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Writer’s block. These two words are dreaded for writers everywhere, especially bloggers! Luckily I spend a lot of time writing, so I have become somewhat of an expert at beating writer’s block. These tips apply to more than just writing blogs, they apply to writing a book or novel, writing large documents for work, and writing just about anything.
Work On More Than One Thing At a Time
The best way to get writers block is to sit down and tell yourself you are not getting up until you have finished writing that blog! As a rule of thumb, I am never purely focused on one blog or item at a time. I always have at least two to three ideas I am actively working on at the same time, so if I get stuck on one, I can just hop onto another. This way, if I know I have an hour to write, but am stuck on one topic, I have a couple more to keep me busy.
This tactic also helped me greatly when I was writing my book IT Architect Series: The Journey. I made sure I was always working on at leas 2-3 chapters at the same time, so when I got stuck on one chapter, I would work on another. This was especially important when writing this book, because I had limited time and mostly worked on it at night.
There are days where I can sit down and write a blog post straight through, and there are days where I can only manage a paragraph in a few different blog posts. Ultimately, it all balances out and the most important thing to do when you have writer’s blog is to stay calm.
A Little Work Up Front Keeps Writer’s Block Away
One of the things I talked about in my blog about how to write a blog is to always have a running list of blog ideas, and outline them!
By starting with an outline, you will already know the gist of what you are going to write when you sit down to get some writing done, instead of spending your time figuring out what to write.
However, if you seem to be stuck on all of your ideas, and all of your outlines, there is nothing wrong with using some writing time to do some new brainstorming and outlining. It is easy to get frustrated when the words will not come to you, but remember, as long as you are doing something you are being productive, even if it is not what you set out to do.
Check in On Your Blog Idea List
If the above tip is a bit too much for your writers’ block to handle, do not forget to simply take a look at your blog idea list. Do you have a blog idea list? If not, you should! It is the simplest tool you can have in your blogging arsenal, and it will keep the productive juices flowing!
By taking a few moments to look at your blog idea list, you may come up with brand new blog ideas, add to existing blog ideas, or feel inspired on a blog topic you added to your list ages ago. Who knows! It is worth a shot when you are battling writers’ block.
Write Absolutely Anything
If the first two tips are not working, just write anything! Sometimes getting in the flow writing something completely different can help get those creative juices flowing. I like to find a nice writing prompt, and set a timer for five minutes, and let the words flow. Sometimes this is enough to get me back on my writing track!
You can simply search for “writing prompts” in your favorite search engine, and a plethora will be at your finger tips. I also like to search the #writingprompts hashtag on Twitter, or check out the WritingPrompts.com Twitter account for ideas.
If you want to try something completely different, you can often find books filled with writing prompts and space to write them at your local book store, or on amazon. Most of these books and journals are to encourage writers to simply write every day, and they work! I have several of them, and when I am really stuck I just grab one and write a little!
Figure Out Why You Cannot Write
Sometimes, writer’s block can be a symptom of something else that is bothering you. Is there something else you feel like you should be doing instead of sitting and writing? As much as we make an effort to carve out some time to write, sometimes it just will not happen.
There is nothing worse than sitting down and trying to write when you are focused on something else completely. If this is the case, go focus on that and try writing again later. There are some days, however well intentioned we may be, writing just will not happen.
If you find yourself sitting down to write, and unfocused, try making a list of other things you know you need to do. During this process, often something will jump out as the thing that is stealing your focus and attention. Once again, theres nothing wrong with completing the other tasks that need to be done before you can write, even if you meant to be writing during that time. Remember, there is no such thing as wasted time, as long as you accomplish something.
Go Do Something Fun
If you still have writer’s block and you cannot identify why, go do something fun! Of course, we all have different definitions of fun, but the fact is sometimes we just need to distract ourselves from our writer’s block while blogging. Sometimes it can be as simple as changing your line of thinking to beat writers block. Here are some of my favorite quick and fun things to do to beat writer’s block:
- Grab a cup of coffee
- Read a book or magazine (read more about how to fit reading into your busy life here, and why it will make you a better writer!)
- Read some blogs (this is also a great way to help yourself, learn more about why in this blog)
- Surf social media accounts
- Go for a walk
- Cook or bake something
These are all really simple fun things that can get you in a better mindset. My idea of fun may be a little different than yours, but you can do absolutely anything that will work for you.
Stay Ahead of Deadlines
There is nothing like working against a deadline to lock up your brain. Try to stay ahead of deadlines to allow yourself ample time to get over writer’s block should you experience it during the project. This is of course, easier said than done, however, if you make sure to keep track of your active projects, you will naturally get better at planning when to write what. Balancing different writing projects takes time and practice, just like anything else.
If you are really up against a deadline, and find yourself with writer’s block, one of the most helpful things I have found is to talk to someone about it. It can be anyone, they do not even need to understand the topic you are writing about. Sometimes, just verbalizing different ideas is enough to get the writing engine started. If you do not have anyone to talk to at the particular moment you are stuck, talk to anything! A cup, a plant, a piece of paper, anything will work. Start verbalizing your ideas, and what you are stuck on, and your writer’s block too will come to pass.
Beating Writer’s Block Takes Practice
Just like learning how to write a blog takes practice, so does beating writer’s block, especially if you have never experienced it before. These six simple tips on beating writer’s block or more than enough to get you going when you get stuck. You may find that one of these tips works well for you, or a combination of tips is what beats writer’s block. Be sure to let us know on Twitter what helped you the most!