Sit, stare, type and repeat. Whether it’s a blog post, article, press release, report, presentation or even an email, writer’s block happens and it can leave you feeling defeated.
You’re not alone. In fact, even the best of the best experience writer’s block from time to time. Writer’s block stems from a bit of fear, stress, and fatigue. When we feel overwhelmed at the task at hand, we let fear get in the way, unconsciously telling us that we’re not good enough to write the piece. We’re afraid that we’ll say something wrong, lack intelligence or share monthly results. And sometimes you’ve been working 10-plus hours with little sleep and your brain is turned off. That happens, too!
8 Tips to Beat Writer’s Block
Step Away From Your Draft
First things first, if you’ve been staring at your screen for 30 minutes without typing more than a sentence, it’s time for you to move away from that draft. Your brain, and eyes, might need a refresh. Move onto something you know you can accomplish, this will help re-energize your brain and give you the confidence you need to start typing away. Completing a goal helps boost confidence, which is needed when dealing with writer’s block.
Jot Down Words
You have a theme, or you’re stuck on a word. You can’t move past it. Open thesaurus.com and plug in the word you’re focused on. Example, if writing a piece about technology, type in the word technology to get a variety of other words that you can use in place of technology. Jot these words down on top of the doc you’re working on. This can help you start thinking outside the box.
Outline Your Piece
You don’t know what to write. That’s fine. Actually … that’s great! You have some idea of where you want to go, so start writing that down. Write what words you want to put in your introduction. Write a few words, phrases or a sentence or two that can help describe your supporting sentences, paragraphs or slides. Do the same for your conclusion. Remind you of elementary school? This works and it helps you focus. It also assists in the direction of your content and keeps your workflow moving. You can go in and fill in your outline as you write.
Move Past the First Sentence
Some people get so fixated on the first sentence that it keeps them from moving forward. Stop worrying! Remember back in elementary school when your teacher said “go back and reread your intro paragraph. You’ll probably take your conclusion and make it your introductory paragraph.”? The same is true for your first sentence. The majority of the time, you’ll change the intro after you write your content.
Go for a Walk
Whether you’re frustrated or tired, get up and go for a 15- to 30-minute walk. This helps get your blood moving and energy up. In other words, you’ll get your creative juices flowing and beat writer’s block.
Use a Pen and Paper
There’s something refreshing about writing with a pen and paper. While typing can be more time efficient, writing on paper slows down your thought process so you can think clearer and avoid errors. Remember, this is a draft. When you go to type this draft, you can improve your thoughts and creativity.
Thinking in your head is not necessarily the best way to get creative. Bounce ideas off friends or colleagues. They can help you expand your idea into something even better—what’s so scary about that?!
Create a Comfort Zone
Sitting at a desk can be stuffy and leave you feeling stuck—especially if you’ve been sitting there for hours. Move to a coffee shop, couch or somewhere that makes you feel inspired, happy and motivated. That’s where you can start your writing process. Before you know it, words will start flowing on the paper.
Search for Inspiring Quotes and Images
A little inspiration can go a long way. Find an image that makes you happy or a quote that lifts your chin and keep it out when you write. This will boost your confidence and lift your mood, which will help you keep writer’s block at bay.
When you finish your draft, put it aside for a bit. Come back and reread it, check for grammar and spelling errors, and ask someone else to read it before sending it off or presenting.
Remember, writing is always a progress and writer’s block shouldn’t stop you from crafting the perfect piece of content.
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