So you’ve got nothing to write.
You’re sitting in your chair staring at a blank screen. Your brain is fried, and nothing you do seems to get your fingers moving.
Writer’s block happens to all bloggers at some point or another.
Before we talk about solutions, though, let’s talk about what causes it:
Fear of failure is one of the main culprits of writer’s block. This fear can take your mind everywhere but where you need it to be.
You might fear not being a good enough writer or perhaps that people won’t like what you have to say.
Regardless of your fears, remember the following:
You cannot fail unless you try… And you cannot succeed without trying.
Being a blogger is hard work. First you have to setup a blog, design it, write regularly, publish blog posts, promote your posts, research, interact with your readers, and so on.
I personally write three blog posts a week for this blog. Once written and published, I spend even more time promoting them.
Some writers write more and others less, but one thing’s for sure… after a while it can be just as exhausting as any other job.
To the point where your brain just goes blank.
I used to struggle with this one the most when I started blogging, and still do to some extent.
Wanting to get every detail right while writing a blog post can quickly fry your brain.
I used to worry about getting all my bullet-points in order before I even started writing. Not to mention going nuts every time I saw that wiggly red line under every misspelled word.
Sentence structure and commas you say? I used to forget what I was writing because I would spend so much time going back and making sure everything was on point.
This was the biggest cause of writer’s block for me.
I never considered myself a great writer. Therefore I worried too much about getting everything just right.
If you’re struggling with this, I feel your pain, and have some great solutions to share with you which helped me get rid of “perfectionism syndrome.”
Sometimes we make it hard on ourselves to do the things we know must be done for no reason whatsoever.
We sit in bed watching TV or twiddling our thumbs doing nothing. At times we find things to do so long as it’s not what we know we should be doing.
As bloggers, we know that we can write whenever we please, and pushing a blog post back a few hours because we feel mentally blocked isn’t going to kill us.
However, a few hours can turn into a few days, and next thing you know “writer’s block” made you waste an entire week.
That’s called laziness and it’s one of the biggest culprits of writer’s block.
Lack of structure
Most jobs require you to show up at a specific time, perform specific tasks, and head out at a certain time. This is also known as the 9 to 5 routine.
The main reason why companies created these structures is because over time, they realized that the more structure people have, the more productive they become in the workplace.
Bloggers on the other hand, have no one structuring their daily lives. The only person bloggers have to report to is themselves.
Not having daily routines set in place can turn your brain into a tailspin where nothing comes out, because there’s no structure telling it that it’s time to write.
How Do We Overcome Writer’s Block?
It’s a tough question to answer, and I’m afraid of not having the right solution for you. However, the tricks I am about to share with you have helped me vanquish it every time.
Try them and I guarantee you, every time writer’s block shows its ugly head, you’ll be ready to smash it and get to writing.
Trick #1: Eliminate Distractions
I have a hard time focusing when I have distractions around me.
My distractions might not be the same as yours, but mine can be something as simple as having another person in the same vicinity as me.
Sometimes I feel like I must give attention to everything around me, and at times it causes my mind to go blank.
When I realize writer’s block creeping in because of distractions, I eliminate whatever those distractions are and continue writing.
Trick #2: Free Write
This is a trick I find myself using more and more as I become a better blogger and gain more knowledge about my subject.
Free writing means writing about whatever comes to your mind without giving much thought to grammar, sentence structure, or even what is being written.
Just write whatever comes to mind on your topic and before you know it, you’ll have a full post ready to be published.
Trick #3: Change Your Daily Routine
Sometimes we get so in sync with our daily routines that they become second nature.
This can make writer’s block an even bigger problem when it creeps in.
Because the moment writer’s block shows its ugly head, you’ll want to push through it because its time to write.
And believe me, the more you try to force yourself to write, the worse it becomes.
When this happens to me, I simply do another task like promoting or updating an old post and get back to writing once I am finished with the task.
Note: It’s important to have a daily structure in order to be productive, but understand that you might need to deviate from it sometimes in order to get past writer’s block.
Trick #4: Talk to an Imaginary Friend
This trick might seem silly to you but trust me, it works!
When I get writer’s block, I sometimes start speaking to myself about whatever I am trying to write about.
Once I get that conversation going, it doesn’t take long before my fingers start rolling.
Trick #5: Turn Off Your Computer
This is perhaps the simplest trick I use to overcome writer’s block.
Turn off your laptop, PC, tablet, or whatever device you’re using to write on.
Give it a few minutes, turn it back on, and get to writing.
Don’t know why this works for me, but I have done it a few times and it hasn’t failed me yet.
