“Writer’s block can result in a creative slowdown and the inability to produce new material. But how to get past it if you’re a blogger who has to post relatively frequently? Read on for our take on writer’s block.”
Uh-oh… you’ve got blank screen syndrome
It happens to every writer, it’s inevitable. Your prose is non-existent and you feel like you don’t have a creative bone left in your body. Sometimes we sit down to begin writing, but instead find ourselves having a stare down with a blank screen. The content just doesn’t seem to be forthcoming. You may write a few lines, then delete everything as it’s not up to par.
Your next post is due tomorrow, but it seems like an impossible task at the moment. You just can’t find the right words. You’re feeling uninspired and frustrated. What can you do to get back into your creative groove?
Why the brain stalls
Writer’s block is often caused by conflicted feelings. We want the content to be perfect and we want the blog post done as soon as possible. We know what we know, but we don’t know how to form it into a well put together piece of text. Or we know the task at hand, but cannot picture what the article should look like. We know what we need to say but we are afraid that it won’t measure up to our readers’ expectations.
All of these feelings are natural and normal. Everyone finds writing a challenge periodically. No one can access their creative juices 100% of the time. They key is not to get overwhelmed by this momentary blip and productivity slump.
Common causes of writer’s block
The reasons for writer’s block vary, but some common causes include:
Timing: Most writers are looking for the perfect timing, place, and setup before they can hit their keyboard. The timing may never be right, just get started.
Fear: Many writers struggle with being weary of putting their ideas out there for others to critique. Fear is a major reason some writers never become writers. Feel the fear and write anyway.
Perfectionism: You want everything to be just right before you begin your blog post. You try to get it perfect in your head and never do. Stop reaching for flawlessness.
Distractions: You can’t stay focused when doing the groundwork for a blog, and your mind keeps wandering off. Procrastination creeps in and you put off your writing. Create a daily writing habit.
There are many effective methods to help you loosen up and regain your writing chutzpah. You need to generate momentum to get out of your funk. The following strategies will hopefully help you work through your creative lull and get your writing muse back on track:
- Move your body and have some fun (run, dance, do yoga).
- Listen to relaxing music.
- Spend time with someone who makes you feel good.
- Reduce your stress levels.
- Change your environment.
- Create a daily routine to summon inspirational juices.
- Set realistic goals.
- Eliminate distractions.
- Peruse inspiring quotes to get you started.
- Research other blog topics (find out what people are writing about and put your own twist on them).
- Read useful material (this puts you back in the writer mindset).
- Take notes (brainstorm ideas in bullet points).
- Freewrite for general ideas (forget about grammar and just write).
- Review your past work (can you approach a topic from a new angle?).
Beating writer’s block
If you are still feeling uninspired and blocked, there is one fail-proof way to overcome writer’s block. In fact, you may have been avoiding it this whole time. You overcome writer’s block by writing.
Start somewhere – write a few lines and see what happens. Don’t think about it too much, just write for the joy of writing. It doesn’t need to be eloquent or presentable, it just needs to reawaken your creativity.
Your first words don’t have to be good, rough drafts exist for a reason. Then you have something to work with. You can edit your text from there.
If you do this, you’ll eventually get past the hump. The difference between professional writers and amateurs is this: one pushes through while the other gets paralysed.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”
Getting into the swing of things
Writers are more focused and less anxious when they are not multitasking. Even reference checking – crucial as that is – literally puts a stop to writing. It’s vital to reduce or eliminate all forms distractions. The key is to write unplugged. Switch off all unnecessary devices, and quit the internet for a specific time period. Set a realistic writing goal to ensure you can really concentrate and hone in.
You can do it!
Writing can be hard work. But don’t let writer’s block turn you into a tortured genius. Choose to get on with writing. Find out what works best for you, experiment. Write where and when you like. Have fun with it!
Feedback and questions
What are your experiences with writing? Have you ever encountered writer’s block? We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback. We look forward to chatting with you and answering your questions, just leave a comment.