3 Tips for Conquering Writer’s Block
Are you a blogger, podcaster, or vlogger? Then you have surely faced writer’s block at some point along your journey. Especially, if you are committed to publishing new content on a consistent schedule, such as weekly, or even daily.
Writer’s block is real. You pull out a fresh sheet of notebook paper or pull up a blank blog post screen, and it screams at you, “You have NOTHING to say!”
However, that’s just not true. You have plenty to say; it’s just that your mind has gone blank for a moment. The problem is when that moment stretches into an hour, a day, or, heaven forbid, a week.
While I cannot promise that you will never have writer’s block again, I can say with certainty that you will experience it far less, and for much shorter amounts of time, if you adopt these 3 techniques for clearing it away.
Preparation is Your Super-Power!
Block out 20-30 minutes on your calendar sometime during the next few days. Schedule this time when you can be in a quiet room with no distractions – an office, your bedroom, a closet. 🙂
Grab a sheet of paper and a pen or pencil. Write “Blog Ideas” at the top of your paper. If you have a smartphone, set it to airplane mode, then open your clock app and set your timer for 30 minutes.
This is a brainstorming session so you will remove all filters from your brain to your hand and you must take off your critic’s hat. Take off your editor’s hat too, because spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors should be ignored.
Now, write! Write every blog post idea that pops into your head. Again, do not filter yourself. Don’t overanalyze your ideas. Just write them down. We’ll analyze later. You should be able to write down 50-100 blog post ideas in that amount of time. If you get less than that, do it again later on a new sheet of paper.
Let’s say you have 80 blog post (or podcast or vlog) ideas written on your sheet of paper when the timer runs out. Look back through those ideas and mark them with these notations – “N” for “not going to happen,” “R” for “research needed,” and “A” for “anytime” meaning that you have enough knowledge and confidence to write that blog post as soon as tomorrow.
Open a Word document and type up a numbered list with your A-ideas at the beginning, followed by your R-ideas. Leave the N-ideas off the page. How many blog ideas did you keep? My hope is that you have at least 52 – one for each week of the year.
And now, just half an hour later, you no longer have to think about what you should write, podcast, or create a video about. Your list of topic ideas will save you literally hours of thinking time during the next twelve months. You’re welcome. 🙂
Just because you have a list of topic ideas doesn’t mean that you have 52 blog posts ready to go. You still have to write them. So, how can you minimize or even eliminate writer’s block once you have your list of ideas?
One key to focus and experiencing the opposite sensation of writer’s block, where the words and sentences are flowing from your brain, is to minimize distractions.
The first thing you need to do is the same thing you did when you were brainstorming your topic ideas – put your smartphone in airplane mode, or leave it in the other room. Next, close down your email software and your social media tabs. Finally, get up, close your door, and tape a sign to it that reads, “I’m writing. Please do not disturb.”
Now, you are ready to write.
However, even with all that preparation and distraction elimination, a content creator can still stare at a blank screen or page with nothing flowing out of their heads and onto the page. What next?
When you have done all of the above steps and still find yourself unable to craft your post or script, it’s time to get up and get the blood pumping to your brain. It’s time to take a walk.
Nothing gets the juices flowing quite so well as a brisk walk in the fresh air. Get outside for 20-30 minutes and you will come back a prolific poet.
However, if you simply cannot get outside because you are snowed in or there’s a torrential downpour outside your window, then move to Plan B… jumping up and down for 2-3 minutes. If that doesn’t knock out your writer’s block fog, jump a little longer.
Getting your heart pumping and the blood circulating throughout your body and up to your brain is sure to whisk away the cobwebs of writer’s paralysis and mental stupor.
Employ these 3 techniques – one yearly, two weekly – and before you know it you will surf the waves of prolificacy and hypergraphia, never for want of something to write.