Top 10 Ways to Help with Writer’s Block

  1. Set a block of time aside to write every day. Incorporate writing time into your schedule and make it a habit.
  2. Find a comfortable place to write that will allow you to be most productive.
  3. Protect your writing time by resisting the urge to engage in various forms of distracting activities (for example, checking your email, surfing the web, organizing your workspace and so fourth).
  4. Set appropriate goals for yourself. It is much better to set a small goal and reach it than to set the bar too high and fail.
  5. Periodically, give yourself breaks to recuperate while writing. It is also important to keep a balance between writing and other life obligations.
  6. Start with a part of the paper that interests you the most. This may stimulate your writing and make it easier to continue to the other parts.
  7. While you are writing, try to focus less on editing your paper and more on finishing the assignment.
  8. Write for yourself and resist the urge to think about what others may think about your writing.
  9. Explore what may be holding you back from writing. It might be something deeper like negative self-talk or perfectionism.
  10. If necessary reach out to a colleague, friend, or writing coach for help. 

Additional resources:

  • General Mental Health
  • Boice, Robert. Professors as Writers. New Forums, 1990.
  • Boice, Robert. The New Faculty Member. Jossey-Bassm 1990.
  • Lammott, Ann. Bird by Bird. Pantheon, 1994.
  • Nelson, Victoria. On Writer’s Block. Houghton-Mifflin, 1993.
  • Silvia, P. (2007). How to Write A lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing.
  • Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

The Staff & Faculty Counseling Center can help you learn how to incorporate these elements in your life. For a free and confidential consultation with one of our counselors, please call and schedule an appointment at 310-351-6259.


Campus Human Resources, Staff and Faculty Counseling Center
Phone: (310) 794-0245 | Fax: (310) 794-0251