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Productivity / Business Productivity

How to overcome writer’s block

Anyone who’s ever sat down to write an article has experienced the frustration of writer's block. These six tips will get you back on the horse in no time!

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As business owners, there is always the need to stand out in a competitive environment. One way to highlight your expertise in your chosen field is to contribute articles to business websites and industry publications as well as write regular blog posts for your own website.

A single topic idea might spawn a whole series of articles. But that same idea could also result in frustration as you stumble along struggling to find the right words to communicate your point.

Frustration is a worry as it can often lead to anxiety and writer’s block if not dealt with appropriately. The more you try to force the ‘perfect’ article to appear on your page, the harder it becomes. Before we know it, we’ve become immobilised and completely unable to write.

Here are six tips to help you overcome writer’s block.

1. Do something else

Taking on a totally different task, (one that is achievable and will not require too much brainpower), will allow your mind to rest and think about the article idea in the background.

Additionally, the little kick of satisfaction you get from completing that ‘other task’ can also provide just enough motivation to get you in the right frame of mind to tackle your article again.

2. Go for a walk

Walking helps to stimulate the brain. This type of activity can have physical benefits whilst generating new ideas for topics or new approaches to your current piece. Walking in a park can relax the mind, strengthen the body and inspire new ways of looking at your topic.

3. Always have a notepad

Make sure when you’re taking a break or going for a walk that you have a way to jot down any ideas or thoughts that might come to you (you can use either a physical notepad or a smartphone.)

"Having a rough framework to hang your thoughts on might be all you need to break through your block."

The thoughts you have may be useful both for the current article you’re working on, or for future ones (having ideas for future articles ready to go is a great cure for writer’s block!)

4. Outline the key points

Brainstorm what you want to cover in your article. Then organise those points so that there is a logical flow of ideas. Having a rough framework to hang your thoughts on might be all you need to break through your block.

5. Just write

Remove all constraints by allowing yourself to just write. Many writers feel the need to ‘get it right’ from the outset. What you need to remember is you can edit a first draft – but if you don’t have a first draft, you have nothing to work with.

So literally just write … and then let your edits shape the article into something that you want to publish.

6. Wait before editing

Before editing, take a break. Get yourself away from the piece and give your brain time to switch from ‘writing’ mode to ‘editing’ mode. (Some people like to write their first draft at night and then come back to it in the morning for instance.) Often, letting a piece sit for a while also brings forth new ideas on the topic and when you go back to edit, any holes in the narrative become very clear … and very easy to fill in.

The important thing to know when sitting down to write an article is that it’s not a smooth process for anyone. Every writer experiences blockages but the satisfaction one gets when you’re able to put your thoughts out into the world and help others with them? It’s well worth the pain of pushing through!

How do you deal with writer’s block?

Maria Pantalone

works with individuals and teams in developing their business communication skills. Her company, Infinite Growth, provides training in presentation skills, business writing and leadership development. Armed with these skills, there is nothing a business person cannot achieve.

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