Writer’s Block Toolkit: Breaking Down the Barriers in Your Brain
You’ve been there before, staring at a blank white page, just hoping by sheer will that the words will come. Writer’s block can be discouraging and frustrating. Here are some tips from AWeber’s very own writers on how to tackle one of digital marketing’s most formidable foes.
By Sam Hollis May 21, 2015
Writer’s block can be, what’s the word… hard?
We’ve all been there before, staring at a blank white page, just hoping by sheer will that the words will come. It can be discouraging, it can be frustrating, it can be – looks at thesaurus – daunting. But the good news? It can be beat!
We’re here to arm you with the tools to tackle one of digital marketing’s most formidable foes.
Here’s what works for us!
“One of the ways I avoid (or remedy) writer’s block is by scheduling my writing for the times of day that I’m the most creative. That’s usually in the morning for me. My mind is fresher, meaning I can typically come up with fun, creative things to write about and there are typically less distractions and interruptions.”
“Just keep writing, just keep writing. (think Dory from Finding Nemo). Even if you know it will probably be bad, just “write it out” and get rid of that disheartening white page. Ann Handley calls this ‘The Ugly First Draft’. Once you’ve got everything down on the page, just edit, edit, edit, ‘til you’re happy with how it looks. Sometimes I like to hide away with iced coffee and music!”
“Go for a run! Disengage from what you’re working on and try to clear your head with some exercise. Reread a passage from your favorite book or author, maybe that will inspire what you to write, or your writing, all over again.”
“I create the most ideal workspace to write in. A clean, bright area with little noise works wonders. If I’m distracted, by, say, a messy desk or conversation, I find it difficult to accomplish the task at hand. A clear room equals a clear mind.”
“Whenever I have writer’s block, I volunteer to do the dishes. It sounds silly, but it works for me. Something about the mindlessness of the task helps me get in the zone.”
“Mindless behavior for an hour or two always helps. I’ll also research other published work on my topic for inspiration. 9 times out of 10, we’re not writing about a topic that hasn’t been discussed before. Use it as inspiration then put your own voice/spin on it. I hear a Beyoncé melody in my head.. “If I like it, then I probably put my spin on it.”
“Look for online prompts or quotes to provide inspiration, anything to get the words running and the fingers working will do. Don’t limit yourself to writing only about the topic at hand. Sometimes just writing anything helps me move past a block.”
Let’s take a look at some of the common themes that stemmed from these suggestions. Think of it as your Writer’s Block Survival Guide:
- Schedule your time: It’s not always easy, but if you want to succeed, you have to manage your time effectively.
- Write it out: Don’t worry about the first draft. That’s why editing is your best friend!
- Disengage or take a break: We’re not machines. Let yourself have some time to breath. Walking away for a few minutes to clear your head can be just what you need.
- Eliminate distractions: This is a big one. If your focus is constantly being pulled between several different places, your productivity (and quality of work) is bound to suffer.
- Take inspiration where you can get it: Whether it’s your favorite author, an online prompt, or Queen Bey herself, work with what you’ve got!
Now that we’ve spilled our secrets on what works for us, we want to know what you do to combat writer’s block! Sound off in the comments and let us know!