Believe me when I say that I’ve experienced more than my fair share of writer’s block, but I’m still here producing at least one blog entry a day for Beyond the Rhetoric. Because my brain is always in that kind of mindset, I never really run out of blog ideas to write about. At the same time, converting that core idea into a full blog post is a different beast altogether. Writer’s block is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot defeat it.
I write a lot. Every working day, I wake up to produce about a dozen news pieces for Mobile Magazine before going on to fulfill my duties at BlueFur. And then I’ve got to deal with the SEO articles for LoveToKnow, as well as the product and website reviews for The TechZone and John Chow dot Com. And that’s before I even get started on writing a blog post here. There’s a lot of thinking and typing, so I can’t let a little writer’s block get in my way. After all, freelance writing is my livelihood.
Some time back, I provided 5 tips to improve your writing ability, but those were more a matter of expression and flow. Those tips were designed to improve the quality of your writing, but not necessarily your ability to write on command. That’s where today’s tips come into play. Here are 5 proven methods to beat writer’s block… at least from my own personal experience.
1. Read, read, and read some more
I have no idea how many RSS feeds are in my Google Reader, but let’s just say that each morning, I wake up to hundreds of potential blog ideas. In an effort to get as much variety as the possible, the RSS subscriptions include personal blogs, entertainment blogs, technology news, video games, and more. By keeping up-to-date with the latest happs in the blogosphere and beyond, you will never run out of potential ideas for blog posts. Subscribe to Beyond the Rhetoric and you’ll have no problem beating writer’s block.
2. Become a professional blogger
Making the transition is so effortless that I didn’t even notice that I am now considered a pro blogger. When I first started out, I would spend far too much time considering different topics and constantly revising my work until it was “just so.” Now that I write so much on a daily basis, the words just flow out of my fingers and onto the keyboard. Writer’s block becomes less of an issue the more you write, because you get more comfortable with the writing process. Even if writing doesn’t become your profession, write as much as you can for your own blog, guest blog on other sites, or even keep a personal diary on your bedside.
3. Don’t forget to eat and sleep
Your mind will not function properly if your body is not properly taken care of. With the breakneck pace of the Internet, it is far too easy to get caught up in something and forget to eat lunch. In speaking with Lisa Jones, I discovered that Gary Jones is known to skip meals sometimes because he gets so caught up in his work. Making money online is important, sure, but your physical health should always come first. Eat well, sleep well, and you’ll function better at the keyboard.
4. Try a change of environment
Some people may say that you need to separate work and play in order to function at your best. They say that you should have a separate home office so that you can better achieve a healthy life-work balance. These tips may be true to a certain extent, but when you always work in the same location, your thoughts can easily become stagnant. You don’t need to find a new location each day, but changing it up every so often can help revitalize the creative juices. Myself, I sometimes work from the local cafe (free WiFi) or Susanne’s house. The change of environment does wonders.
5. Avoid burnout, take a break
Yes, this last method may contradict tip #2 to certain extent, but that doesn’t invalidate its… validity. While writing a lot can help ease the comfort level, letting yourself free associate at will, it can also lead to a nasty thing known as burnout. Sometimes, you just need to take a break. Go walk the dog, play some Halo 3, or curl up with a good book. After letting the batteries recharge, you can return to the computer and crank out a world class blog post. While walking the dog in the park, you may find inspiration. This last writer’s block-defeating method may not work with all people, however, because it can sometimes be difficult to get “back in the groove” after leaving your element.
Do you have a particular strategy for defeating writer’s block? Sharing is caring, so feel free to leave your tips behind via the comment form below.