As I sat down to write the outline for this article on how to overcome writer’s block, I felt flustered, overwhelmed and lacking creativity. I immediately closed my computer and took a walk around the block. The sun was shining, and I only needed a light jacket to block out the cold from the light breeze. The thought of Spring put a pep in my step as I made my way down the street.
Fresh air always has a way of clearing my head, cheering me up and helping me to refocus. When I got back from my walk, I was feeling inspired and ready to dive right into writing this article.
Whether you’re a journalist, blogger or book author, writing is a major part of your profession. As such, you spend a large chunk of your time creating content for your business. Truth be told, it’s much easier said than done.
Once I actually sit down to write, one of three things tends to happen: my mind goes blank, I suddenly am exhausted and need a nap, or I have the urgent need to check my email or Facebook. Subconsciously I want to do anything but actually write.
Having a deadline and a specific topic to write about can easily take the fun out of it. A deadline seems to put a downer on my creativity and makes it difficult to focus on the task at hand.
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10 Ways to Overcome Writers Block Easily
With practice, I have found a few proven ways to help me overcome writer’s block even on my toughest days. I’d like to share them with you in hopes that you’ll be able to utilize them to help you push through your own writers block.
1- Create a List of Topics To Write About
Make a long list of content ideas. Write down a mix of general and niche- specific topics to help inspire your writing. I have four main categories I write about on my blog so I divided my own list into four subcategories. I currently have over 200 topic ideas that I can reference and am adding new ones each week when they come to mind.
When you feel writer’s block coming on, refer to your list of topic ideas to help inspire your next writing project.
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2- Start Each Writing Project With an Outline
This comes in handy when I have a specific topic and deadline. Instead of worrying about the format and grammar, I just get my general thoughts on the topic typed up.
If you were to look at the outline for this post, you’d see a rough title, sub-titles and one or two rambling sentences about each. Once my outline is complete, I save the document on my computer and close it.
When I come back to edit the draft two days later, I don’t feel so overwhelmed. I have an outline to get me started and the ideas for my piece start to flow through my fingertips as I quickly write down my thoughts on the topic.
3- Less Is More
I’ve found that spending small amounts of time 100% focused on writing helps me produce much better content than spending multiple hours trying to multitask.
I force myself to sit down and write for 30 minutes straight. No distractions, breaks or interruptions. I turn the music off, put my phone in the other room (out of sight, out of mind) and start writing. Most times those 30 minutes go by in a blur. I find that I get so much more done in a short amount of time simply by eliminating all distractions.
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4- Use Your Real-Life Experience
It’s easy to write about a personal experience or something that you’re familiar with. For example, as a travel blogger, I easily whipped up a one-day travel guide to Brussels, Belgium because I’ve been there. During my visit, I only had 24 hours in the city so I know what’s possible to see and do in a very short amount of time.
However, I’d have a much harder time writing about a solo trip to Paris, France because I haven’t been there and typically don’t travel solo.
Writing about things that you know and are passionate about makes it relatable and personal for you and the reader. Allowing your readers to connect with your writing and have a better understanding of who you are as the author makes them want to come back to your blog time and time again to keep up with your latest stories.
Remember it’s about getting back to your writing routine so that you overcome writers block and feel inspired to write everyday.
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5- Clear Your Head
When I first started blogging I would take “breaks” from writing but go right into working on another project. It was usually non-writing related but I wasn’t giving myself the much-needed breaks from work that I desperately needed.
Take time to walk away from your computer altogether. Lay down on your bed, couch, or floor and simply close your eyes to clear your head. Take five-ten minutes, concentrating on your breathing (slowly in and slowly back out). Don’t think about upcoming deadlines, bills, or the time on the clock.
6- Set Designated Work Times
At a nine to five job, people get breaks. If it’s a structured environment, they’re entitled to two 15-minute breaks and at least a 30-minute lunch break during the course of an eight-hour workday. When you’re working from home, you need to give yourself the same courtesy. Apps like Clockify can be used to track time.
There is a reason breaks are required in the workplace. It’s vital to take a break, stand up, and stretch. Give yourself some time for a bathroom break, grab a snack, check social media or just sit in silence for a few moments.
You can’t work all the time.
Even though there is so much to do, you have to limit yourself. Set specific times you plan to write each week. I recommend limiting it to two or three days a week. If you’re writing every day, you’re not going to be as creative. You’ll get tired and sick of it so be sure to give yourself time for other things.
Remember—less is more.
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7- Look For Inspiration Online
With unlimited resources on the internet, take advantage of Pinterest and Google. Almost every successful blogger I know has at least one post dedicated to content topics and ideas. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Most other writers have similar moments when they have writers block so take advantage of their willingness to help you out during yours!
By no means am I suggesting that you copy or closely duplicate anyone’s work. However, If there are other people in your niche that inspire you, you can get inspiration from their recent content.
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8- Listen to Music
Personally, classical music helps me think more clearly. When I’m brainstorming new ideas, I like to have music playing as I plan out what to write next. Without any distractions, I’m able to think more clearly and envision what my goals are and what type of content will help me meet those goals.
9- Take Time To Exercise
When I hit a roadblock, I hit the gym. Getting my blood flowing allows me to relieve any stress and anxiety I’ve been feeling throughout the day. When I get back home, I typically feel rejuvenated and ready to get back to work. Standing up and getting some fresh air always helps to lighten my mood and get me feeling inspired.
10- Change Your Environment
Being stuck in the same place day in and day out can get tiring. Especially if you’re working from home most days. On occasion, get out of the house. Go to your local library, coffee shop or park. Writing inspiring content requires you to be inspired. A change of scenery is a great way to encourage inspiration.
Just like every person’s writing style is different, every person is different. What works for me, may not work for you. Give yourself time and patience to find what techniques help you overcome writers block. With practice, you’ll be able to find a couple methods that work well for you.
This is a guest post written for SheMeansBlogging.
About The Author
Ann is dishing out all the best tips and tricks for maintaining health and fitness goals while living a life on the go. She is here to empower you to be your best self no matter your circumstance or where you are in the world. Let’s get going! Get connected with her on her blog ‘Ann Plans Travel’. You can also find her on facebook.