4 Tips On Conquering The Evil That Is Writer’s Block
by Ashley Jones
It’s funny that I’m writing this blog about writer’s block considering I was drawing a complete blank when trying to think of a topic. Writer’s block happens to the best of us, and if someone tells you they haven’t experienced a bought of writer’s block they’re likely lying.
So what do I do when I’m struggling with my writing? Sounds weird, but I like to pace around my apartment. My tiny apartment is shotgun style and it takes me approximately 15 seconds to get from one end to the other. I pace like this about 10 times. This works well for me. It makes me feel less sedentary and helps me generate ideas. I think one of the best things you can do if you’re suffering from writer’s block is distance yourself from your project for a while.
This leads me to my first major tip you should try next time you start to feel like words are the enemy:
- Step away from your computer.
- Read something you enjoy.
- Write like you speak.
- Start with a working title, and then jump in.
- Take your content one step at a time.
Aaron Sorkin (The Newsroom, The West Wing) was recently on Late Night with Seth Meyers. The two did the typical let-me-plug-my-latest-project interview. But they also talked about Sorkin’s writing process. Sorkin said whenever he experiences writer’s block he will shower and change into clean clothes to start again with a clean slate. I think this is a great idea. There’s no reason to sit and stare at a blank page. Get up and start moving around; do whatever works for you. This will help clear your head and make room for all those awesome ideas to come through.
No, Facebook doesn’t count. Pick up a magazine or check out the latest entry from your favorite blogger. You can even read a few industry blogs to see what’s new. This will get your mind off your work and help inspire you. These quick distractions can help you connect ideas in a way you didn’t see before.
Don’t try to get hung up on trying to use jargon or industry-speak. Start off by writing conversationally and the ideas will start flowing. It’s way easier to get a good pace going if you feel comfortable with the language you’re using.
Write up a quick title that focuses on the general idea of your blog. Then try to get your initial thoughts out. It doesn’t have to be grammatically correct or even make complete sense. Once you’ve got your thoughts out you can clean it up later and you’ll feel better once your ideas aren’t swimming around in your head.
If you’ve got a lot of content to work with it can feel daunting. Break your content up into sections and tackle them one by one. I usually separate my main ideas out into bullet points. Then I take those points one by one and start fleshing them out. This makes my content much more manageable and I’m less freaked out by the amount I need to complete.