How to beat writer’s block for content writers
If you think that writer’s block is just for novelists, think again! As a blog and content writer, I’ve come across it plenty of times – in fact, I’ve deleted and re-written this very paragraph twice already!
The truth is, when you’re faced with the pressure of deadlines and the need to write consistent content, you can so easily find yourself staring at a blank screen wondering where the heck to start. And in these situations, you can either stall and not get the job done, or find ways to push through. Luckily, I have a few tricks that I use when I’m faced with writer’s block – perhaps some of them can help you, too.
Writer’s block – how do you feel about it?
First thing first. Where does writer’s block come from? Other articles I’ve read on the subject start by answering the question ‘what is writer’s block?’, and I personally find that unhelpful. We know what writer’s block is, otherwise we wouldn’t be searching for ways to solve it!
Instead, I’m going to start by exploring why. Why does writer’s block happen? And the conclusion I come to is down to one word – FEAR.
Whenever I find myself unable to start writing, fear is always the driving emotion.
- I’m afraid that what I write won’t make sense.
- I’m afraid that I’ll get it wrong.
- I’m afraid that people will read it and judge me.
- I’m afraid of revealing my weaknesses.
Fear is a seriously big emotion, and one which drives an awful lot of our decisions. In this case, telling us that we are not good enough to write the content that’s in our heads, so we should “just leave it, yeah?”.
The trouble is, like with everything, if we let fear decide for us, we never move forward. We never get that piece of content written. Thankfully, once you understand why, there are some useful tools you can use to overcome writer’s block, once and for all!
How to beat writer’s block
1. Have an ideas bank ready. It’s just too overwhelming to have to think of a subject as well as write the piece in one sitting. I always do these two things separately. I will sit down and think of a list of things I’d like to write about. Maybe just about 3 or 4 to begin with. And I note down any ideas that come to mind for each one.
2. Do something else for a while. Once I’ve got my ideas list, I walk away. I shut the document down, and I go and do something else. Sometimes (if I need content urgently), that might just be an hour, or it can be several days.
3. Look at the first thing on your list. Don’t do anything with it, just read back your idea, and allow your mind to wander on it. Take your time, and add to your ideas if you feel inspired. Make it a rough bullet list so that you can make sense of it, and build from it. The most important point here is that you’re focussing on ONE IDEA.
4. Write without judgement – or thought. I often find from working through point 3, I’m feeling pretty inspired about the content I’m about to write. BUT, if I’m not careful, this is the point where writer’s block can kick in big time for me!Here, you must allow yourself to write something shitty. Don’t judge, edit, or think too much – just write. Get all of those ideas out of your brain, and onto the screen. Write it for yourself, remembering that at this point NOBODY ELSE CAN SEE IT.
I can promise you that once you’ve done this step, you’ll see that it’s nowhere near as bad as you thought it would be. And guess what? YOU’VE WRITTEN YOUR CONTENT!
Now, you can edit it and make it shine ready for the real world to see. Then, move on to the second idea on your list. The more you practice this, the easier it will be, and soon, writer’s block will be a thing of the past!
I really hope that these ideas help you. Let me know if it works for you, and send me a link to the next amazing piece of content you write!
Tereasa Hedges, freelance copywriter for creatives, designers and makers.
I’m a freelance copywriter who specialises in writing content for creative people, helping you to reach larger audiences through blogging, web content, email marketing, and a little bit of social media for good measure.
Want to work with me? Contact me for a chat via firstname.lastname@example.org