What the What? 4 Super Obvious Tips to Battling Writer’s Block

Battling Writer's Block

The web has made writers out of all of us. Whether I’m posting a birthday haiku on a friend’s Facebook page,  commenting on the newest app via Twitter or habitually article writing for my business, I am more aware each day that my words are my craft. Honestly, there is nothing that makes me happier. Until “The Dreadful” happens…that is.

You know what I’m talking about. DUM, DUM, DUM! Writer’s Block. {Enter scream of mock horror}.

Last week, it happened to me. There is nothing worse that wanting so badly to be productive and not being able to do so.  Experts agree that this hellish phenomenon is simply the anxious mind shutting down.

The omniscient and always reliable {sarcasm} Wiki says,

“Writer’s block is a condition, associated with writing as a profession, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work. The condition varies widely in intensity. It can be trivial, a temporary difficulty in dealing with the task at hand. At the other extreme, some “blocked” writers have been unable to work for years on end, and some have even abandoned their careers. It can manifest as the affected writer viewing their work as inferior or unsuitable, when in fact it could be the opposite.”

Um, YEARS?!? Okay, so before I fall off the cliffs of insanity and “abandon my career”, let’s take a practical approach here. Sheesh!

As I was struggling with a particularly bad case of writer’s block last week, I noticed that I followed a few super simple key principles to drag myself out of it. These writing tips are very obvious {as my snarky title implies} because they are nothing new. Sometimes, we just need to keep it simple.

Battling Writer's Block

1. Get out of your head & deny the anxiety.

Many times, I’ve fallen back on warm-up exercises from my college writing class. Back then, I was grabbing my favorite pen and homemade journal and letting anything that came into my mind pour out onto the paper.  These days as a copywriter, the quiet clicking on a keyboard brings similar relief as I let my fingers do the talking. In fact, during my uncomfortable moment last week, I even jotted down the title of this article…”Battling Writers Block.”  While this technique is especially liberating for creative writing, this exercise is also a surefire tool in prepping for research and analytic writing. Your brain is a muscle after all. So, warm it up! Try not to think “What can I write about…?”, but instead follow the lead of your inner dialogue. Let go of the reins and step out of your comfy little zone. The fancy name for this is a “free associative exercise“.

2. Write ahead and schedule your posts.

All the preparation in the world doesn’t matter if you find yourself stuck in the writer’s block quagmire. I try to recognize when I’m in a particularly productive mode and make the most out it. By maximizing my “peak’ hours, I work smarter, not harder. Sometimes, this means writing four half-articles with huge gaping holes that need polishing later. But, even if I don’t finish my article, a good start will be a heaven-sent blessing at a more sluggish time later. Using a good interactive calendar and post scheduler like Hootsuite can also been very helpful in your article writing endeavors. I recently discovered the “Auto Schedule” function in Hootsuite and it has taken some of the guesswork out of strategic scheduling.

3. Keep a list of brainstorming ideas.

The topic list is a writer’s most sacred text. Hold it close. Value and treasure it. Add to it with the fervor and reverence of a patriotic revolutionary. This is your craft, your livelihood, your handiwork. Don’t be afraid of fragmented ideas and definitely don’t forget that there are no stupid ideas, only underdeveloped ideas. A good time to add to this list for me is during those “peak hours”  I mentioned in point #2.  Try a mobile app like ColorNote for Android or Apple’s Note Plus for iPhone and iPad users. If you need more space, use a whiteboard and some colorful markers to get your creative juices flowing. The key is to a) keep this list and b) refer to it.

4. Get a Fresh Perspective

Writing is an expression of your thoughts, perspectives and opinions – a culmination of YOU, with a particular message to share. If you find yourself  in a writer’s block funk, try to break up the routine by doing something good for the soul like chatting with a fellow blogger, listening to good music or getting outside. Chances are, once you encounter a new thought or idea, your mind will be dying to digest the information and add your own spin through your copywriting. Reading and researching is also a never-fail solution for me. My Google Reader has been a life-preserver during particularly agonizing periods of  writer’s block.

Do you have have a recommendation on how to beat the writing blues? What is the longest period of writer’s block that you have battled?

This article was orginally posted: 31 Dec 2010 12:21 AM PST by PollySentrick for Pandora Project Marketing, LLC.

You are reading , What the What? 4 Super Obvious Tips to Battling Writer’s Block originally posted on PollySentrick. If you’ve enjoyed this post, please be sure to follow PollySentrick on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest.


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