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10 Tips for Conquering Writer’s Block

It happens to all of us, and often at the most inconvenient times. We are attempting to write a blog or an article for our business, and we can’t get passed the title.

The blinking cursor is staring back at us, almost mocking our futility and daring us to tackle the keystrokes that will produce a literary work of art.

We are suffering from an infamous case of writer’s block.

Writer’s block happens to everyone, and sometimes occurs when you are charged with coming up with a topic to write about. Sometimes it rears its ugly head when you have a topic in mind, but you are drawing a blank on how to start.

It can be aggravated by a tight deadline, limited knowledge of the topic, uncertainty of direction, and the need to be a perfectionist.

But rest assured, you can combat writer’s block and produce the content your audience will appreciate and value.

Here are 10 tips for conquering writer’s block:

  1. Remove distractions. One of the easiest ways to lose concentration is to have distractions around you. Turn off your phone, close your email, and shut your door if you have one. Set a timer, and brainstorm as many ideas as you can in a 10 or 15 minute time period. They don’t have to be perfect ideas, and you may end up deleting most of them. But it will get the creative juices flowing.
  2. Freewrite. Freewriting is writing continuously for a defined period of time about anything that comes to mind. It doesn’t have to be about any particular subject, and it’s okay if it is a grammatical and spelling disaster that would give your English teacher nightmares. But again, its purpose is to get your mind in a thinking and writing mode. Often this is all it takes to get you started.
  3. Do something else that is creative. Take a break to paint, draw, play an instrument or anything else that uses the creative side of your brain. You’ll wake it up, and hopefully have better success with your writing.
  4. Exercise. A short workout or a walk to clear your head is not procrastinating if you make yourself get back to it when you’re done. It’s a great way to recharge your batteries.
  5. Look for a writing prompt. The Internet is full of story starters. You can take any angle you want with it, and the creative process will often jumpstart your efforts in writing your business article.
  6. Bounce ideas off of a friend, coworker or family member. Sometimes talking through your challenge with another person and getting their feedback can help define your direction.
  7. Refer to a swipe file. A swipe file is a file that contains content, flyers, photos, graphics or any other creative material that you think is inspirational. Looking over your swipe file when you are experiencing writer’s block can give you the start you need.
  8. Create a routine. If you write for your business regularly, it may help to work on this type of project at the same time each day, at a certain spot in your home or office, or with your favorite beverage by your side. Some people do their best writing in the mornings, while others feel more inspired after lunch. Pay attention to when you are most productive, and develop your routine around it.
  9. Research related topics. If you know in general what you want to write about, research what has already been written about similar topics. It may give you ideas and a direction that you want to go with it.
  10. Read something inspirational. Read through motivating quotes, a religious devotional, or a chapter of your favorite business book. Many times this will reset your creative side and prepare you to write your piece.

Writer’s block does not need to be debilitating, cause you additional stress, or reduce your productivity. Figure out what writer’s block strategy works best for you, and make that blinking cursor lead the way to writing valuable content.

Laurie Zinn is a Columbus-based freelance writer and owner of Line-By-Line. She helps businesses communicate with their customers through website content, blog articles, email marketing campaigns and social media. For more information about Line-By-Line, visit http://line-by-line.us or contact Laurie at laurie@line-by-line.us.

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