At some point, it happens to every blogger. You sit down to write, but the words are just stuck.
It’s frustrating. The idea flowed so perfectly in your head earlier, as you thought about whatever it is you wanted to say. For whatever reason, as you sit down to write, the words just aren’t flowing now.
Writer’s block can happen for a variety of reasons, but pulling out your hair, or throwing your laptop against the wall won’t solve anything. It’s important to find the right methods for you, when it comes to battling this crippling issue.
Instant publishing means constant pressure to produce. Just like in the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, the important thing is not to panic. Don’t let the pressures and distractions keep you from your goals. In order to fix the problem, you have to break your routine. Here are 10 ways to accomplish that:
- Write at different times. If you normally write in the afternoons, try writing in the morning or evening. The change in times may be enough to create a fresh outlook. For me, early in the morning is a great time to be productive, before the morning meetings, and before the distractions set in. For the night owls out there, late evening hours may be a good time to get some uninterrupted work in.
- Write from a different location. This is easy for me. I get about 90 percent of my work done from various coffee shops. When the weather cooperates, try doing that thing that your teachers and bosses would never let you do—bring that computer outside. Fresh air on a comfortable day has a way of changing our outlook on life in general, which is good news for you and your project.
- Empty the dishwasher, go for a walk, or take a shower. Take 10 minutes and complete whatever your physical distraction may be. Sometimes the simple act of stepping away from whatever it is that you’re doing may bring the creative ideas. It frees your brain from the immediate demands of creativity.
- Google it. Face it, in this day and age somebody’s probably written about your subject before. Seeing how someone else approached it may be just the catalyst you need to put you over the top. So go ahead and take a peak, and pepper in some additional perspective to whatever it is you were trying to say.
- Just keep writing. I know it’s not what you want to hear, but sometimes the act of writing—even when you don’t want to—is just what the doctor ordered. Remember: Write first, edit later. Work through the whole document, then go through and make your tweaks and improvements. If you’re too hard on yourself out of the gate, you can stifle creativity.
- Read everything. Read fiction. Read non-fiction. Read the newspapers and magazines. Read other blogs. Heck, read the back of the cereal box. The important thing is to keep reading, and expand your comfort zone. It leads to creative ways to snap your writing rut. You may find the perfect in the unlikeliest places.
- Put a little soul into it. Sometimes you’re stuck because you simply know better. You may be the author, but there’s not a lot original to what you’re saying. It may be time to add your thoughts and your voice, just to put your stamp on the piece. This is a great way to make it stand out in a world full of competition.
- Headphones are a writer’s best friend. OK, so it doesn’t have quite the impact as Nicole Kidman’s character singing “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” in Moulin Rouge, but headphones are really important. Maybe not everyone is a music nut like I am (I love my classic rock), but headphones offer a strategic advantage for the writer looking to concentrate. They allow everything but the screen in front of you to fade into the background.
- Turn blogging into a game of speed chess. Give yourself a deadline and make sure that you meet it. Sometimes comfort creeps in, and writers are a little reticent to take a risk. You still need to create a smart, thoughtful post, but the motivation that a deadline provides is powerful.
- Close out of your social media. The online distractions can be just as plentiful as the offline distractions. Facebook messenger has a way of blowing up at just the same times as when you’re trying to work on your most impacting piece. So know when to hunker down and concentrate for the best results.