Updated: May 23, 2022
Writer’s block is an inevitable part of the creative process.
I’ve been there and I’m sure you have too. You’re staring at a blank page or computer screen, unsure of how to even begin. Sigh.
If you write to support your business, you know, without fail, that at some point (usually when you need it the least), writer’s block will rear its ugly head. And the pressure to overcome it quickly can be just as paralyzing because you know what’s at stake.
No matter what stage you are in your business — freelancer, creative entrepreneur, or small business owner — a blog can be the boost you need to take your success to the next level.
• Establish Yourself as an Expert
• Generating New Leads
Blogging for your business also helps you get discovered via social media. As Hubspot points out, every time you create a new article, you’re creating content that people can share on social networks — Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest — which helps expose your business to a new audience that may not know you yet.
The goal is to keep improving, having your latest post tract better than your last. But, realistically, that won’t always be the case. That is normal and perfectly fine, though a worthy benchmark to strive for as you grow.
If you keep creating, you’re on the right path. So let’s put an end to dreaded writer’s block and get your creativity flowing again.
So you just wrote a really kick-butt blog post that is getting a lot of traction. Hooray! You’re riding the high of people connecting with your ideas, in full-on rock-star mode when it hits you: What I am going to write about next? Or, how will I ever follow this successful post up?
Contrary to what most people think, Writer’s block isn’t a sign that you’re a “bad writer” — it happens to everyone. It is almost a rite of passage for all writers, but the underlying cause changes from person to person.
So let’s dig deep: why are you really blocked? Ask yourself these writer’s block causes prompts via Reedsy:
Most writers have experienced writer’s block but the right tools can help ease it. So how do you overcome writer’s block when deadlines are looming and you need to get back into the creative flow?
Here are four effective strategies for overcoming writer’s block.
Do you ever wish you could wave a magic want to jolt creative juices back to life?
It’s not witchcraft, but having a content bank is like being able to tap into that creative magic whenever you need the inspo.
A content bank is a place where you can keep all your blog ideas — and content ideas for your social media accounts, too. It can be a note on your phone, a self-directed text, or on Google Drive.
One habit that helps me is keeping a journal within arm’s reach. I scribble down notes and ideas on paper, which makes me feel more connected to my words. I don’t necessarily return to all the ideas I wrote down on my most productive days. I scrap or repurpose a lot of them when I have time to flesh out my thoughts on the subject.
Paired with a content calendar, a content bank makes posting hassle-free because ideas will be at your fingertips. It is my content bank that I can cash out when I otherwise would be staring at a blank page.
On the other hand, on days when you’re an ideas machine, spend 20 minutes replenishing your bank with original ideas and unlock fresh perspectives with prompts.
Writing prompts are like the directions on a map. They offer a sense of direction when you’re feeling lost on what to write. It can be anything from a single word to an image, a phrase to a paragraph. I keep all kinds in my content bank for brainstorming sessions.
It may sound simple, but that’s the beauty of using prompts to overcome writer’s block. You just need a pen and paper (or laptop), then you can get your creativity flowing again.
Ready to get started? Here are 9 Prompts to Fill Your Content Bank.
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas or getting started on your article, write an outline first.
This is especially helpful for bloggers who are writing for their business and a niche audience. When you’re writing for a client or on a specific pitch for a publication, it is much easier to stay focused because you have an outlined topic in mind.
Bloggers have a lot of freedom when it comes to writing whatever they want. That is a lot of choices when it comes to topics, and if you overthink it, you’ll land yourself in the trap of analysis paralysis and a bad case of writer’s block.
Writing outlines helps keep me focused and stops me from going off on tangents. My outlines include headlines, subheadings, and even pictures in advance of my long-form writing; that way, I can return to it when I have more time and energy to devote to the topic.
Sometimes you don’t need to do anything when you have writer’s block.
Nothing that pertains to writing anyway. The last thing any successful writer should do is force themselves to publish on an uninspiring topic. If you’re writing for the sake of writing and not writing what you truly care about, I promise your audience can tell and will quickly bounce right out of your post.
This is the worst-case scenario. Not only will it hurt your stats, but it also puts a ding in your creditability and content marketing strategy. It is a big waste of time and energy, two of the most precious of all resources.
On those lackluster ideas days, do something else you enjoy. I like to cook, garden, and play with my dog.
To sidestep writer’s block, I treat myself to weekly artist dates.
Grab a notebook, and make a list of artist date ideas to rejuvenate your creative side. And make sure you commit to the time you’ll use to treat yourself. The best artist date ideas make you feel artistic, creative, and inspired on a regular basis.
The point is to take the pressure off, step away from your screen and let the ideas roll in naturally.
Some other tried and true tips for overcoming writer’s block courtesy of PsychCentral include reading a magazine or just giving yourself permission to write badly. Hey, you can always revise it — or toss it — later.
The bottom line is not to overthink it. Your off day — or two — is just a break for your brain. You’ll be back to kick-butt blog posting, a rock-star mode in no time.
Free content ideas every week? Sign me up!
That’s what you’ll get when you subscribe to the Content Cheat Sheet — Ascent StoryCraft’s new Monday newsletter packed with everything you need to know to make your content marketing easier.
Every week the Content Cheat Sheet will deliver:
It will land in your inbox each Monday so you’ll never again ask yourself “What am I going to post today?!”