Resolving writer's block

Can Fam Physician. 1998 Jan;44:92-7.


Problem being addressed: Writer's block, or a distinctly uncomfortable inability to write, can interfere with professional productivity.

Objective of program: To identify writer's block and to outline suggestions for its early diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

Main components of program: Once the diagnosis has been established, a stepwise approach to care is recommended. Mild blockage can be resolved by evaluating and revising expectations, conducting a task analysis, and giving oneself positive feedback. Moderate blockage can be addressed by creative exercises, such as brainstorming and role-playing. Recalcitrant blockage can be resolved with therapy. Writer's block can be prevented by taking opportunities to write at the beginning of projects, working with a supportive group of people, and cultivating an ongoing interest in writing.

Conclusions: Writer's block is a highly treatable condition. A systematic approach can help to alleviate anxiety, build confidence, and give people the information they need to work productively.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Writing*