Overcoming Writer’s Block : There’s nothing more stressful than a blank screen with a looming deadline. Sometimes writers force themselves to type words onto the page, thinking if they just get started ideas will flow, only to find what they’ve written isn’t useful. The words don’t matter if they lack substance or if they fail to connect with the audience and evoke a powerful response. Learn why creative writing is absolutely essential and what to do when the words just won’t come.
What Is Writer’s Block?
Since humankind found expression in the written word, the best writers have experienced the state of creative slowdown. Sometimes writers struggle with frustration for a day, for others it lasts for years. Writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald, composers like Sergei Rachmaninov, and songwriters like Adele all report struggling to find inspiration.
Writer’s block may come from the work itself. Sometimes a topic is too broad or too narrow, leaving the writer struggling to find the right approach. If the topic isn’t meaningful to them, it’s hard to make it resonate with the audience.
Writer’s block may stem from issues in the writer’s personal life. When one is sick, depressed, under financial pressure, or dealing with family crisis, daily struggles can crowd out creativity. Stress shifts the brain into “fight or flight” mode, shutting down creative processes.
Why Good Content Matters
Original, compelling content writing is important both for search engine optimization and for inbound marketing. Google’s mission is to offer useful, organized information to the world. The search engine demands that content be completely unique and penalizes writing that is duplicated on other websites.
Original posts are the best way to attract inbound traffic. Good content filled with unique ideas, quality sources and valuable information will keep prospects and customers coming back. If you recycle information customers already know, you become a follower instead of an authority.
Strategies For Overcoming Writer’s Block
Most writers aren’t independently wealthy, so they don’t have the luxury of waiting for writer’s block to pass. Often, the anxiety it causes can further hamper creativity. There’s no one solution that works for everyone, but with each one you try, you’ll find yourself closer getting back into your stride.
Set a regular schedule. Most people reach peak efficiency during certain times of the day. Set yourself up for success by carving out those hours just for writing. Shut out distractions and show up for business every day, even if you end up deleting most of what you produce.
Set deadlines. Writing is a creative process and an art, but if you rely on it for income, it’s also a regular job. Stephen King compared writing to a brick-layer building a wall one layer at a time. Each word can be work to lay. Sentences become several bricks in a row to form paragraph layers. Eventually structure takes shape. Aim to build a specific amount in a day to work systematically toward your deadline.
Celebrate completion. When you finish a task, take a break. Forcing yourself to jump right on the next topic creates fatigue. You’ll eventually dread a task you once loved.
Change your space. Sometimes a fresh perspective can be all you need to get your creative juices flowing again. Invest in a more comfortable chair and lighting that you love. On short winter days, move your desk so you’re near a sunny window. When you start to feel chained to your computer, take it to a coffee shop or the park for a different vibe.
Stop writing. When you’re not getting anywhere, do something else creative. Take a painting class, try something new at the gym, walk around your neighborhood and look for fresh perspectives to photograph. When you return to your project you might find your flow of words has refilled while you were away.
Take care of yourself. If the problem is a lack of sleep or stress from something else in your life, allow yourself space to take care of those issues. Until you do, no tricks or techniques will get you back to writing like you did before. Once underlying issues are resolved, you can return to productivity.
Keep in mind that if you’re experiencing writer’s block, you’re in good company. The most well-known authors of all time struggled with the same issues, but they’re known for their skill at the craft, which requires dedication and discipline. With time and perseverance, many writers move past obstacles to become more focused, creative and productive than ever before.
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