AAF Asks: How do you work through creative block?

April Brown

I always try to take a few steps back and really think about to function of whatever it is that I’m making. Form follows function, so that usually helps.

Brittany Klotzbach

Coffee (specifically Starbucks) is my weakness. I often go grab coffee when I need to take my mind off of things. Sometimes I’ll also change what I’m doing and come back to what I’m struggling with at a later time.

Greg Pokriki

I do some word associations. I take walks. I play with a stress ball. I watch this Ira Glass motivational video on creativity. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a creative idea while on my phone, so I try not to do that (Failing often, though). Creativity comes to me in weird places, so I try to visit them.

If it’s long term writer’s block, I read instead. You only become a better writer by writing and reading. If I can’t produce my own work, I should at least be reading others for inspiration and ideas.

Andrew Bevevino

I do a good amount of writing at work, and for anything that’s longer form, I write by hand. It really helps me keep my flow going, whereas if I try to type out longer pieces, I find that I get blocked up and just stare at the computer.

Ally Balcerzak

When writer’s block hits, I go for a walk. Stepping away from your desk for a few minutes can do wonders for the creative process. If I’m still stuck when I get back, I set the piece aside for the next morning and tackle it as soon as I get in. Your brain subconsciously thinks about things even when your mind is focused elsewhere. So even though I haven’t consciously thought about the piece I need to write for 16+ hours, when I sit down at my desk, most of the time I can at least bang out a basic rough draft.

Kyle Rogers

As a writer, especially in a fast-paced environment, it’s not always easy to crank out a polished piece during the 9-5 workday. Sometimes you feel like your tires are stuck in mud and you’re going nowhere. You may need to come back to a project one or two times before you have a creative breakthrough. And that’s okay. Sometimes ideas will pop in my head at unexpected times like when I’m on a run or getting ready in the morning. Manage your time effectively to allow for the stops and gos and your work (and stress level!) will benefit.

Jaime Applegate

I like to do research online to get other ideas or talk to others and get opinions. Collaboration really helps to get the ideas flowing in my opinion. I also try to work on another project if I am really stuck or take a break altogether and come back to it later.

Shannon Silva

Take Pippa for a walk!

Jenna Hutzler

I always go for a walk or exercise when I’m struggling through a project. It helps mentally and physically to step away from screens for a bit. When I focus my attention on something repetitive, like putting one foot in front of the other, my brain stops wandering and allows me to filter my thoughts easier. Sometimes even a simple conversation will suffice. A coworker might offer a different perspective that sparks a new idea and will quickly move you out of a rut.


“You cannot wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.” — Jack London