Coming up with quality content day after day, week after week, can be a daunting task – even for the most prolific writer. If you are the sole operator of a website or blog, chances are you’ve hit a road block when trying to come up with a new topic or content theme. As deadlines loom and pressure builds, your ideas seem to float farther and farther away. Not to worry! We encourage you to focus on the factors that you can control. Here is a list of 10 ways to conquer any degree of writer’s block.
1. Stop Writing
Do a few stretches, take a walk, or do something you love to get your creative juices flowing again. There’s no use staring at a blank screen, so do something to break the cycle. Don’t stress if your break lasts over the course of a few days or even a week. If this is the case, it never hurts to alert you readers that you will be on a brief hiatus so they know what to expect. Everyone can appreciate the need to unplug and mentally recharge once in a while.
2. Change Location
Changing up your typical work environment is a proven cure for writer’s block. Try taking your laptop to the park, to a nearby coffee shop, or the library and utilize the change of scenery to trigger new ideas. Even switching to another room in your house may be all you need to get a fresh perspective and spark a new idea.
3. Just Write Something
Spend 10 minutes writing whatever comes to mind. Jot down notes, themes, keywords, and draw diagrams. Let yourself write at complete random. Ignore any punctuation or grammar, and change subjects many times. Embrace the messiness and let your mind wander. Try doing this on paper if you find it difficult to do on the computer. Opening yourself up to unbridled expression will free you from the pressure and allow you to refocus on specifics later on.
4. Brainstorm with a Friend
Meet up with a friend or fellow blogger that can empathize and hopefully help lift your block – who knows, they may be going through the same thing! Bounce ideas off one another and ask if they see any topic holes in your blog. This may be very helpful in building your blogger network, and leave you with an extensive list of potential posts.
5. Eliminate Distractions Around You
Clean your cluttered work space, turn off your phone, shutdown your social media sites and focus on your writing. In our socially driven world, hours can fly by with nothing accomplished but texting, posting to social sites, and sending text messages! The quiet will allow the tiniest of ideas to be heard. Here’s a helpful list of apps that can help block social media sites even while you’re using your computer!
6. Don’t Delete
Don’t think about deleting anything until every last thought is poured onto the screen. It is so much easier to go back and shape things up after you have completed your thoughts. A guaranteed way to never finish, is to over-edit throughout your first draft. Jump into the body. Work backwards if you need to! It will make the post seem less daunting and let you focus on the ideas that are at the forefront of your mind.
7. Poll Your Readers
Ask your readers! After all, you are writing to capture their attention. One good thing is that your readers are bound to have a wealth of opinions and can lend you a variety of posting ideas. Ask not only for new ideas but suggestions of previous topics they loved and would like to see again. Social media channels can be a helpful tool for this type of engagement because you may get responses from contacts outside of your subscriber list.
8. Read Something
Pick up a magazine, read a book, or checkout a fellow blogger. Taking a look at other people and subjects that are not in your same field of writing may help you to form new perspectives and inspire you to write something unique. Try to avoid reading topics similar to your own because this may leave you feeling like everything worthwhile has already been said.
9. Go Old School
Keep a notebook or small pad of paper with you at all times as you go about your offline life. Ideas may surface at any point in the day so this will help you capture them. This can also be a handy tool when lying in bed at night – a common time for your mind to relax and reflect. Don’t shy away from using your phone’s “voice memo” feature as well. Nowadays, our phones are virtually connected to our body at all times, so when a thought strikes, leave yourself a “message” so you can authentically and efficiently capture the full thought versus trying to translate later from short-hand text later on.
10. Revisit Ancient Posts
Use your own writing as inspiration! If you hit a plateau it’s likely that you have been in the blogging game for a while now. Your earliest posts may not resonate with the style and voice you’ve developed over time. Take this as an opportunity to re-write or update one of your own posts. You can even reference or link to the original post in the updated version. Choosing old posts with the highest page views can be a good starting place for this exercise, too!