Communication skills

Seven tips for overcoming writer’s block

- March 6, 2011 2 MIN READ

Writer’s block often hits us when we least have the time to go blank – such as when we’re pushing the deadline on a key proposal for winning new business. Here are some great tips for overcoming writer’s block.

Writer’s block can have numerous causes, including feeling pressured by the enormity of the task ahead or the limited time available in which to complete it. Not knowing where to start or having enough information at hand can contribute too.

Use these seven tips to help you with overcoming writer’s block next time you experience it.

1. Be clear about your purpose and outcome

Re-visit the reason that you’re writing the document. What do you want the reader to do, know or feel when they’ve finished reading it?

2. Outline the key points

Brainstorm what you need to cover in the document and then organise these points into a logical format and use them as the main headings of your document.

3. Recognise when and how you work best

One of the advantages of being a soloist is that we’re not necessarily restricted to a nine-to-five workday and we have the flexibility to undertake tasks whenever and wherever it suits us best.

You may work best on difficult tasks first thing in the morning or after midday. Recognise when you work best. Then place yourself in an environment that gives you the best chance of writing.

Want more articles like this? Check out the business writing section.

4. Take a break

By doing something else or even going for a walk, your mind is able to rest. You’ll be refreshed when you return to the task.

5. Break the task into smaller parts

Break the task into smaller parts and decide which parts you’ll tackle first. You don’t have to complete them all at once or in order. This makes it easier to manage.

6. Schedule time to write

By setting aside the time to write you’re able to commence and make progress. Usually, the thought of doing something is worse than actually doing it.

7. Turn the critical voice off

There is a time and place for criticism. It’s called editing, and is best undertaken after you’ve written your document.

I actually had writer’s block when I sat down to write this article for Flying Solo, and couldn’t decide what I wanted to write about. How did I overcome it? I followed one of my tips and took a break. By relaxing my mind while on a walk, I realised the topic I wanted to write about, and the block miraculously dissolved.

Do you have any extra tips and tricks for overcoming writer’s block?

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  • Andrew Caska

    Caska IP Patent Attorneys

    'Flying Solo opened up so many doors for us - I honestly don't know where I'd be without it"