Trick #6: Meditate
If you’re a blogger and have never meditated, please stop reading this article and start meditating now.
You’ll thank me later.
Meditating has helped me in all aspects of life, and it never fails me when it comes to overcoming writer’s block.
Trick #7: Read Your Favorite Post
I have two blog posts that inspire me to write no matter how bad my writer’s block is.
There’s nothing special about those posts, but they get me going.
Find out what your favorite posts are and use them to overcome writer’s block.
Trick #8: Steal Ideas
As a blogger, having your own voice is crucial, but it can be daunting trying to be 100% original.
If trying to be original is causing your writer’s block, quickly go to Google and research what your writing about.
See what other bloggers are saying about your topic and use some of their ideas.
I do this all the time. The trick is to put the new ideas you come across into your own words.
Trick #9: Create Weird Challenges
You’d be surprised to find out all the things I’ve done in order to vanquish writer’s block.
One of my favorite tricks is to give myself a weird challenge.
The challenge can be anything from using the word “I” in every paragraph, to not using specific words at all.
These small challenges get my brain pumping out content like nobody’s business.
Why, you might ask?
Because my focus changes from writer’s block, to writing about the topic with a specific purpose in mind.
Trick #10: Do Household Chores
If you’re like me… there’s probably a number of chores around the house which you’re always pushing back.
Sometimes when I get writer’s block, I get to working on those pesky chores.
Once done, I usually return to my laptop with new found inspiration to write.
Trick #11: Listen to Music
For some, music is a negative distraction when trying to concentrate on any given task. I, on the other hand, welcome it to combat writer’s block.
Heck, at times I take it a step further… get up from my desk, and start dancing.
I am not picky with music and don’t worry about listening to something specific in order to overcome writer’s block. I usually just put on whatever I feel like listening to.
Note: Sometimes I have to turn it off to get back to writing, but there are times where I’ll be jamming and writing at the same time.
Trick #12: Read a Book
Reading a book takes my mind completely off what I am doing and sometimes that’s all I need to get past writer’s block.
Doesn’t really matter what you read, so long as it’s something that interests you.
Don’t like books? Read some random blog post on a topic of your choosing.
The key is to get your mind off what you’re writing about and into something completely different.
Trick #13: Call an Old Friend
There’s something about calling an old friend that gets me rolling.
Doesn’t have to be an old friend, it can be your parents or a family member your fond of.
Might not be the most conventional way of overcoming writer’s block, but give it a try and see what happens.
Trick #14: Take a Shower
Most people shower in the morning before going to work, or at night prior to going to bed.
I normally shower once a day, but when writer’s block creeps in, I sometimes up my game and shower a second time on that given day.
Showering refreshes my mind, and I find that I always return to my desk with new ideas to write about.
Try it and let me know how it works for you.
Trick #15: Make a List
This is one of my most commonly used tricks to overcome writer’s block.
You should be able to use this in the blink of an eye.
When I start writing, if I hit a roadblock, I stop trying to figure out what the next sentence should be and start creating a list of the ideas I wish to communicate.
Trick #16: Used the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique is a time management method coined by Francisco Cirillo back in the 80’s.
The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, normally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.
I don’t use it much, but I can attest to its effectiveness in overcoming writer’s block.
Trick #17: Watch Jeopardy
Believe it or not, I record Jeopardy episodes just to watch them when I get writer’s block.
I came across this trick a while back as I was writing an article on recycling cellphones and my mind went completely blank.
Jeopardy was on in the background. I turned up the volume and tried to play along for the rest of the show.
Next thing you know the show ended and I was writing with such fluidity that I couldn’t believe it.
The funny thing about this is that I never really liked Jeopardy.
Trick #18: Exercise
I love this trick.
Sometimes I go to the basketball court and shoot around. Other times I hit the batting cages.
Whatever form of exercise you choose to do, I can assure you it will help you overcome writer’s block with ease.
Trick #19: Brew Some Coffee
I don’t like coffee so this is my trick #8 when it comes to this article :).
When I started researching this topic, I read about this trick somewhere… wish I remembered where so I could give credit, but it made so much sense that I had to include it.
Brewing coffee is certain to take your mind off whatever your blogging about and into something you love to do/drink.
When you get back to your desk, I am sure you’ll have a fresh start with a tasty cup of coffee to boot.
Trick #20: Take a Short Trip
Get away from that desk and into your car.
Doesn’t matter where you go, so long as it’s far from that desk.
I use this trick mostly when writer’s block creeps in and I have somewhere I’d like to visit.
Last time I did this, I found myself driving by an old neighborhood I used to live in.
