I hate writers block. Today was one of those stare at the computer screen and wonder what in the world I’m going to write about.
Twenty minutes later – still nothing on my paper.
Please tell me I’m not the only writer out there that does this occasionally?
Sometimes writing a blog post takes 30 minutes – other days it is like getting water from a rock. Nothing flows, my ideas aren’t there and everything is at a standstill.
I’ve often wondered why it is so hard to write.
What is it that causes writer’s block?
Honestly, I’m not sure – it is different for everyone.
I still haven’t figure out my writing block triggers, but I do know what I do to combat writer’s blog.
6 Tips for Overcoming Writers Block
1. Keep a running list of ideas
Most of my best ideas come from reading other posts, listening to the radio or random conversations. I’ll have a random thought enter my head and if I don’t write it down it is gone as quickly as it came.
I keep an “idea list” on my computer and one on my phone. I know a lot of bloggers use Evernote to keep themselves organized. I’ve tried it a few times and love the concept, but haven’t found a way to make it work in my workflow.
Honestly, the program you use doesn’t matter, what matters is that you have a system for storing random ideas.
Sometimes just having a new fresh idea to work with is enough to combat writer’s block.
2. Cut out distractions
This is my biggest problem. I’m constantly being tempted away from my writing to check Facebook, Twitter, email . . . . . the list goes on and on.
There is always something that will distract you from the important things if you let them.
When I’m serious about writing, I close down my email, log out of my social media and leave my phone in another room. I’m too easily distracted and don’t have the willpower to resist.
Another method that works for me is to set a timer in 15-20 minute increments. I force myself to write and then I take a break. I’ve found that it really helps me to focus on one task at a time.
3. Set specific measurable goals
At the beginning of this year, I set a goal to write every single day for 30 minutes. I don’t always hit my goal, but I’m constantly trying.
Does this mean my writing is always good during those thirty minutes – no, not even close. I’ve deleted everything I’ve written more times than I care to admit.
It doesn’t matter though, I’m practicing my craft and even the bad writing is helping to improve my overall writing.
The important thing is that I have a goal and that I’m trying to accomplish it each day.
4. Set aside specific time for writing
When I have a specific timeline for my work, I’m always more productive. I currently have three different blogs and I work full time. I’m busy. I have to set aside specific time to accomplish my writing goals.
I’m most productive in the morning, so lately, I’ve been trying to write before I go to work. It doesn’t matter what time you chose, what matters is having a specific time that you are devoting to something you love.
5. Write about stuff that interests you
This one is critical to me. Maybe I’m just a slacker, but I just can’t muster the energy to write about stuff that bores me.
It is boring!
If I’m interested in a subject, my writing style is so much more engaging and fun to read. I can’t fake it till I make it in this area.
Fortunately, I am interested in a lot of subjects. Originally when I started blogging, I tried to cover everything in one blog, but quickly realized it wasn’t working.
I can write about those three subjects over and over again. If I OD on one area, then I switch to my other blog for a bit.
Is it perfect, no, but it keeps me interested in what I’m researching and writing about.
I also work on multiple posts. I’ve noticed that often if I hit a block in one area, switching gears to another subject will re-energize my brain.
This also helps in the proofreading process.
6. Start an editorial calendar
This is an area that I’m really struggling in. I’ve tried editorial calendars a few times, but with my work schedule, I have a very hard time sticking to a consistent schedule.
So I decided to modify the traditional editorial calendar to fit my purposes. I’ve kept it very simple. I have a running list of ideas to write about and have made a goal to post one article per week on each of my three blogs. Simple right.
If you start an editorial calendar keep it realistic. Don’t overextend yourself and then get discouraged. The important thing is to pace yourself.
Why these steps are so important
I started my original blog almost three years ago. I wrote faithfully for 2-3 months and then I just hit a wall. I had all kind of great excuses, but who cares, I stopped writing.
I took a six-month break and then came back strong for another 2-3 months. After that, I continued to blog, but only every 3-4 weeks. I enjoyed it but knew that I wasn’t maximizing my talent.
At the beginning of this year, I decided it was time to either take my blogging seriously or stop wasting my time.
Once I set my writing goal and started working towards measurable goals my attitude towards my blogging changed. No longer was it something I did out of obligation.
I enjoy writing. I love expressing myself and sharing all the random things that I’ve learned over the years. I love researching new subjects and really feel like I’ve grown exponentially as a result of my 8 months of solid writing.
So if you want to write, start writing.
Yes, you’ll have those stare at the screen moments of complete and utter bafflement. Who cares – just keep on writing.
PS. If you are interested in learning more about Content Creation for you blog you may also want to read these posts:
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