Thoughts on Writer’s Block | John Auckland

About the Author

John has worked in London for several years as a copywriter and now helps to run the boutique copy writing agency, Thread Writers. Yet, after all the writing he has done for businesses in the capital, John always dreamed of crafting new Universes in his readers’ minds.

And so John’s first book was born, The Adventures of Nana Barb; a quirky and intriguing satirical science-fiction novel.

John lives in Reading, Berkshire, with his incredibly patient and tenacious partner, Hayley, who supports him while he creates and destroys new dimensions with the tapping of computer keys.

Check out his website and his Facebook page. You can also check him out on Twitter.

John’s thoughts on writer’s block: 

Writer’s block is infuriating for anyone trying to write. Some people will have their own methods that work well for them. However, if you’ve run into writer’s block and need some ideas how to get ‘un-blocked’, then here are some methods I have found useful…

1. Take a walk. Writing, even for technical work, is a very creative process – mainly a function of the unconscious mind. If you are stuck behind your desk for most of the day it is likely that these unconscious creative juices will dry up a little. Taking a walk can stimulate your unconscious with colour, sound, smells, sensations of all kind. This can often help warm up your brain and stimulate your unconscious mind into creative action.

2. Brain exercise. Writing also requires something particularly difficult of the brain: left-right lobe information exchange. The logical and creative processes must work together to distil exactly what you want to say in the most natural way possible. This occurs through a very small area of the brain known as the corpus callosum. In order to get your corpus callosum working to speed you need to wake it up. There are a number of techniques to achieve this, here are two:

3. Eye movements. Peering into each of the 8 sections of your visual area (top-right/left, middle-right/left, bottom right/left, top and bottom) for 10 seconds each wakes up different areas of your brain and gets the synapses firing. This can help brain communication by linking up areas such as visual and auditory memory with their creative counterparts as well as helping you reflect on your emotional state.

4. Crossover exercise. Get the two sides of your brain talking with this simple exercise. Simply stand up with your arms outstretched, lift one knee up and touch it with the opposite hand – right knee to left hand, left knee to right hand. Keep that going for a couple of minutes. This has the added benefit of increasing your blood flow thus increasing the oxygen to your brain.

5. Music. As most writers will be aware, writing requires a certain rhythm in order to flow naturally. Once you lose this rhythm the flow becomes broken and your thinking/writing staggered and difficult. Music with few or no vocals (these are usually distracting) can help restore your natural rhythm and allow your writing to flow much more naturally.

6. Procrastinate online. I know what you’re thinking: “Procrastination never helps anyone get anything done!” I disagree. I find that by spending some time looking at news articles, pictures, status updates, wikipedia, and anything else that catches my eye, I come up with new ideas and connections. This goes back to the theory that most of writing is unconscious. You need to feed your unconscious mind for it to make the connections and produce the new ideas that your writing relies upon.

7. Tea. Tea solves pretty much everything. It’s warm and tasty, is slightly caffeinated, and just the simple task of making it can sometimes provide the break you need to refresh your head. (Sarah’s note: Tea does solve EVERYTHING!)

Using these techniques certainly helped me with my own book (shameless plug alert) – The Adventures of Nana Barb, Book 1: Lost in Time, available from all good bookshops and online at Amazon ( for paperback and for kindle)



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