If you’re anything like me, when it comes to planning your content, you’re full of beans. Ideas are flying around everywhere, you’re envisioning the blog page in your mind, you’ve probably even found suitable gif’s for each post. At this point in the writing process, all cylinders are firing.
Then, to ruin my flow and shatter my dreams (if only momentarily) enter stage left, writer's block.
If you’ve been lucky enough to somehow dodge writer's block or you’re unsure what it is, here is a definition for a little bit of clarity.
Oxford language defines writer’s block as ‘’the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.’’
No matter what kind of writer you are, I would bet my last pound that you’ve had your own unscheduled meetings with writer’s block a few times.
When you’re in the midst of it, it feels like you’ll never write again. All creative threshold you’ve ever had feels like it’s gone out of the window and blown away with the wind.
Writer’s block sucks. There are no two ways about it. While it does feel unbeatable when you’re encountering it, writer’s block can be beaten. And, in this blog, I’m going to teach you how!
6 ways to beat writer’s block when you’re blogging
At this point, I think that you could say that I’ve made somewhat of a friend out of writer’s block. When it comes, it comes. And when it stays, I’ve figured out a way to expedite its departure. Here are my 6 top ways to get writer’s block off of your back.
1. Take a break!
Although it may sound counter intuitive, there is a reason why taking a break gets the top spot on this list.
When you’re sitting in front of your laptop desperately trying to piece together a sentence or flesh out a piece of writing, you’re already feeling frustrated. I’m sure that I don’t need to tell you that very few people can get work done that they’re proud of when they’re trying to work out of that feeling.
Shut the laptop and take a break. Go make a cuppa, watch something on the TV, have a boogie around your living room, pick up a book. Whatever it is that you have to do, allow yourself to be separated from it for just a moment.
In that space, you give yourself the time to look away and come back to it with a pair of fresh eyes, frustration free. More often than not, you’ll find the inspiration that you’re looking for in your time away from the screen that will beat your writer’s block.
2. Be okay with being bad
Oftentimes, writer’s will experience writer’s block because they’re being too hard on themselves. Is it any surprise that you can’t write when you’re expecting yourself to produce a masterpiece every time that you write? Probably not.
Get comfortable with the knowledge that you’re just not going to write like James Baldwin or Toni Morrison straight out the gate. Be okay with being bad!
One of my favourite techniques is called ‘the sh*tty first draft’. It’s all about understanding that your first draft of anything probably isn’t going to be the best. But, it is a very important part of the process. It allows you to get all of your ideas down on one page and then you can tweak it after.
So, write your sh*tty first draft. Promise that no one other than you will ever see it and start the editing process so that you can get closer to your masterpiece.
3. Find new inspiration
Pretend to be your brain. I mean technically, you are your brain. But play along and humour me for one moment!
You’ve consistently asked your brain to focus on one topic for countless hours at a time, despite your urges or desires to take a break or do something else. The importance and urgency of your writing means that you’re resisting and you’re not letting your brain take the time that it needs.
Of course you have writer’s block. Your brain hasn’t had any new stimulation and is running on fumes. Step away and find some new inspiration!
Personally, I find that reading a book works really well for me. My brain revels in the relief that some new stimuli can provide. And, more often than not, I’ll think of something while I’m reading that crushes my writer’s block.
Inspiration can come in many different forms. If you don’t want to read a book, put on a movie, listen to some music, paint, try to master the moonwalk - Do anything that gets your creative brain inspired and your writer's block will be out of your way in no time.
4. Do what you can
As a writer, do you know what I think one of the greatest things about writing is?
No one knows whether you started in the middle, at the end or half way through the second paragraph. And, no one cares if you do either because by the time they read it, it’s all complete.
Even if you had the most bonkers writing process, all is well so long as the end result is good!
With that in mind, writer’s block can sometimes be beaten by just moving to another paragraph or a different part of the text. You might find that you’re running into walls with one particular train of thought or topic; however, you’ve got loads of ideas about something else.
Don’t allow yourself to feel stuck and defeated just because you can’t nail a certain part of your task today. Move on to something else. Do what you can.
5. Create a routine
It’s quite easy to underestimate the magic of a routine. Getting yourself into one can be tricky. But, when you’ve managed to get it to stick, the results seem to be pretty endless.
WebMD has an article all about the psychological benefits of routines if you want to know more about the magic that routines can provide you with in all areas of your life. You can find that here.
If you’re trying all of the writer’s block remedies and nothing seems to work, try getting yourself into a writing routine. Choose a time that you can consistently sit down and write. Then the most important part, commit to it!
Once you’ve been doing that for a little while, without you doing anything at all, your brain will know that the time to write is coming.
Sooner than you realise, you’ll find that writing will become easier than ever. If all else fails, get yourself into a routine!
Top Ninja Tip: If you find that routines help you to get into the swing of things, content pillars may also be really useful for you.And, if you’re not familiar with content pillars, they are pillars in which you build your content to allow you more clarity when you’re in creation mode. We have a piece about content pillars here to help you on your way.
6. Location, location, location
Sometimes, the new stimuli that your brain is looking for to be able to beat your writer’s block, is a change of scenery.
Moving my working space around the house tends to be one of the first tactics I will try to use if it seems that my writer’s block is here to stay. If you’re not able to move around in the house, nip out to a cafe or a communal working space if you can!
Both how you feel and your environment will have a part to play in your writing abilities. If you’ve been feeling chained to your house because that’s where your laptop is, the frustration is going to seep through to your writing.
Who knows, you might even find a new favourite place to work!
How will you beat your writer's block?
As we’ve established, writer’s block is annoying. When it’s here and seems like it has no plans on leaving, it can feel like you’re never going to be able to write again. But writer’s block doesn’t have to be the end of your writing career. (Even if it does feel like that sometimes).
With this blog, you have your own handy guide of tried and tested remedies that will help you kick writer’s block to the curb. No more procrastinating and self doubt. Only tips and tricks that help you reach your goals.
If you are finding that writing content for your business isn’t going as smoothly as you would hope and you think you could do with a helping hand, get in touch!
We know how tough content writing can be sometimes. A little help never hurt anyone, eh?
Anyway, until next time - Happy writing!