Have you ever pushed off writing an article because you didn’t know what to write about?
I sat at my computer during my daughter’s nap time yesterday. I stared at my computer, and my computer stared back at me. It started mocking me. Suddenly, I realized it’s mocking me because I have nothing to say.
I think I knew I didn’t have anything to say for this week, so I purposefully pushed writing this article off. Now, it was afternoon, my article was due last week, and I had writer’s block.
Here’s the thing, I don’t get writer’s block. I always find an angle. But today, I came up with nothing.
Me vs. the Block
As I dug into my second bowl of Lucky Charms, I decided to take action. There was a part of me that wanted to email my editor and boss and say let’s just forget about tomorrow and post one of those backup articles I’d written months ago. (I have back-up cornerstone articles just in case I get sick.)
Instead I decided that I didn’t want writer’s block to defeat me. It’s a battle now, me vs. the block.
In my quest to beat my own writer’s block, it hit me like a football to the face. Maybe I’m not the only person on this quest.
Have you ever felt this way?
Kicking Writer’s Block to the Curb
Today, we are going to dive into how to kick writer’s block to the curb. There are a lot of articles written about this topic. So, I compiled a list of the best tips out there. Here they are,
- In an article by Copyblogger, they share 3 ways to “stare down writer’s block”. What I liked about this article is that it was really encouraging. The really hard thing about getting writer’s block is how frustrating it is.
This article reminds us that we are writers, that the ability to write isn’t something that can be lost, and that we will write again.
- The Huffington Post put together an article about fighting writer’s block. The article cleverly related preparing for writer’s block to being a good survivalist. Towards the end of the article, the author related the nutrition your body needs to survive to your brain needing inspiration.
Even if you find that inspiration in a totally different niche. Sometimes beating writer’s block is as easy as listening to a great song, reading a favorite book, or even looking up quotes on Pinterest.
- In another article about how to beat writer’s block, Publisher Weekly highlights a really great point and quote from one of the greats.
When Bruce Springsteen was asked about his creative writing process his response was, “You write about what you love and you write about things you’re trying to make sense of.” I know this article is inspired by something I’m trying to make sense of.
- Lifehack.org says to write and write a lot by recommending forcing yourself to write 750 words a day. The power in doing this is that you don’t procrastinate. Instead, by writing that much, you “invoke creativity and flow”. The whole procrastination piece is a big reason why
I’m writing on a Sunday afternoon instead of over a week ago like I normally do. The truth is, I fell behind because I took a few days off here and there. Normally, I write over 750 words a day. For the last few weeks I’ve skipped a Friday here or a Thursday there.
Maybe 750 words is a lot to ask. Instead, try 200 and slowly build up or don’t build up. The point is to help you beat The Block by getting in the habit of writing.
- Don’t worry, the Reader’s Digest weighed in on how to beat writer’s block too. From recommending doing yoga to eliminating distractions the article provides a lot of great tips.
The one I have found most helpful is their tip to write early in the morning – like when you first wake up. This is true for me as well. Getting up early before anyone else, I know that my only job for a few hours is to drink coffee and write.
- *Quick Tip On Waking Up Early: The only way I can get up before the sun to write is if we set the coffee maker the night before. So when my alarm goes off, I know there is already a cup of coffee waiting for me.
- While I think there are a lot of reasons I experienced writer’s block, I think the main one is because I got thrown off of my routine. My writing routine usually starts at 5:30 am. It includes coffee, a little messing around on Facebook and Google+, but then I get serious and write until my little one wakes up. This has been my own personal secret to beating writer’s block.
- Another way to beat writer’s block that deserves to be mentioned is having an editorial calendar. Even if your editorial calendar is a spread sheet of potential article ideas.
- Here is my last tip: there is something to be said about eating Lucky Charms when you have writer’s block. Maybe it was the sugar or the total comfort of eating a sugar cereal that I was never allowed to eat as a child. I think coffee also does this for me as well. When the sugar or the caffeine finally hits my brain, “The Block” doesn’t stand a chance.
Bringing It Home
Maybe you are one of those really cool people with hipster glasses and awesome hair that never faces writer’s block. If that is you, I am jealous of you.
Maybe you’re like me and sometimes when life gets really crazy and your schedule is all out of whack, the last thing you want to do on this planet is write and face “The Block”.
Take confidence away from this article because you, too, can beat “The Block”. Whether you beat it because you write about something you love or something you are trying to figure out, you start your own writing routine, find inspiration, or take a deep breath, know now that your writer’s block will soon pass.
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If you have another brilliant way to beat writer’s block, please share it in the comment section below. I would love to hear it, and I know others will, too!
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