Make a list of places several places you’d like to visit and go for a ride next time you experience writer’s block.
Trick #21: Listen to the Rain
I come from the Dominican Republic, and the house I grew up in to this day still has a zinc roof.
I always loved hearing the rain fall while laying in bed. Today, I no longer live in a house with a zinc roof, but I have the benefits of YouTube.
I look for rain sounds which brings back great childhood memories and sets my mind at ease. Which in turn abolished writer’s block.
Trick #22: Reread Your First Blog Post Ever
This trick might not be for you if you’re just starting out and only have a few posts to go back and read.
However, if you’ve been blogging for a while and have a collection of at least 20 blog posts try it out.
You’d be surprised at how much better you have become. I do it as a way to pump myself up more than anything.
To know that I have grown so much as a blogger makes me feel like the second coming of Stephen King.
And the better you feel, the further away writer’s block will be.
Trick #23: Write Outside
Sometimes a simple change of scenery can do the trick.
Next time you feel writer’s block setting in, take your device outside and start writing.
Trick #24: Disconnect
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve experienced writer’s block because my phone was going off nonstop.
Disconnect everything except the device you’re using to write your blog post.
Turn off your cell phone, TV, radio, and whatever else connects you to the outside world.
Once you do this, I assure you the inner genius in you will burst out full of ideas ready to be written down.
Trick #25: Make Friends With Your Inner Critic
Have you ever sat at your desk feeling like nothing you write is good enough?
This feeling is so frustrating and can feed your moment of darkness.
However, this form of writer’s block is usually caused by your inner critic, or inner voice as some might call it.
You can easily overcome this by making friends with it.
Instead of allowing it to control you with negative thoughts, just talk to it like a little child and let it know everything is going to be OK.
Trust me… It works.
Trick #26: Don’t Worry About Editing
Trying to write and edit at the same time can be a hassle. Sometimes causing writer’s block.
Stop worrying about the editing aspect of the post and continue writing.
Once you’re finished writing, go back and edit it.
Trick #27: Take a Social Media Break
I rarely use this trick because Social Media is not my thing. If not for this blog, I probably wouldn’t use it much, but I’ve found it useful in overcoming writer’s block.
There’s something about seeing what others are posting on their social media profiles that distracts my mind long enough to where I forget what was bothering me in the first place.
Perhaps it’s the fakeness or the reality of it all.
Can’t pinpoint the reason but it works for me when I want to overcome writer’s block.
Give it a shot and report back with your results.
Trick #28: Change Your Writing Program
I write my blog posts in WordPress, but sometimes I change it up a little and use Microsoft Word.
One time I went to the extreme and wrote down my blog post on a white piece of paper.
Doesn’t matter what trick you use, so long as it helps you overcome writer’s block its worth it.
Trick #29: Go to Your Local Library
I have a library near me so I go there from time to time when I feel like I have nothing to write about.
I don’t know if it’s the change of scenery or the library itself that gets me going but it works for me.
Try it and let me know if it helps you overcome your writer’s block.
Trick #30: Stop Writing for Your Readers
This trick is on a slippery slope because your readers are the most important aspect of your blog.
A blogger without readers is like a star you can’t see…. lost in space.
However, sometimes we focus so much on what our readers might want that we run into a brick wall.
If you get the feeling that this is causing your writer’s block. Try writing an article about something that interests you even if you’ve already written about the subject before.
Trick #31: Cook Something
I’ve grown a major interest in cooking over the years and it’s become one of my favorite tricks for overcoming writer’s block.
The only bad thing about this trick is that its impractical at times. If you’ve already eaten something, there’s no need to cook up a storm just to get past writer’s block.
Try another trick and move on.
Trick #32: Pick a Fight With Another Blogger
Doesn’t have to be another blogger, just pick a fight with someone.
I’m not talking about a fist fight, but a war of words.
Have a little fun with this one. Don’t be mean, just distract your mind and once you put your opponent to rest, get back to writing.
Trick #33: Read Inspirational Quotes
I catch myself doing this all the time and not just to overcome writer’s block.
Reading inspirational quotes pumps me up in ways that I can’t explain.
Try it for yourself and see if this trick works for you.
The Truth About Writer’s Block
Blogging is hard work. There’s no doubt about that.
But you can make it even harder by accepting writer’s block.
Don’t become a failed blogger because of it.
Experiment with the tricks mentioned above and find out what works for you.
Don’t forget to write them down so you know what to do in the future.
Writer’s block will creep in from time to time, and you should always be ready to vanquish it upon first sight.
What tricks have you used to deal with writer’s block?