Writer’s block is a frustrating inevitability of the blogging business. We write such a volume of content that at some point, you just hit a wall. The words don’t flow like they usually do or maybe you can’t even think of an idea. It happens to the best of us and there’s no shame in burn out. But to be a blogger, you have to learn how to dig yourself out of the trenches. Here are some tips to do just that.
#1 Do a Check in
Writer’s block can be caused by a number of factors. Sometimes these factors are simple and sometimes not. Either way, the first step to overcoming writer’s block is to try and figure out what’s causing it.
I like to call this a check in. Shut off the computer and take a few minutes to get back in touch with yourself How are you? How long have you been at it? And have you eaten lately?”
A lot of the time, the temptation with writer’s block is to knuckle down and try to force an article out. Though this can sometimes result in some productivity, on the whole, this isn’t a productive strategy. Most of the time, it’s faster to diagnose and treat the root problem.
#2 Take Care of Your Body
Even if writing isn’t traditionally thought of as a demanding activity, it most certainly is. Sitting at a desk, staring at a screen, and typing all take their toll on your body. This is to say nothing of the mental effort you put into creating great copy. If you aren’t taking care of your body, eventually, you will see your productivity diminish.
Take a second and think. Run through a list of things that could be wrong. Are you tired? Hungry? Thirsty? All of these things can have an impact on your ability to produce content. If you discover that you aren’t feeling well, take a break, take care of yourself and come back. A lot of the time, it’s enough to get you through your deadline.
#3 Eliminate Distractions
Okay, you’re okay. You’ve taken care of yourself but you still can’t get anything done. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re distracted. So how do you get back on track?
Eliminate what’s distracting you, obviously. There are a lot of ways to go about this.
The first is to limit your internet access. The easiest and most organic way is to work somewhere without internet access. Go work outside or maybe a coffee shop (but don’t log into their wifi,) physically getting you out of your living space can reduce your ability to become distracted by a lot.
The second way is to use applications. I like an Android (sorry iOS users) app called QualityTime it allows users to track their use of different phone apps and also set up different profiles that will block certain apps for a duration of time. There are a lot of apps for different platforms however. Some of the bigger and highly rated apps are Freedom, Cold Turkey, just Google it, there are a lot of options.
#2 Reconnect with the Real World
A lot of the time, you won’t have anything to write about if you’ve been in your head too much. And being in your head is part of being a good blogger but sometimes you need to take a break and get grounded. Go talk to people. In the real world if possible but online is fine too.
You can take a walk or talk to a friend or family. If you’re isolated, you can even go online to find folks to talk to. The point of the exercise is to have some meaningful contact with the outside world.
#1 Just Get it Done
Okay, I know I said that forcing your way through writer’s block isn’t the most productive option. But sometimes you can’t avoid it. It isn’t sensitive or terribly nice but you have to dig deep and get something done. Look up a blog post title generator or just make a list.
One of the more important lessons that we can learn as bloggers is, everything doesn’t need to be perfect. Sometimes consistency is more important than quality. You have plenty of time to create great articles but the punishments for missing deadlines can be dire.
These are just a few suggestions though. The issue of writer’s block is a deeply personal one. If you have some tips I haven’t mentioned be sure to tell the community about it in the comments or in our OBL forums. And if you have writer’s block, good luck.