Need to write on your blog but you’re feeling stuck? Have you run out of ideas? Do you keep writing your intro and starting over and over again? Well, it seems like you’re dealing with writer’s block. Entire books have been written about it, so it’s not all in your head. Anyone who puts pen on paper will experience this issue at some point.
Contrary to popular belief, writer’s block doesn’t affect only “real” writers, such as poets or book writers. After all, the art of writing has been transposed to the digital world. Whether you’re a blogger, a copywriter, or a content writer, you’ll get stuck sooner or later. Luckily, there are ways to conquer writer’s block and find your inspiration.
What Is Writer’s Block?
Writer’s block can be defined as a psychological state in which an author experiences a creative slowdown or loses the ability to focus and come up with ideas. No two people share the same experience of it.
Some writers describe it as “brain fog” or a loss of mental focus. Some get easily distracted and cannot concentrate. Others simply run out of ideas and have a difficult time writing catchy headlines or making the content flow.
What Causes This Problem?
There are various theories concerning writer’s block. For many authors, stress is the culprit. Others experience this state whenever they’re dealing with a big project or something that requires hard work and research. In this case, they tend to procrastinate because the assignment is too complex to ever complete.
Let’s say you’ve just started a new blog. You’re getting ready to write your first post, but you simply can’t focus. You brainstorm ideas and come up with different headlines, but nothing seems to be good enough.
The same could happen when a client requests a sponsored post or a longer article that takes hours to write. You tell yourself that you’ll do it later, so you keep postponing it. This hurts your productivity – and your revenue.
Another common cause of writer’s block is the lack of self-confidence. Even the best writers are sometimes afraid that their abilities aren’t up to the task at hand. Perhaps the topic is more complex than what they usually write about, or it requires in-depth research.
Some experts suggest that writer’s block may have its roots in aphasia, a condition that causes damage to the frontal lobe, affecting our ability to form words. This doesn’t mean that you suffer from this disorder, but it’s an indication that the problem of writer’s block could originate in that frontal lobe.
Studies indicate that this brain area is responsible for creativity and the ability to make associations between unrelated concepts. In clinical trials, subjects who were asked to brainstorm ideas or engage in creative writing showed a strong increase in brain activity in the frontal lobe.
Yet, there are other experts who say that writer’s block is an excuse. Nothing more, nothing less. But whether that’s true or not, the question is: how to overcome it and get back in your creative flow? Let’s find out!
How to Deal with Writer’s Block and Find Your Mojo
From changing your work environment to removing distractions, there are a couple of things you can do to conquer writer’s block. Here are five foolproof strategies to get you back on track!
1. Take Notes
Whenever the light bulb goes on in your head, write it down! Take a pen and paper or use a digital system like Evernote.
Keep a small notebook at hand at all times. After all, the best ideas pop up when you least expect it. If you’re on the go, record a voice message on your smartphone. The next time you have to write a blog post, there will be plenty of material you may use for inspiration.
2. Set Google Alerts
Most bloggers specialize in one or more niches, such as health, beauty, or business. Even though these are broad topics, you can still run out of ideas. Sure, you could write something – but you want to make it unique and engaging. It doesn’t make sense to provide information on something that has already been covered by thousands of other websites and blogs.
That’s where Google Alerts can help. This free service allows you to set alerts whenever someone publishes an article or blog post that includes your keywords.
For instance, if you set an alert for “SEO strategies,” you’ll receive an email whenever a new article on this topic is published online. This should be enough to get your creative juices flowing and spark ideas for your blog!
3. Write First, Edit Later
As a blogger, you’re responsible for writing, editing, and proofreading your work. The problem hits when your inner writer and your inner critic are both trying to get things done.
Forget about editing at the start and just write. Choose a topic, create eye-catching headlines, and let your inspiration flow. Later, you can edit and proofread your work.
4. Find Your Most Productive Hours
Some entrepreneurs are early risers. Others are night owls. We all have two- or three-hour intervals over the course of a day when we’re the most productive and creative. The key is to match your most challenging work to your most productive hours.
Let’s say you feel super productive in the morning and late evening. Write on your blog during these intervals. Dedicate the afternoon and early evening to less important assignments or tasks that don’t require a lot of research.
This also works when you’re working on a side business, you can wake up earlier and do your writing before your commute or you can stay up late and write after you’ve put the kids in bed.
5. Change Your Environment
Sometimes, changing your environment is all it takes to get back in your creative flow. Do you work from home? Go to a cafe or a co-working space. Take a walk in the park, pick a quiet spot, and start writing.
Better yet, plan a short trip to another city. The sights, people, and experiences will boost your inspiration. Explore the place during the day and write on your blog as soon as you return to the hotel.
These strategies are sure to get you back on track, but there is one more thing you should keep in mind: avoid stress as much as possible.
When you’re struggling with writer’s block, stress is your worst enemy. Try to relax and eliminate distractions. Avoid the people or situations that make you feel stressed. Take a short break from work if necessary.