Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going. — Sam Levenson
When I was writing for pleasure I always found the words would just flow, they just trickled out of me and I was never lost for something to say. I then started writing for business and this was a very different story; I was suddenly sitting there looking at a blank page or piece of paper with no clue what to write, why was this suddenly so hard?
My conclusion is that when you are being paid to write there is suddenly a pressure on you that was not there before, especially if you have deadlines to meet. It is suddenly stressful and not enjoyable.
I want to share with you today a few tips that I have found helpful for me when I have the dreaded writers block and bring the joy back to writing.
Step away from that computer!
Go take some time to do something that inspires you or motivates you. I usually take the dogs out so that I am in nature or take a bath, so I can relax my mind. You will soon find that you are feeling inspired and can then get back to writing.
Brainstorming or a Brain Dump as I call it!
This is where you just sit there and write on a piece of paper everything that is in your head, it does not in any way need to make sense right this second but if it is on the paper it is no longer in your head. This then allows your brain space for new ideas.
Watch or Listen to something that will inspire you.
I am a huge fan of motivational talks, videos, and books so I will listen to one of these and see what I can take from them. As I spend a lot of my time writing for people in business I can usually get quite a few ideas that I can write and expand on.
Create a Swipe File.
A Swipe file is a handy little tool I came across in a book that I purchased recently that is a godsend for writers. What you do is create a word documents on your PC and anything that you read or hear you can pop in this word documents with a few tips on how you could use it in your writing in the future. Example Mark Twain said, “If we were all taught to speak the same way we were taught to write, we’d all stutter” So I could use this to discuss copywriting, why we come across sounding like computers, how to sell your personality and so on. It is always there on your PC, so you will always have something to go to If you are stuck.
Always read with a highlighter to hand.
I read a lot of books and will always have a highlighter in my hand, so I can highlight in the book something that resonates with me or I think could be handy in the future. These things can then go into your swipe file.
If you do not journal start, do not worry I am not telling you to become the next Bridgit Jones. I journal for business a lot of the times, I write my plans, my goals, how I am feeling about things and who my ideal clients are. I recently used my ideal client writing from my journal to put a post out to draw in my ideal client.
Listen to what other people are saying.
I have learnt that being around strangers, or in the public can give you loads of ideas for content. If you are sat on a bus how many conversations do you over hear, and how many things do you see that you then have your own thoughts on. They are strangers, so you don’t have names, so you can use it in your writing. Children are great for this, as they have this amazing innocence when looking at the world and no barriers they will say what they think and ask the most profound questions.
Podcasts, there are so many podcasts that are out there, and they are amazing things to inspire you.
I was recently interviewed on a Podcast; I had never done one before and found the process so interesting and quite emotional, so I then used the experience to write a blog post.
Your own experiences.
In life we go through a lot, no one will not have a story or experienced something in their life. I get it that some people are private and do not want to share but you do not have to tell everything or even say it is you. Can you use something that happened to you as a lesson for someone else?
The news and current events.
Sometimes when I need some inspiration I will hit Twitter, or places like The Huffington Post to see what is happening in the world or trending. I will then use this in a post and put my spin on it, or what I thought when I read it and how I interpret it.
I really hope this helps you when that screen is blank, and the thoughts are not flowing. If one works for you then keep at it. Just try something and see if it fits for you.