Anyone who has to write content for their work will face times when they have writer’s block! I know it happens to me more often than I would like. Learning how to get through writer’s block though can really open doors to you creating great content and let’s face it, there is nothing worse than looking at an empty computer screen or notepad with your keyboard or pen at the ready and nothing seems to happen.
Have you been there?
Too many times I have sat and become frustrated as nothing seems to move. There is a mental block and the ideas arejust not coming to you. Because of this you are easily distracted, your brain starts to wander and you can find yourself doing other things subconsciously.
The last time writer’s block hit me, I decided to look at some other pages and posts on the internet for something to inspire me. Yeah right!! I ended up doing anything but. I ended up on Amazon purchasing a new box set movie I wanted to see. Real productive eh? Before i knew it 3 hours had passed and I achieved nothing. I closed my computer and called it a day.
Not the way to go when you are running a website or blog would you agree?
Do you ever remember when you were at school and after the weekend when you returned to class, now and again the teacher would ask you to write a page or two on what you did over the weekend? You could have had the best weekend but for the life of you, nothing comes when asked to put pen to paper. Yeah I have been there too.
So here, I want to talk to you about the way I work through this writer’s block (yes I learned) and these points will help you too. If you are struggling with this issue please read on and I will make sure you have some good tips and tricks to get you through this annoying phase.
What Is the Cause Of Writer’s Block?
Before you can start to fight your way through writer’s block you first need to know what causes it. Personally in my opinion this comes down to the individual but I have come up with the following as to what could (and normally does) cause this issue.
- You have things on your mind – This of course happens as we all have things going on in our lives outside of working and writing. These instances can lead our minds to wandering (and rightly so) and can cause us to be unproductive.
- You are tired – This is natural and you have to understand that we all have our limits. If you are running a blog or a website for example and have a full time job, children and other activities, this can take it all out of you and when you come to sit and write what you need to write, exhaustion takes over.
- You are thinking more than doing – I often find people do this. They sit and try to imagine what the piece of content will or should look like at the end before they even write their first word. They then try to perfect the content as they muddle through thus leading to a slow working pace. This leads to writer’s block.
- You are worried what others think – Again this is very common and many people really get anxious when it comes to others reading their material. Maybe they feel judged and they try to perfect their work for others to read. This once more leads to writer’s block as they are trying to perfect the material initially as opposed to just writing it out.
- You are just not in the mood – Yes this happens too. When it comes to writing content, you need to be in a relatively good frame of mind. On occasion, you will come to do your work, but you just cannot be bothered and you do not feel like it. Sounds lazy I know, but it does happen.
Damn You Writer’s Block – Let’s Beat This!
When it comes to defeating writer’s block we very often go out looking for solutions. We browse the internet looking for magic steps to get us out of the mud. You know the type, read these 5 steps and you will be saved! Etc. Unfortunately, there are no magic steps as we all suffer with writer’s block for different reasons.
There are things you can do though which may assist you getting through and finding your creativity again. By no means will they all apply to you but some of them will see you get over the worst depending on your character and situation.
Take A Break
This is a really important point and having some time away from writing can help. I want to clarify though, when I say take a break I do not mean have a week off! Some people out there can take it too literally and rather than just taking a break they take the ‘Mickey Bliss’ too.
Have a Walk – Personally, I like to go out and have a long walk with my dog. I walk in the hills and through the woods and I breathe the fresh air. An hour or two away from the computer screen works wonders for me and I come back feeling refreshed.
Do Something You Enjoy – Go in another room and maybe sit and listen to some music. Put something you like on the TV, have a coffee and maybe even take a shower. Do something else for a while which gets you away from the writing environment. Spending an hour or so doing something you like can really change your frame of mind.
Read Something – When I have writer’s block, very often I will go and sit in my armchair and read a book. I love the work of Stephen King and he always takes me on a journey elsewhere with his stories. Escapism is wonderful and you can often come back feeling creative after reading an expert authors words. Try his novels that make up The Dark Tower series and you will get the idea.
