy Overby Stacy Overby is a columnist and graphic designer at Her short stories and poems have been featured in multiple anthologies, online, and in lit journals. Scath Oran is her first solo poetry collection, and her debut full length novel, Tattoos: A Black Ops Novel is coming out soon. She is the program director for an adolescent dual diagnosis treatment program by day and an author by night. Her day job provides inspiration for many of her stories. When not at work or writing, she and her husband are playing with their son, hiking, camping, or involved in other outdoor activities – if it is not too cold. She, along with her social media contacts, can be found at

It's YOUR write side, too! Let's hear it!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: