How to Beat Writer’s Block Every Time

Here’s a clever trick you can use to overcome writer’s block.

In his book Hypnotic Writing, copywriter and author Joe Vitale offers a clever trick for overcoming writer’s block. Vitale suggests you start your document — no matter what type of document — as a letter to a friend.

This is brilliant advice.

You’ve probably noticed that you’re funnier, more articulate and more insightful when you’re around good friends or relatives. When you’re with people who make you feel comfortable, you’re able to relax — and more easily tap into your creative side.

You might also have noticed that when you write an email (even at work to a colleague), if you’re close and comfortable with the person you’re writing to, you seem to come up with great points and insights almost without effort; they just flow through your fingers.

That’s Vitale’s insight. Writing an email or letter to a friend is when you’re likely to do your best writing.

So if you just can’t figure out how to start a status report, department memo, newsletter article, trip report — whatever — a surefire way to get going is to pretend it’s a letter or email to a close friend or colleague. Think of an actual person, address the top of the document — “Hey Damian” — and start writing to your friend. Then watch the insights flow.

Thanks, Mr. Vitale.

About the Author

Robbie Hyman is a professional communications and public affairs writer. He has 15 years’ experience writing for nonprofits, small business and multibillion-dollar international organizations and is available as a freelance writer for federal agencies.

Robbie has written thousands of pages of content, including white papers, speeches, published articles, reports, manuals, newsletters, video scripts, advertisements, technical document and other materials. He is also co-founder of, an online course that teaches smart money habits to teenagers.