unblocking writers block

By J.A. Cox

Have you ever wondered why writers block is such a difficulty to get past?

I will tell you the reason—you can’t write what you can’t see.

It sounds quite simple right?

In other words, the real secret to unblocking writers block is remembering the writers’ most powerful asset that allows them to unlock their imagination and in turn do the same for their readers. That amazing asset is visualization.

Of course, if you are an artist you already know that, but that is also why it is such a problem. It does not lie in the knowing but in the lack of providing that visualization with the necessary fuel to unleash its full potential.

So how would I suggest you doing this?

In my book, Mastering Your Scenes, I talk about the importance of sketching to aide in your visualization of the scenes you are trying to build.

Here are some very helpful ways to prime the pump of visualization and permanently kiss writers block goodbye when it comes to building your scenes.

Unblocking Writers Block – Visualization

  1. Get out to a location that is similar to the one you have in mind for your scene and take pictures with a phone or camera or just bring some paper and begin to write down or draw out what you see.
  2. Surf the Internet and find pictures of similar locations.
  3. Find someone that you know that is knowledgeable about a similar location and pick their brains, taking lots of notes.
  4. Instead of drawing anything, use a picture from the Internet with naturally occurring things such as rocks, sticks, buildings and etc. as a base or template. Once you have accomplished this, just alter the rest in your mind and remove what is not necessary. Begin to reshape it in your drafting to meet your own needs.
  5. I’m sure you can probably think of some other ways of priming that pump of visualization and no matter what way that is, as long as you realize that sometimes it is necessary to do so. If you do not, you will find yourself discouraged and frustrated that you cannot clearly see what happens in your scene, or at the worst, end up writing out a scene that doesn’t feel very real to you or your reader, even if it has a lot going on.

The fundamental point is that the more realistic your scene becomes to you, the more realistic you will be able to make it to your readers.

However, this is impossible without a strong sense of visualization. Visualization will not do you much good without it being nourished with some of the things we have mentioned above so that your creative juices begin to fully awaken.

Then you will be left with the wonderful problem of trying to shut down an overactive imagination that will not stop flooding you with ideas. That is a very good problem for any writer (except when it is bedtime).

Give this a try next time you get stuck and let me know in the comments how this has helped you breakthrough your writers block. Also, check out Mastering Your Scenes to get a whole lot more on how to put that fiendish writers block into a time looping vortex from which it will never be able to return!

Follow J.A. Cox

J. A. Cox is a husband, father and disabled veteran. He enjoys entertaining with fiction based on the concept that fact is stranger than fiction and then stretching it just a tad to create some memorable page-turning moments that you will likely recall for some time to come.





Write with J.A. Cox and the other members of the Writers’ Mastermind live on Zoom! Learn more.