For many writers the worst part of writing is at the very beginning. They have to sit down to a blank piece of paper or a blank computer screen and make something happen. However, people who write frequently have tools and techniques to get unstuck, because it happens to everyone. All writers will have trouble with writer’s block at some point in their lives. It doesn’t matter whether they are trying to write a blog post, a white paper or an essay. Here are a few strategies that can help you never get writer’s block again.
There are many possible reasons for writer’s block. When you know you have to get something done, that debilitating feeling of fear and frustration just seems to make things worse. Fortunately there are as many ways to deal with writer’s block as there are causes. Let us know in the comments if you have a strategy that works for you.
1. Don’t write.
As a person who writes for a living, there are definitely times when I don’t feel like writing an article even though I have to. If I have the luxury of time, I will simply not work on it until some idea occurs to me to get started. I know my mental wheels are always turning in the background. If I can wait until I have a little seed of inspiration, it flows from there. So generally, if you’re feeling stressed about writing something, take a break from it or ask someone else to take it off your plate for a while.
2. Keep a pocket size notebook or phone app with you at all times.
Whether you’re a pen-and-paper person (like I am) or an app person, find a way to make it convenient to jot down the slightest idea that occurs to you. Sometimes just a single word in a notebook or text message to yourself can help you recall the thought you had. Without documenting our sometimes fleeting ideas they can be gone forever.
3. If you can’t think of a good beginning or end, start writing in the middle.
Maybe you have a great point you want to make but aren’t sure how to start. Write down your main statement that you want to be the “take-away” from your blog post or article and work backwards. Or show it to someone and ask them what information you would need to give them to have them reach the same conclusion you did.
4. Take a walk.
This is tried and true advice because it works. Clear your mind and change your location. Get some fresh air and resolve not to think about your problem for a few minute. Don’t think about it at all.
5. Write often
More tried and true advice. Writing is like any skill that you may be struggling to learn, like playing an instrument or learning how to be a better baker. It gets easier and better with practice.
6. When you’re inspired, write more than one thing.
Try to keep a back-up idea in your pocket so when those days do come along, you’re not stressed about it. Ask an employee to come up with some ideas to write out so you have a couple to pick from if things really get tough.
7. Keep yourself informed.
The best way to make someone think that you are informed is to be informed. Read up on industry news and cultivate your opinions about the developments. Engage others who are interested in the industry and you can have some very enlightening discussions that can lead to ideas for your own content.
8. Get inspiration from everyday life.
You’re out to dinner and your friend wants to leave a smaller tip than you. Why? This could inspire a blog post about perceived value. You’re at a baseball game and someone is critical of the other team’s player. Why? This could inspire a post about marketing and loyalty. You’re brushing your teeth and you start thinking about that song on the radio or that commercial you saw. Why? This could inspire a post about how to be memorable, understanding your target audience, or making your point in only 30 seconds.
9. Repurpose old content.
If you’ve been in business for a while, or blogging for more than a few months, there’s a good chance that the industry has undergone some dramatic changes since you first got started. Look back at some of your older articles, blog posts, paid online advertisements, or whatever you’ve done, and see what you can find that may have changed.
If your selling point from 2 years ago is no longer relevant, don’t just delete that blog post. Acknowledge it, own it, and describe what has changed in the world. If you’re a florist, for instance, you might have a post about the top 10 flowers to give for birthdays. You might then take each of those 10 flowers and turn them into 10 separate blog posts talking about why you sell them, what colors they are available in, how they are used in bouquets or corsages, and what flowers they work well with. Remember, your content does not have to be long.
10. Hire someone.
Hiring a content producer does not have to be a last resort. The decision to hire a content producer, such as Limelight Department, could be the best decision you make. If you really don’t enjoy writing and aren’t interested in doing it, hire someone! Some people love to write. Hard to believe, I know!
If you have ideas for content you want and no time to do it, let a professional take it off your plate. You spend your time thinking about how you can get more customers, and content producers spend their time thinking about what else they can write about. There’s no reason or rule that every business owner has to create their own content. Professional services exist to be problem solvers just for people like you who need them. You’ll never get writer’s block again because you won’t have to worry about whether you have an idea ready in time to publish or not!