Stuck while writing poetry

Stuck while writing poetry

There comes a moment when you – the writer, the poet – will get to a point when you are stuck. Stuck while writing poetry is something that is not new and there are ways to resolve this. In this article, you can find some useful tips to cope with this.

The condition where a writer experience a time, when writing is not possible, is called writer’s block. The ability to create something new or to finish something that’s already been started is slowed down or can even come to a halt.

Writer’s block

Throughout history, writers have been dealing with this. Some could cope better than others. Professionals such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Charles M. Schultz have been dealing with this. But it’s not just the writers. Adele for instance also dealt with writer’s block.

What are the causes?

Well, it’s not that simple. There are many possibilities when it comes to the cause of writer’s block. The most common causes are:

  1. The project is simply too much
  2. There isn’t enough time
  3. Uncertainty
  4. Illness
  5. Lack of inspiration

To much

The realisation that you are way in over your head can be confronting and can take some time to realise this. This cause is more likely to occur when you’re writing a novel. But there’s always the chance that the poem is just too long.


So, you’re on a deadline. Or there is no time in your social life to fit in the writing plans.


Not everyone feels the same way. Not everyone is that confident. Uncertainty can hold you back in so many ways. Writer’s block can be the result.


Yes, it can happen. If you become so ill, that writing is no longer possible. You might want to ask the question if this is a real case of writer’s block.

Lack of inspiration

“The fair prince kissed the princess and they lived happily ever after…”  

Not every piece of writing of a poem has such a happy ending. When you’re writing, you must think about everything. Sometimes it’s hard to find inspiration.

So frustrating!

Yes, it is! The ability to write is wonderful. A few years I was asked to write a short poem. An assignment. I came up with a poem after just a few minutes. I know this is a ‘lucky shot.’ This doesn’t happen. For those who can’t write, it’s frustrating to see how others do it.

Don’t do that! Never compare yourself to others.

Instead of focussing on what not to do, it’s better to take a moment to think about what you can do. There are ways to work around this or to cope with this. Unless you’re ill. That makes it harder to deal with this situation.

So, you can’t write? Then stop trying to. Writing isn’t something like a switch or button. There’s no way you can turn it on or off. If it was, what about those moments when you’re doing something else and a great addition that what you’re writing comes to mind?

When you’re stuck, don’t try, try, try. Compare this with a car being stuck in the mud. If you try to drive forward, the situation doesn’t get better. Going back is an option, but can result in getting more and more stuck. Sometimes it’s just a matter of waiting for someone to help you.

Who should help you? Well, this can be anyone. Someone who just wants to listen to you. When you talk about that frustration of being stuck can help. In other cases, you can ask what they think about what you’ve written. If you’re not comfy to ask someone close to you, don’t worry. The Ministry of Poetic Affairs can proofread for you.

The trouble here is that you may have to overcome your fear. This has to do with your insecurity or uncertainty. A big step, yes. But in the end, if you ask the right person(s) It’s the right step to take.

Put it away

Distance yourself from that what’s bordering you. In this case, it’s your writing project. Put it away for a while.

Putting it away isn’t the same as throwing it away. Don’t do that! You will be sorry later.

Talk with others

Well, you don’t have to share your work with others. You can always talk to others. Let’s say, people who are familiar with writing. There’s a good chance they have been dealing with this too. You’re not the only one.

Talking to others can also mean medical professionals. Let’s say a psychotherapist. No, it’s not like you’re crazy! Don’t think like that.

Give yourself more time

First, you need to find out, if this is a time-issue if there’s a possibility to give yourself more time. Even when you’re on a deadline, you must ask yourself this question. If your life is all about these deadlines, another question should be: Am I okay with that?

Sometimes the deadline issues aren’t your fault. Did you receive the assignment on time? Was it clear enough? Were you able to start right away?

What if nothing helps?

Writer’s block is not bound by time. Unfortunately, but it is. Even with the options mentioned here, there might be a chance you cannot write. Sometimes words don’t flow as natural as you want them to.

If it doesn’t work, don’t stress about this. Yes, easier said than done.

What can help is to read what others have to say. Not just advise such as this, but words of others. Turn to others for inspiration in words. Luckily The Ministry of Poetic Affairs has a filled database with all kinds of poetry. Read what others wrote before you did. But remember, don’t copy those words (that’s plagiarism).


Planning helps you to prevent a writer’s block. Make sure you know what your time schedule or time line is. What can you do to plan your writing activities? Think about those moments when you were able to write. When were those moments?

This does make the writing process a little bit more unnatural, but it can help.

You’re not alone!

Of all the things you need to remember is that you’re not alone! More people struggled and struggle with this. In the end, let’s hope it will come back!

More information

Interested to know more about the service The Ministry of Poetic Affairs for proofreading? Click here for the page with services.

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