Writer’s block uses a number of disguises to keep me from writing the words I know I need to be writing. The more attention I give to writer’s block, the strong or more powerful it seems to become. I have discovered that if I will face down writer’s block and press on with the words, then it will dissolve before my eyes (or at least it will slink away for the time being).
The words are there – just waiting for their opportunity to fly. I have to push aside the noise, or the distractions, or sometimes my own stubborn desires and just write the words. If I start writing then I find that with each word crafted it becomes a little easier to write.
15 Ways to Break Writer’s Block
- Fill up a calendar with ideas.
- Utilize the library to find ideas
- Repurpose older writings.
- Visit niche blogs.
- Be inspired by images
- Start with a saying.
- Make a list post.
- Use work as a catalyst
- Break down the eBook.
- Dream up what NOT to do posts.
- Use the news.
- Build up to the holidays.
- Plan a giveaway.
- Be willing to use your personal experiences
- Start with a great line.
I always start with an editorial calendar. I have daily posts I want to cover, weekly posts, and also seasonal posts. The ideas are general – Tuesdays are always tips or top # type posts – but they give me some direction for getting the words down.
Take it a step further and create a template for the posts. This will give you a guideline for how to write what you will write. Be sure to include tweetables, spots for images, and other SEO friendly options that help break up the content and make it more valuable to the readers.
Visit the periodical section of your local library. Look at the articles covered in the different magazines and see how you can make those ideas your own. Never copy content, but always allow content to be an inspiration for your own ideas.
Come up with title ideas and then make a list of 5 to 10 points you may want to cover under those titles. Having some direction or outline will make it easier to write out the words later on.
Once a season (or once a year – depending on how much content you create) look through your older content to see how you can make it fresh. Rewrite the old content or add new content to the idea. Do NOT delete the old content unless you install a re-direct so that search engine bots and readers know where to go if they land on that page.
The old content may not be evergreen, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still good. You may want to write a new post and simply link back to your old post to show how times have changed or how your own journey has shifted things.
Visiting other blogs will give you the opportunity to see what is on the minds of related niches. Take time to comment on the posts that catch your eye and then you can also use that post and comment as a launching pad to make your own points or to expand on your comment.
Again, it is VITAL that you never copy the content that others create – not even if you intent to cite them. It’s okay to use other blogs to get ideas (and always good etiquette to give that blog/writer credit for inspiring your own words), but only to get ideas not to use their content.
A picture is not only worth a thousand words, but images have been known to inspire a thousand words (or more). Make use of stock images to launch your own word sprints (be sure that there are no copyright issues if you are going to use the image).
Take some time to go out and about to make your own images. You can even take some notes about why you took a particular picture or what you were feeling at the time to help inspire the words when you sit down to write.
Words have power – and sometimes the simplest sayings can inspire a flood of ideas and words. Take advantage of the different quote of the day apps or posts (or download some quote books). Look for words that inspire you are that spark an idea.
Mix your images with your quotes and then add your posts about them and you are will on your way to crafting an inspirational book.
A list post is nothing more than a series of related ideas, thoughts, or tips. This post is a list post. Utilize your groups, online events (like Twitter chats) and other activities where you share ideas to come up with your lists.
I keep a list of ideas shared in our weekly Twitter chats to use as list posts or I use them as a starting point for the posts. Conferences are also great places to compile ideas for list posts.
Take what you are doing in work or for work and expand on those ideas. You can also use the experience gained from work as a starting point for writing.
I often write for clients and find ways to repurpose the research I do for the client’s content to fit into my own niche and industry. Again, it is not about using the same content, but about finding unique ways to reuse the information, the inspiration, or the experience to craft new content.
If you have written an eBook, why not share some of that information from the different sections in individual posts. Make each post stand on its own, but also make it inticing enough to encourage readers to move on to the full eBook.
You can also go the opposite direction. Take several related posts, add additional content, and create an eBook. Make sure that you create a Call to Action link at the bottom of the posts that will take readers to the eBook.
It can be as much fun to come up with ways not to do things as it is to come up with tips on how to do them – sometimes it can be even more enjoyable. Craft ideas about the opposite of things people may want to know (like “how to clean the house” or “how to grow a garden”) and then do the opposite.
These “not” posts can be fun or they can be serious – or you can find a way of blending a little of both. You may even want to consider doing the “not” posts and then linking to the “how to” posts.
Real news, fake news, and everything in between all provide great fodder for word crafting. Share your thoughts on the news of the day. Share the things you are learning from (positive and negative) the news that is being shared or even the way it is being shared.
Keep in mind that the more volatile the news the more you open yourself up for those on the opposite side to attack (and they will). Keep your comments in line with your brand and you should be able to find your way through.
Develop a series of posts or articles based on making the most of the holidays. Share your favorite recipes. Include tips for decorating for the holidays. Definitely write about ways to keep things organized and/or sane during the holidays.
You could do an article a day leading up to the big day with the key word in the title and the topic corresponding to a letter in the holiday. Schedule the posts ahead of time so your own holiday will not be as hectic.
Celebrate a new launch or a highpoint for your website with a giveaway. Create posts around the giveaway and schedule them out for the days leading up to the giveaway.
Be sure you include a Call to Action at the bottom of each post that will take readers to the giveaway. It would also be beneficial to have a way to capture the emails of the readers so that you can keep them up to date on events for the website (and the giveaway).
The key to touching a heart is to be willing to reveal your own heart. Personal experiences that have a point and a direction (and that stay within the focus of your brand) make the experience more personal for readers.
Building up a strong fan base requires developing connections with people and then investing in being relentlessly helpful to them and for them. Sharing your own journey can make way for that to occur.
Great lines can come from anywhere. I keep a notebook of great lines that I pick up when standing in line, in church, or eaves dropping on my kids. Sometimes the ideas that come from these lines are in tune with the topic that was being discussed, but just as often they are WAY OFF in left field.
The key is to let the lines launch the words. Make a meme out of your favorites and add those to the posts or use them for social media links.
The words are there – just waiting to be released. Sometimes it is an image that can get the words flowing. Sometimes it will be other words that break the block. The secret is to refuse to stand around waiting. Start writing and then watch as they all come tumbling out.
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