Let's talk about ways to get writing.
The words have dried up and you’ve reached a dead end. You have a case of writer’s block, a widespread ailment that can affect anyone, even the best and most productive writers out there.
You keep staring blankly, hoping for inspiration. But it never comes. It’s frustrating...
You need to finish writing some content. Or even worse: you have to start.
So how do you unblock the word clog in your brain? How can you inject your writing with a rush of inspired creativity and productivity? Where can you find writer’s block help?
Like the common cold, there’s no definitive cure in fighting off word blockage, no matter how much we would love it if a quick fix existed. Writer’s block tips that work your coworker might not work for you, and vice versa.
How to beat writer's block
A little trial and error will help you discover the key to unlocking your words.
That said, we have found these 7 tricks to help you combat writer’s block.
1. Know your write time
Do you find your best ideas come to you in the morning? Or does your creativity soar at midnight?
No matter the time of day, you need to align your brain with your windows of optimum productivity. Sometimes it can be a struggle to do this as it may interrupt your routine.
If you find you write much better first in the morning, but have your gym time penciled in during the same time, ask yourself: “Can I work out some other time?”
You have to prioritise and sometimes make compromises and sacrifices.
But what if you don’t have the luxury of choosing a time? With a busy schedule, you might have to take the time that is gifted to you, and that’s totally fine.You can still make whatever time, your write time. It’s all about getting into that creative headspace.
Add visual / environmental cues that trigger productivity or endurance.
What are they? That’s up to you. If it’s a big framed poster of Arnold Schwarzenegger lifting weights, put that baby up next to your writing desk. No one is going to judge you… much.
2. Make a game plan!
Great! You know your write time. What’s next?
Make a plan of attack. Map it out. Take baby steps. Ask yourself:
- What is your project? Who is it for?
- What is the length – your estimated word count – on the project?
- When is your deadline?
Once you have concrete answers to these questions, you can begin to break up your writing task accordingly. Especially if it’s a long-term project.
Give yourself a realistic schedule. If you don’t have to rush a first draft, break it down into smaller bite size sections.
For example, if you have a week, or seven allotted writing sessions, to get your first draft, try this:
- Dedicate the first session to your intro.
- Attack the main body of your assignment once paragraph at time (usually three to five supporting ideas are enough unless you’re writing a much larger document).
- Conquer your conclusion.
If you don’t have to do it overnight, break your project down into digestible, workable writing sessions. You’ll thank yourself later.
Now, you have your write time and your writing schedule, what’s next?
3. What are other people saying?
Search for contemporary articles written about your topic online. What do they say? What credible sources help validate your plan of attack?
Having a firm roadmap makes the writing process easier. Trustworthy sources of information allow you to correct faulty assumptions and disregard information from unreliable sources. Now you can focus on developing your perspective.
As you start to write your content – and throughout your writing process – always ask: What am I saying that is unique? Don’t get lost in your research or simply adopt someone else’s ideas as your own.
Remember: writing original content always ranks much higher on Google and other search engines. Yes, it’s important to know what the world thinks about a particular topic, but what’s your take on it?
4. Play the “write” kind of music
Some people swear by classical music. They feel playing Mozart or Bach fuels them toward inspiration and productiveness.
Classical music, however, might not be your jam. You might find the sounds of Metallica to be your acoustic guide while writing. Or you might find film scores to be your key towards motivation. The possibilities are limitless.
Whatever you choose needs to ride a fine balance. It needs to push you to write, not towards a boogie or reliving that epic mosh pit from 10 years ago.
Some of you might actually feel music is completely distracting, no matter what kind. This is good to know as distractions can play a big role in blocking your writing potential.
5. Find your best creative space
If you know you will procrastinate with the TV on, either turn it off or go into another room.
If you can’t write being around other people, go somewhere quiet and reserved.
If you can’t write at home because there’s too many things demanding your attention, go to a library or head to a cafe and pose as an aspiring screenwriter.
Know what distracts you. Cut it out.
6. Add the “write” rewards
A slice of pizza, 10 minutes of video games, an episode of Seinfeld. Give yourself something to look forward to!
A favourite in the office is a bit of exercise. Some of us do push ups every hour (some of us are not sane). This gets the blood circulating through your body, making you feel more focussed and active.
Going for a short walk may also give you fresh legs to attack your content. Not only do you get a small chunk of cardio done, but going outside gets you some fresh air.
7. Allow time for mistakes and call for the “write” backup
Give yourself a bit of buffer to work around, in case anything happens.
You could get sick. Your computer might crash. Or you might get a little stuck even if you have heaps to say. If you are stuck on a particular section, and feel like you can’t move on, ask for backup! But remember to ask people you can trust. People who can provide constructive feedback.
While it’s nice to get a “That’s great, keep going!” from Mum, it’s not going to help you push past your writing hurdle.
You need to make sure whoever is giving feedback understands why you are writing a particular article or paper. If your feedback friend knows the why as well as who your intended reader is, they are better able to give you great insights.
Whatever you do, don’t give up!
Writing takes time. It takes dedication. And it takes patience.
While it might seem like you will never finish whatever you’re writing, our tips will help ease the process. Just keep trying!
If you feel like you still need some help with writing your content, please feel free to get in touch. We can help you move past writer’s block and get the job done.