Brain Constipation
By Jennifer Rainey

No one likes talking about constipation.

But we’re all adults here, right? We can talk about constipation of the brain for a while, right? We all know what it’s like. You hop in front of the keyboard or notebook, ready to write, and just as you go in for the kill… nothing. You slam right into a wall, and you couldn’t squeeze out a single word if you tried. We all have different ways of trying to conquer the beast (and unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a laxative designed for the issue), and today, I’ll be sharing a few of my favorite methods.

Of course, you can walk away from the project for a while. If your brain isn’t feeling the whole writing thing, then there’s no reason to try to force it into it. The words that come out are probably not going to be too great if you forced them into existence, anyway. So, go for a walk, watch your favorite TV show, wash the dog, organize your stamp collection, do anything that doesn’t involve writing, and come back later with a clear head.

Or maybe you just have to write something or you’ll go mad(der than you already are)! In that case, try writing another scene, not the one that’s giving you trouble. Sometimes that nasty wall in your brain just needs to be pushed over from a different direction.

But my personal favorite way to conquer writer’s block makes you look insane: talking to yourself. Look at what you’ve written prior to getting stuck. Get the scene solid in your brain. Next, grab a digital recorder or visit to record yourself.

Now get talking. Say anything relating to the scene that comes to mind. Speak through dialogue, describe the setting, anything! Don’t worry about sounding poetic or creating a masterpiece or anything; no one’s going to judge you based on how good your rambling sounds, and this is just a way to get ideas going. I tend to even have specific voices I use for specific characters if I’m speaking through dialogue (makes me sound really nuts, but that’s okay, because the results are great!).

If you can’t record yourself, that’s okay. Sometimes I even do this in the car if I’m stuck on a scene, scribbling down anything I think sounds good enough to use (at stop lights, of course). Sometimes the best thing you can do is get your ideas out of your head and in the open, and this is the perfect way to do it.

It’s not always easy getting rid of constipation of the brain, but if you just use the right techniques, you’ll be writing regular again in no time!


About the Author: Jennifer Rainey was raised by wolves who later sold her to gypsies. She then joined the circus at the age of ten. There, she was the flower girl in the famed Bearded Bride of Beverly Hills show until the act was discontinued (it was discovered that the bearded lady was actually a man). From there, she wandered around the country selling novelty trucker hats with vaguely amusing sayings printed on front. Somehow, she made enough money to go to The Ohio State University for a major in English.

She is the author of These Hellish Happenings and can be found at

Done with Brain Constipation? Go back to Guest Posts. 

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Written by Bryan Cohen

Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on and Facebook.
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