As a writer, you know how hard it can be sometimes to create content from scratch. And when you have a deadline looming and the words still aren’t coming to you, it can be incredibly frustrating.
But it’s important to never get discouraged. Every writer struggles from time to time. So, we’ve put together a few ways to help you get the words flowing again.
The Main Causes of Writer’s Block
Before we talk about solutions, let’s look at the common causes of writer’s block:
- Timing: your ideas need developing.
- Self-doubt: you are afraid what others will think of your work or that you lack the knowledge and ability.
- Perfectionism: you want every sentence to be perfect before you write anything else.
- Fatigue: you’re mind is exhausted.
- Distractions: you haven’t prepared the right environment for writing.
Ways to Beat Writer’s Block
1. Do Something Else (For a Little Bit)
If you’re totally stuck, step away from your work to recharge your batteries. Listen to some music, watch a movie or talk with a friend – anything that gives you pleasure can make you feel refreshed and inspired. Just keep it limited so it doesn’t turn into full-blown procrastination!
Moving your body is an especially great way to clear your mind and keep it sharp. Do some yoga, dance, exercise or go for a run. The exercise will release your body’s natural endorphins, lift your mood and get your thoughts flowing again.
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2. Eliminate Distractions
To write effectively, you need to keep your mind focused. Minimizing distractions will help.
Turn off your phone, take a break from email, keep your workspace tidy and set aside a period of time each day to write. Ask friends and colleagues not to interrupt you during these writing periods (this is crucial).
3. Stick to a Routine
If you establish a regular time of the day to write, you’ll train your mind to get into the writing mode. Find out when you’re most creative.
For many, this means first thing in the morning, but do what works best for you.
4. Free Write
Set a timer for five minutes and write whatever comes to mind. Don’t think about punctuation or grammar, or even making sense – just write down every random thought as quickly as possible.
The idea is to train your brain to think more creatively. It will help you overcome any emotional block you might feel and, when the time is up, your words should flow more easily.
5. Don’t Strive for Perfection
Don’t waste time trying to produce the perfect first draft because it doesn’t exist. Just start filling your page with words.
Once you take the pressure off yourself, your creation process will become easier. You can rewrite, edit and refine later.
6. Sleep On It
When you’re tired, everything is more difficult. Sleep is important for your memory and creativity and many seem to forget that your mind needs rest! Keep a notebook by your bed; dreams can be full of ideas.
Content Creation Ideas
Speaking of ideas, if you’re ever stuck trying to figure out topics or angles, try these:
- Read: Whether it’s a blog, a news story, a short story or a novel, simply reading something else can quickly put you back in the writer mindset. Even reading inspirational quotes can get the writing juices flowing.
- Review: Look back at your past content and check your analytics to see which content pieces had more audience engagement. Can you rewrite posts or approach a topic from a new angle?
- Research: Search Q&A sites like Quora and Yahoo Answers to see what people want to know and what they want to read.
Just a Bump in the Road
To consistently create quality content, it’s important to have a few techniques you can use to overcome the occasional writer’s block. Some strategies will work better than others and the trick is to find the techniques that work best for you. Once you you do, you’ll find writer’s block is just a minor bump in the road.