As a writer or blogger, sometimes your sentences flow effortlessly, like a well-oiled bicycle careening downhill. Other days, it’s an uphill struggle. Every word feels like you’re squeezing it out. Your brain gets cranky just thinking about writing, let alone getting words onto the page.
What can you do when your muse gets rusty? Put a drop of oil in to get things turning smoothly again.
Here are some of our favorite tricks.
Stash Your Creative Wealth in an Idea Bank
Ideas are like the British weather. Some days they just rain down. Then there can be a drought for weeks.
When you have an idea, jot it down. Ideas beget ideas, so once you write one idea down, you’ll find more flow out.
As you’re writing down your ideas, flesh them out as much as you can. You might believe you’ll remember it all when you sit down to write. But unless you write it down, some of it will slip your mind.
The more ideas you store in your idea bank, the easier it becomes to sit and write. Your muse is constantly rich with possibilities. Even if she’s feeling poor, you can show her the wealth you’ve stocked up in your bank, and she’ll be able to protest no longer.
It sounds counterintuitive, but if you’re really struggling to get words onto the page, then burnout could be your issue.
Rather than forcing yourself to continue, take a break. Do something completely different. Go for a walk, draw in your journal, or make yourself a cup of tea.
Doing something active is especially helpful, as moving your body gets your brain in gear, and ideas will start to flow naturally.
By distracting yourself from the “problem” of your writing, you’ll often find that it resolves itself. When you return to your writing desk, you’ll be reinvigorated with a new energy.
Write About Not Wanting To Write
When you’re blocked, your thoughts can turn hostile to even the idea of writing. “I don’t want to write this,” your brain says. “I’m not going to write anything.”
Instead of trying to push those thoughts away, listen to them. Write them down, and see what they’ve got to say to you. Giving them attention and letting them have their say means they’ll stop trying to distract you.
Here’s a simple exercise: Sit down and write all the reasons you don’t want to write. Keep going until you have them all down, and don’t let your pen (or fingertips) stop moving until you’re done.
Make a Mess
A big reason many writers get blocked is perfectionism. We want our words to be just so. That’s fair enough if you’re writing poetry, but for blog posts, you don’t need to strive for perfection. What matters is the information you’re sharing, not the words you use to share it.
So don’t get hung up over crafting your sentences perfectly. Instead, just write. You can always go back and edit later. Usually, I find that writing fast improves the quality of my writing.
Ultimately, the only way to beat blogger’s block is to get words onto the page. So start writing, and see where your imagination takes you. You might be surprised at the journey – and the destination.