We’ve all been there: stuck with writer’s block on a tight deadline. It can completely derail your writing progress, and frustrate you to the point where you can’t get anything done. As a business owner, you don’t have time to sit around with writer’s block, and if your blog is well-read, the fear of disappointing your readers may add extra pressure.
I write a lot in my free time in addition to my usual blogging, so I’ve dealt with writer’s block a lot. Here are some of the best ways I have been able to break the bind and get back to creating great content.
Take a Break
Sometimes when you’re having a hard time writing, the best thing to do is step away from the task at hand. Get your mind off your topic for a little bit and think about something else. If you are extremely busy, move on to the next task and complete it. If you can, though, I’d suggest clearing your mind entirely. Try taking a walk around your office or home, or if the weather is pleasant, head outside and take a deep breath.
When you get a real bad case of writer’s block, you may be over-thinking your project and how to get over it. Just step away and take a break, over-thinking and worrying about it will only prolong the block.
Once you get back to whatever you were writing, reread your work from the beginning. You’ll be amazed the direction in which your train of thought will take you.
If you find yourself hung up on writing a particular point in your post, try skipping ahead to a different point. Sometimes it can help you feel better to get words on paper instead of sitting idle and staring at the blank page. Think about the next point of your blog post, and skip ahead a bit. Once you complete that thought, maybe you can go back to the section that hung you up.
Write Something Else
Like the athlete that tries to recover from a turned ankle by walking it off, sometimes the only way to get through writer’s block is to write. Close your main project and write something completely different. Writing a blog post? Try your hand at poetry. Working your way through a technical eBook? Write a children’s story or fiction piece.
Your new work doesn’t have to be good (No one will ever have to see it) but it just has to be different. Once when I was having a really tough time progressing, I decided to write a rap lyric. The lyric was horrendous, but when I went back to my main project, the words seemed to flow. Sometimes you have to just change the way you think before progressing.
There are countless studies proving that exercise increases productivity. Exercise gets your blood pumping and gets more of your brain active. If you’ve been sitting over your computer reworking your sales copy for hours, studies show that your brain starts working at a lower efficiency. Working out will recharge your batteries, and help you work more effectively.
Can’t get sweaty or don’t have the time to work out? Go for a walk outside or, even better, up and down the stairs. Take 15 minutes and move around as much as possible in that time. If Yoga is your thing, you can even do a few poses. All you have to do is get out of your chair and your heart racing.
Have a Beer (no, seriously)
If all else fails, have a beer to help get creative. Alcohol in small amounts can help you relax and boost creativity. Be responsible, though. It may be pretty tough to get things done after a long happy hour.
It’s just a block, not the end of the world
Even the best writers get writer’s block occasionally. Relax, you’ll get through it. There are plenty of ways to recharge your creativity and finish your project, all you have to do is find what works best for you.
Alex Boyer is a Community Manager and Content Ninja for Duct Tape Marketing. You can connect with him on Twitter @AlexBoyerKC