Have A Set Routine – I always fix a day off in the week and I do this without fail. Writing every day can become a huge chore and it can be very tiring. When something becomes a burden and you stop enjoying it, you will be far less productive and you even run the risk of throwing the towel in completely. Set days when you have to write your content, maybe 3 or 4 times per week, days when you can undertake other tasks and always have a rest day. Very important.
Gather Initial Ideas
One of the huge mistakes I see people making is attempting to write blind with no ideas and without doing any research. You will find it hugely beneficial if you spend half an hour figuring out what you want to say.
Find the subject of your content, break it up into biteable sizes and have points that you need to get across to your readers.
If you have these so called ‘bullet points’ in front of you then guess what? Yes, you have something to work with. If you have these in place, you can go on and write each section as you need to. Do not overwhelm yourself by attempting to write a full piece of content of over 2000 words all in one go.
Hit it step by step and after you complete each section, stretch your legs, grab a coffee and have a few minutes for yourself.
I always have a template which follows a pattern like this one!
- Introduction – What I am going to be talking about.
- How I am going to help the reader – tell your readers the benefit of reading what you have written.
- Offer an experience if you can – Write as if you are talking to a friend and share your experience on the subject
- The Pros and The Cons – Maybe talk about the good and bad points of your subject
- Offer the help – Tell your readers the steps and/or information to help or guide them!
- Offer a conclusion and any next steps or further reading
With each piece of content, it is only natural that they will follow their own flow. This is an example and it offers something to work with. You will think of others and maybe not need certain ones I have mentioned here.
Bullet points like this will allow you to get started and very often, once that writing begins you will find your flow. Without them, you will struggle and suffer needlessly with writer’s block!
Just Keep Writing – You Are Getting There
Once you have your template or bullet points in place and you begin writing, you will find your flow believe me. The trick here if you can, is to just keep writing. Do not feel the constant need to stop writing to check spelling mistakes or grammar, do not stop to see if you have missed something or you need something else.
Write write and write. Keep going and get all of your thoughts and ideas down. Once done, have a break.
When you come back, then is the time to edit your work. You might look over it and delete whole sections but you will also add sections to make it better. You will fix your grammar and spelling, you will make it presentable to the reader. All of this can be done after the fact. The most important thing here is to get the material written, whether it is good or not. The not so good areas can be addressed later.
To give you an idea of how I do it
This post for example that you are reading took me 1 hour or so to write. I did my research beforehand of approximately 20 minutes. I looked into peoples issues when it comes to writer’s block and I understood what I could share with them to offer my advice.
- I knew what I was going to talk about.
- I told you to read and learn about how to tackle writers block!
- I told you how I have suffered with it and I share your concerns and offered my own experiences
- I offered you ideas for taking a break
- I offered you ideas for gathering information and doing a little research
- I told you about writing until your information is complete, good or not!
- I am going to tell you my overall thoughts!
- I will recommend a program to help you further should you be interested
These are my ideas for this post and like I say, once I had these foundations in place, 1 hour writing and a little more was all that I needed to complete this content.
Do you see how easy I made this for myself? Believe me I have suffered with writer’s block all too often in the past (I still sometimes do) and it is one of the most irritating things when you need to be getting on with writing your content.
Do what I do here and you will find things a lot easier trust me!
Knowing how to combat writer’s block is not a science project. There are reasons that you suffer with it and they will more than likely fit into one of the categories I have mentioned above.
Always remember to pace yourself and take breaks when you need to. If writing is becoming a chore for you, it means you will make mistakes. Remember, make a plan and know when you are going to write, when you can task yourself to other areas and know when you are going to have your day off.
A plan and a little research is all that is needed. Put them into practice, you will see your production levels go up and you will become a better content writer as a result.
My Final Thoughts
For me it is always important to have the correct software as all of my writing is computer and internet based. If you have a platform that it easy and straight forward to work from and allows you to make templates for your construction and flow, this works wonders.
You have to remember too, it is not just a case of getting your content down. It needs to be made presentable, easy to read, engaging and content that people are going to read through from start to finish.
This takes practice and a few lessons. Do it properly and you will have success with your writing abilities.
Come and see where I learned to write my content and build my online business from scratch. Hit the button below for more details and also know that I am here if you have any questions, thoughts or experiences. I would love to hear them all in the comments below and promise I will get back to you.