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Ever find yourself staring blankly at a blog page or caption box, trying to write but struggling to find the right words?
We hate to be the bearer of bad news but it sounds like you suffer from writer’s block. The overwhelming feeling you get when you’re trying to write, but the words won’t come out and you can’t push past it.
Yeah, it sucks. It can get in the way of your productivity and can make you feel like you’re underperforming, even though you’re not. As bloggers and content creators, you aren’t just shooting and editing content. You’re also writing social captions, Story copy and blog posts. Writing is essentially another part of the content creation process, and when one creative wheel isn’t turning, sometimes all of them stop.
To solve your writer’s block and get you back on track, you first need to understand why you suffer from it. Here are some sneaky but common causes that can put you in that blank mindset:
Fear: Whether you’re scared of failing, overthinking what others think of you or are worried about letting someone down, fear blocks our creativity. Try not to let them get in the way. What would you write if it was just for you to read? You know your strengths, so let them show!
Perfectionism: As Hannah Montanna says, nobody’s perfect. You don’t need to have your copy perfect on the first go. That’s why we work with drafts.
External pressure: This could be your boss, your peers, your competition, or anyone who can turn up the heat. You’re in control of your work, so don’t let others have too much of an influence over it. If you don’t work well under pressure, remember to give yourself plenty of time when it comes to writing.
Self-criticism: We are all our own biggest critics, but you need to let your self-criticism help you out-perform your previous work, not let it stop you blankly in your tracks.
Burn out: The feeling of being exhausted from over-working can be paralysing. You need to let your mind and body rest to help it regenerate. Your creative ideas depend on it.
Just like its causes, the process of overcoming writer’s block is different for everyone. There are multiple tools that can help.
Allow the words to come to you
When you can’t find the right words, let them find you. Sometimes sparks of inspiration come at the most random times (ever had a great shower idea?) and usually when you’re not thinking about writing.
To help you forget about your writing and unintentionally get the creative juices flowing, try meditating, going for a walk, reading a book, taking a snack break or listening to music. Sometimes the most mundane tasks will spark a genius idea.
Develop a consistent writing routine
Giving your brain plenty of notice before you tackle your next blog post or social caption might just be the trick to keeping your creativity in touch. You may experience writer’s block because you weren’t prepared in the first place. How many times have you been asked an on-the-spot question and was lost for words?
To avoid this, come up with a regular writing schedule so you can mentally prepare for the writing process. This can be different for each individual, however a great place to start is somewhere simple – an hour every second day of the week.
Lets get visual
When words fail you, or the traditional ways of writing out line after line isn’t your thing, try a more visual approach.
Create mind maps about your topic, draw out your ideas or brainstorm on sticky notes the messages you want to get across. These are great ways to visually map out your social copy or blogs, and have your ideas in front of you before you attempt to tackle your next sentence.
Get your free-write on
Sometimes you need to forget about the rules. Free writing can help you do that. Set a timer and just write, without pausing or worrying about grammar, spelling or the topic you’re writing about.
What you write down may not be completely relevant to your original social caption or blog idea, but the goal is to write without doubting yourself or your skills. This can lead to a brain-snap and help you finish what you’ve been meaning to for the past week.
Have a change of scenery
The environment you work in has a major impact on your productivity and headspace. To help you shake your writer’s block, try moving your workspace into a more quiet, inspiring and relaxing environment.
This might be another room in the house, a different seat in the office, sitting at your local coffee shop or simply getting outside and writing at a park bench.
Final food for thought: Don’t give up on yourself. Give yourself time and have patience. Your writer’s block won’t last forever and thanks to these tips, your mojo will be back in no time.