How to Knock Down Writer's Block
Writing. Do you loathe it or love it?
Anyone who does any amount of writing can experience writer's block. Whether writing for blogging, social media, business, long form or short form, articles, books, music, or whatever, chances are you know what I'm talking about.
You may have noticed (probably not) that I haven't been doing much writing for myself these days. My lack of putting pen to paper isn't due to writer's block, though. Yes, usually I still write everything first the old-fashioned way with an actual pen and real paper.
So, when recently asked about this unpleasant, but common issue, I was inspired to put together this list ("hacks" if you like that term) of ways to overcome writer's block. My advice contains tips for just getting the writing done as well as finding inspiration for overcoming writer's block. Hopefully, these 17 suggestions can help you knock down the block standing your writing way.
Think about the last question someone asked you. Answer and expand.
Jot down ideas that pop into your head in a designated place. When that block rears its ugly head, pull up your handy dandy list. For years, I've done this on my phone under "Notes." Make sure you commit to a designated place to keep your ideas. You will waste time, energy, and get discouraged if you can't find that idea you had last month.
What's the last problem you solved for a customer, friend, or a family member? Write about it.
Read the paper, a magazine, or news on Twitter. You get the idea. I do believe reading vs. watching is important here. Reading stimulates a different part of your brain and isn't as passive as watching. Opinions will flood your mind. Which you decide to write about and which you keep to yourself are your decision.
Take a nap, and get clean. Seriously, ideas seem to be sparked when not trying so hard. The bathtub, shower, or bed can be great places for thoughts to emerge.
Revisit moments in your life. Start writing until there's a "click" that makes a connection with the purpose for your writing.
Ask yourself questions. "Why do I feel the way I feel about such-and-such?" "What would've happened if I did this instead of that?"
Go for a walk. Make observations. Visual prompts may serve to stimulate your next piece.
Listen to music. Keep a pencil in hand or not. Try it each way.
Write when you don't have to. It's always nice to have some work in the vault.
Slow down. This is related to number 5. It can be harder to write when under pressure and busy. On the other hand, if you're the type of personality who writes better under pressure, do the opposite. Make yourself busy. Then, schedule an appointment with yourself. Determine a specific starting and ending time. Commit to turning out a completed product.
Change your surroundings. So much of my initial blog post writing used to be done in my car. When my boys were little and still in school, my notebook went everywhere with me. I would use all my wait times during their practices for writing.
Just start. Write anything; let it evolve.
Have a conversation with yourself. Chances are if you're experiencing writer's block, you're doing other things to avoid writing. Ask yourself why you're choosing that other activity. Write about it.
Read your past prose. You may discover a topic to revisit.
What are you excited about right now? What have you been passionate about for a long time? This seems obvious, but it may not fit inside the box of your purpose for writing. Imagine your passion, and try marrying it with your writing needs.
Look at dates. History, monumental events, community-specific dates, important days to you, anniversaries, those National-Days-of-Whatever on the calendar that every social media manager has relied upon at some point, these can all provide a jumping off point.
Writer's block is not just for writers I'd like to add. It's also for content creators. Afterall, anything written is content. However, content in today's social media world can also be video. Video ideas still need inspiration and are sometimes scripted and/or may contain a written summary or caption.
Many times there's not a true writer's block, but there is writer's avoidance. That's a whole different issue to write about. Hope you find that these tips spark your inner writer and knock down any block that's standing in your way!
Go forth, and be social.