Using Art to Break Writer’s Block



Writers block has been giving me quite a hassle over the last couple of weeks. My usual tips and tricks for dealing with writer’s block and getting unstuck with my story haven’t worked well, so I had to come up with a new strategy for breaking the block and working through the problem. What I came up with was a way to use my art in a way that further my writing project.


Most of my art is intuitive or meditative. That means I’m more interested in the process of creating the art and once I learned from doing that than I am in the finished, sellable (or not) piece.

In this case, I had some questions, and the process was about finding the answers to those questions.


This works because it’s an indirect way of coming at the problem.

When you’re creatively blocked, your conscious mind goes into overdrive, but the root of the block is subconscious.


Your subconscious is like a skittish cat.


It won’t come running if you call it and the more direct you are, the less it will have anything to do with you.


But if you find something else to occupy your conscious thoughts for a while, your subconscious will sneak back over and help you out.

So, onto the questions:

Why am I stuck right now? Why am I having such a hard time accessing my MC’s emotions? What do I need to do to move forward with this project?

I jotted them down along with an intention that I wanted to set for this art session.

Then I played around in Photoshop until I had something I liked (the splatters and paint strokes). It took about 10 minutes. After that, I spent some time adding texture and adjusting colors. It probably took a half-hour in total.

The end result was less than stellar, a piece is sort of liked but felt unfinished. I went back to the questions I had originally asked myself and answered them with whatever came to mind.

Sometimes, during an exercise like this, an obvious solution comes up right away. In this case it didn’t.  I kept working on the piece throughout the week, and I found that was slowly able to write through the problem and come up with some ideas over the next few days. I was back at my book by Thursday afternoon with a whole different outlook and the new structure that felt much more workable.


I use Photoshop to do this, but you can do the same thing with just about any kind of art supplies that you have on hand. All it takes is some crayons or markers if that’s what you’ve got handy.

Looking for some more tips about dealing with Writer’s Block:?

Check out this post and this one

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