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We've all experienced writer's block. And there's no denying it can be super frustrating. But how to fight it? Read on for tried and tested tips and tricks to get back up and writing.
We’ve all been there. You’re sitting at your computer, staring at a blank screen and a blinking cursor. You have so much to say about your business, but the words JUST. AREN’T. COMING.
This all-too-familiar frustration has a name: writer’s block. (Shiver.)
Writer’s block is a real phenomenon that occurs frequently — whether you write for a living, write for your business, or just write for fun. But this stressful scenario is no fun at all. It can cause issues with lost productivity and become a huge time-suck.
So how can you combat this issue? How can you keep writer’s block from happening to you?
There are methods that have been proven to help, and we’ve included our very favorites in this blog! These tips will act as prompts when you feel the dreaded writer’s block coming on, to help get your fingers moving swiftly across that keyboard again!
Tip #1: Brainstorm
Oftentimes, the issue with writer’s block is not that you’re completely out of ideas. It’s just that you’re having a hard time organizing them and turning them into clear topics. This is where a good old-fashion brainstorm can help.
Here, at Scribly, we write all day long. And one of the best ways we’ve seen to structure your content-creating brainstorm is this:
- Set a timer for 15-20 minutes
- Begin to write down every single thing that comes to your mind as quickly as you can, whether it’s just a blog topic, title, or even just a word
- When your timer goes off, look at your list
- Then, organize your list into complete topics vs. ideas
- Work on your complete topics first, and save your ideas list for the future!
Odds are, you’ll find at least one topic on your list that inspires you to write. And as a bonus, you’ll have a whole other list of ideas ready and waiting for the next time writer’s block strikes!
If you’re experiencing a really bad block and your brainstorm proves unproductive, try asking your colleagues and friends for some ideas that might ignite a spark. Or, look back at your content archives to see if there’s something you can repurpose vs. starting from scratch.
Tip #2: Plan
Maybe today is just not your day to write. After all, writing takes a lot of creative juice and sometimes your brain simply needs a break. If this is the case for you, not to worry.
You can still be productive and make progress on your content goals without writing.
Taking a day to plan and plot out your content calendar and outline new content is an excellent use of your time. Doing this will not only help you feel like you’ve achieved something, but it will also make it much easier and more efficient when you do go to actually write future content.
Break your content calendar into bitesize chunks or goals.
For example, maybe you want to write one blog per week for your website. You can plan to do your outlines on Tuesday, write half your post on Wednesday, the final half on Thursday, and edit and publish on Friday.
Breaking your writing down into more manageable pieces can help it from feeling so overwhelming, which can often be a big cause of writer’s block.
Tip #3: Break up your routine
It’s amazing what a little break can do for your creativity and focus!
Staring at a screen until your frustration boils over is not a positive way to deal with your writer’s block. Instead, try stepping back for a few.
Studies have shown that taking even a 20-second micro-break where you completely disengage from a project can do wonders for your focus. Longer breaks are even better.
If you’re starting to feel discouraged, go outside for some fresh air or a walk. Listen to music that inspires you or check out a podcast. If the weather is not great where you are, switch rooms and simply read a book or cook something. Then, once you’re feeling calm and refreshed, try going back and trying your task again.
Just as useful as taking breaks is switching up your routines. If you normally write your blogs in the afternoon, why not try switching it up and writing in the morning? Or if you normally write in one area, seek out a change of scenery.
You can also switch up your methods. Try writing ideas, outlines, or even entire articles down with paper and pen to give your eyes a break from your screen.
All of these simple switches and changes can help break you out of your rut and get your content flowing again.
Tip #4: Mix up the type of content you use
There’s almost no one who sits down anxious to whip out a 4000-word blog post. Writing long posts can be super daunting, and that can lead to hesitation and procrastination.
If you’ve been writing long-form for a while, try mixing it up and writing some shorter posts. The ideal length for a blog for SEO purposes is around 2000 words, so there’s no need to write a novel every time. Better news, if you’re writing a blog that answers a specific user question, think ‘How To’ style articles, you should be aiming for around 1300 words. Even being able to get a 700-word post out the door is better than nothing.
And again, maybe even writing 700 words is feeling like an unachievable feat. If that’s the case, it’s time to switch up your form of content.
You can try creating some useful diagrams, infographics, images (all types of visual communication) that you can use as part of your written content. Canva is a great tool for this. You could also record a video or podcast instead. Then, in the future, you can have it transcribed for a blog post.
Tip #5: Get inspired by the competition
Sometimes, it just takes a little competition to feel motivated. If you’re the kind of person who strives to be at the front of the pack, taking a little peek at your competition’s website might be just the inspiration you need to start cranking out some new content.
Not only will it bring out your competitive spirit, but it might also give you some great ideas. Check out your competitor’s blogs, social media pages, and website and see what they’re talking about. Would there be any way that you can put a unique spin on it? Is there a way you can beat that content by creating something more in-depth?
Write down all the ideas from your competitor’s sites that you think you might be able to work with and then go back to the drawing board. Try not to make your content too similar, but definitely don’t feel bad about drawing some parallels.
Bonus tip: Hire an expert to write for you
Outsourcing your writing to a trusted third-party is not just a great way to beat writer’s block, it’s an excellent way to free-up your time, increase your productivity, and facilitate faster growth.
Writing a high-quality 2000-word blog post takes, on average, around 6 hours. If you’re wanting to write one post a week, that’s almost 24 hours of your time. Imagine what great things you could do for your business with those 24 hours if you were able to hand the writing off to someone else?
So, if you’re wanting to get more out of your content in less time, look into bringing on someone who can help — like Scribly. Our talented team of content creators will make sure you’re never stuck looking at a blank screen again. Learn more here!