I have written about it before, I know, but there is nothing worse than staring at a blank page and not knowing what to write…that feeling of ‘absolute blank’. Your brain is probably screaming, “must write blog post”; “must add content to website”; “must create interesting post”; “must write now”!!! And yet your fingers are frozen, hovering above the keyboard with nothing to type – the dreaded writer’s block.
Writer’s block is quite different to not being able to come up with ideas. It’s more than that. It’s when even if you have an idea or a title, you just can’t get in to the flow. You can’t flesh out those initial ideas. It can feel like you can’t even string a sentence together. It really can seem like you are faced with a huge wall…a huge block.
I am not an expert, but when you get paid to write you can’t afford to feel this way too often, so I have got some techniques which help me when I am feeling really stuck.
Perhaps today is just not your day for writing. You may have set aside the time, but if you are feeling completely blank and uninspired, why waste an hour sitting in front of a blank screen feeling frustrated. Go and be productive. Do something else. Reschedule your time and choose to write some when else.
Eat (or drink!)
This may sound like very unconventional advice but I genuinely find it hard to write when I am hungry. If your energy levels are low then you are not going to feel up to much. If I am doing some writing which I am not overly enthusiastic about, I sometimes write and eat at the same time…a nice treat, like some sweets or chocolate to nibble on whilst writing can make the task just a little more inviting. I used to use the same trick when revising…I can’t tell you how many bags of wine gums I got through!
If food isn’t your thing…what about a warm cup of tea or hot chocolate? Again, feeling hydrated and perhaps more ‘cosy’ will help. As many of you know, I always have my spotty mug and a cafetiere of coffee as company!
Improve your mood
Having writer’s block is often a emotional response to the task in hand. It is much easier to write if you feel happy and motivated about what you have to do. A bit like eating a treat, do something which makes you feel better. Perhaps having music on whilst you write or even watching a comedy (something you have seen loads of times before) whilst sitting at your laptop. I would suggest you leave time to proofread in silence though as who knows what you might accidentally type whilst watching or listening to something at the same time!!!
Forget it entirely
Blogging should be about writing about what you find interesting and what you are passionate about. If what you had planned to write about is that uninspiring (and you’re not just having a bad day!), then consider if it is going to be worthwhile in the end. The best way to create a good blog is to write quality content that you are proud of. If you have made two or three attempts at writing about a particular topic and got writer’s block each time, then I’d move on!
Get someone else to write it
Yep, I am offering my services here…but seriously, consider if it is worth outsourcing your blog writing if you are constantly faced with writer’s block and that feeling of sitting frozen in front of a blank screen. A lot of people are much better at talking about what they are passionate about or demonstrating what matters to them and their business. A good copywriter can listen, watch and see this, and then write up the posts you want, whilst you can get on with the things you actually enjoy. It is a much better use of your time. Check out the type of blog support services I offer.
Whatever happens, don’t let writer’s block stop your blog in its tracks.