How To Overcome Writer’s Block
I’ve been staring at my laptop screen for half an hour, getting hypnotized by the blinking cursor and I still can’t come up with a punchy introduction for this article.
If you are a content creator, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Writer’s block. The worst nightmare of a creative facing a tight deadline. If you are a professional, whose job is to produce articles on a regular basis, you probably have your own foolproof tricks (which I would love for you to share in the comment section) to overcome writer’s block, but I think this post might help you expand your toolkit.
If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, however, and your talent lies in other areas, you probably need some help to create exciting content even in the bottommost of writer’s block.
Delay the article
Delaying an article, in my opinion, is not an ideal solution for getting writer’s block out of the way.
For one, it’s rarely an option if you work with deadlines defined by others. Even when you are your own boss, a strict one who wants to keep themselves to the carefully planned content marketing strategy, delaying posts is simply not an option.
And for two, I have also found that when I procrastinate articles, it gets harder to write and the outcome is often not as good as I wanted it to be. I feel that stalling an article because of writer’s block, is really just delaying the block itself.
So why is this mentioned so often then when writing up tips about ‘how to overcome writer’s block’? It sometimes does work. More importantly, if you just cannot get yourself to write up the post, your time is better spent on something else.
Talk about it
In general, it can be useful to do some research before typing up an article, however, I have found that getting too close to a topic can be the cause of writer’s block; If I come across a very similar article to the one I’m planning, I can only recall sentences and very specific ideas from that post and can’t provide original content on the topic.
Picking somebody’s brain about the topic, on the other hand, I find quite fruitful for two reasons.
- You can get completely original ideas that others might not have typed up yet.
- This original idea can be put in to your original writing style.
Then again, this is a toughy, when you work on your own and your stuffed Teddy bear doesn’t feel talkative that day…
Image source: Giphy
As mentioned above, doing some research for an upcoming piece is great, if you can stay a few steps away from the very core of your planned article.
This is one of the reasons why I follow inspiring business blogs, so I can constantly gather information without getting too close to anything I might write about in the near future. I bookmark articles with interesting stats, save posts with great tips, even collect expressions that I would love to use more often.
Twitter is also a great platform to turn to. Follow your favorite authors, bloggers, content creators and learn from them.
This way I have a vast library of random things that inspire me without restricting the flow of my creative thoughts.
A distraction-free office area is important in order to work efficiently, however, as always, it can be overdone. Boring spaces don’t trigger creative thoughts and can result in writer’s block.
Stand up from your desk, open the window to let some fresh air in, go for a walk, fetch a tea, eat a biscuit and when you return, choose another spot or position to work in.
Sometimes even putting your laptop in your lap can help, but you can also turn to or away from the window, sit on the couch or even on the floor. Or a beanbag chair that is impossible to get up from…
Overtake instead of overcome
Ha! I saved the secret weapon for the end, bringing out the big guns now.
The best advice I can give you is to prevent writer’s block from happening. Write your article ahead of time, when you are in the mood for it and your brain is packed full of ideas.
If you are so busy that you can’t squeeze out enough time between your high-priority tasks, at least write up some quick notes, even sentences that you really like or “memory aids” that will help you remind yourself of that great idea you had a while back.
This technique famously worked for The Beatles. ‘Yesterday’, one of The Beatles’ most popular tracks, was famously conceived during a dream that McCartney hurriedly scribbled down upon waking up. With McCartney stating “I have no idea how I wrote that. I just woke up one morning and it was in my head. I didn’t believe it for about two weeks,”.
Finally, I finished it! I’ve consulted my stuffed koala, watched the sunset from the balcony, took a walk around the building, ate two slices of toast bread and sat in three different places.
You are the judge to tell how well I managed to overcome my writer’s block and create something useful for you – let me know in the comments section!
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Anna is an enthusiastic Digital Marketer, who drinks her coffee with cream and trending hashtags. She loves koalas, insightful SaaS podcasts, and creating content that ranks high.
She's also the one, who jumps up and down if you share a post from the 10to8 Business Blog. Connect with her on LinkedIn.
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