Not many people realize how stressful writing is. You need intense focus, thorough research, and hours of grueling effort; carefully selecting the right words to form one cohesive piece. Unfortunately, the right words are not always easy to come by.
Remember that no one is immune to the writer’s block. Even the most talented and creative of writers eventually run out of words. In such times, you need to resort to strategies that can help refill your idea tank and keep the productivity going.
1. Let the Frustration Out
Writing is both an analytical and emotional profession. So instead of curbing all the frustration and stress in, you need to let it out. Curse out loud and don’t be afraid to use “colorful” words in your first draft. Keep in mind that you can always revise and correct these mistakes, but there’s no way to instill emotions in a textbook-like post.
2. Drink Coffee
There is a reason why coffee is a popular stimulant for writers. How else can you finish a thousand-word article if your mind is still half-asleep?
Stephen King said it best — “If you do not have time to read, you do not have the time (or the tools) to write.” Not only will reading help you gain some ideas and inspiration, but you might also learn a new word or two.
4. Communicate through Professional Networks
More heads are always better than one. If you ever find yourself out of ideas, you can always seek help from professional communities like LinkedIn Groups.
5. Have an Editorial Calendar
How can you run out of ideas if you already have a list of topics to write? Although you need to come up with a new set of projects from time to time, having an editorial calendar eliminates the stress and pressure from the entire process.
6. Write Unplanned
Just because you have an editorial calendar, doesn’t mean you should lose the ability to write impromptu. Remember that the moment you plan an outline for your next article, you immediately turn the activity into a job. It is a surefire way to drain your enthusiasm.
7. Explore a New Niche
In time, all bloggers find their niche. You may feel comfortable focusing on your specialization at first, but exploring other niches will open up a new world of possibilities. While you are at it, consider creating different content types as well — from infographics to slideshow presentations.
8. Write on Paper
Writing on your computer will never have the same “magical” feel like writing on paper. Although you have quick access to online resources, writing digitally will also expose you to distractions.
9. Have Realistic Goals
As a full-time writer, remember that a maximum of 2,500 words in a day is more than enough. Forcing yourself to write 3,000 or 4,000 will only exhaust your mind and body.
10. Use Background Noise
Background noise is an excellent way to drown out distractions and improve your focus. As an alternative to writing in coffee shops or a cafe, you can use a web-based app like Noisli.
11. Use Productivity Tools
Aside from ambient noise applications, there are also tons of useful productivity tools that can boost your productivity and efficiency. As a blogger, you specifically need tools for proofreading, project management, social media automation, and note-taking.
12. Don’t Worry About Grammar
Remember that you can always proofread and polish your work later. Don’t let all those red and green lines slow down your momentum.
13. Have a Personal Journal
You never know when the inspiration for your next post will come. That said, always have a personal notebook ready in case you need to jot down those ideas.
14. Look at Your Followers
Another way to gain ideas is to consider what your audience wants to know. A good practice is to leave a remark at the end of your articles like “let us see what you want to read about next.”
15. Check Your Blog History
Remember that you can always write about your blogging experiences as a “filler” post. If you already played that card, then you can also rewrite or re-purpose old posts with outdated information.
16. Start from the Middle
In case you are stuck with writing the introduction, you should go ahead and start with the content body first. Get back to the introduction once you already know what the audience can expect.
Although social media is one of the main distractions in a writer’s life, they can also be used for extracting ideas from your peers — assuming you have established networks with like-minded individuals.
18. Set Tighter Deadlines
As a writer, knowing that your next deadline is still a few days away can make you feel too comfortable and lazy. To inspire the sense of urgency, try to set tighter but realistic time frames.
19. Look at Your Old Photos
Using anecdotes is a great way to increase the entertainment value and authenticity of your posts. For inspiration, you can look at your old photos and revisit past experiences you would like to share.
20. Do Something Menial
Creativity cannot be forced, but productivity can. Menial activities such as taking a bath, doing the dishes, or walking can help you relax and refocus your mind.
21. Reread Your Best Posts
Remember that one post you feel particularly proud of? No? Then maybe it is time to reread your best post and remember what made you decide to be a blogger.
22. Reread Your Very First Post
Aside from your best post, you can refer to your very first post and see how your writing style has evolved. Of course, you can also re-write this post while adding new information or exploring the topic in a new angle.
23. Write for Yourself
Before blogging was a profession, it was a hobby that offered the writer-at-heart with bliss. That said, don’t forget to write for yourself occasionally – whether through a personal blog or a private journal.
24. Watch a Movie
Movies are excellent sources of useful quotes and life lessons. With a little creativity, you can always find a way to relate any movie with your niche.
25. Quote Other People
Quotes from famous people or other influential bloggers can be expounded indefinitely. All you need is a single, meaningful quote that you can elaborate and turn into a full-blown article. Just remember to pay homage and link to the source when quoting someone else.
26. Write Somewhere Else
Numerous studies and popular writers prove that leaving your desk can cure the writer’s block. It does not have to be somewhere you can plug your laptop. Just bring a notebook or tablet, and you are good to go.
27. Talk to Yourself
Talking to someone verbally is the most effective form of communication. The only problem is that most bloggers write in solitude. So aside from going on the phone with a friend, why not talk to yourself – or an imaginary friend? It may sound silly, but it can make writing a lot more enjoyable.
28. Get Alerted for New Content
An excellent way to stay updated with the latest content ideas in your niche is to use a tool like Google Alerts. To receive relevant updates, make sure to use keywords that are relevant to your niche.
29. Source Inspiration from Infographics
Do you follow popular blogs that use many infographics to supplement their content? Most of the time, the information presented in an infographic is worth turning into a separate article. Aside from
following blogs, you can also refer to social networks like Pinterest and Instagram for infographics.
30. Look for Questions
Finally, you should pay attention to all the issues being left not only in your post comments section but also from Q&A websites. Typing keywords on Google should also show you what people commonly look for – use them to ensure engagement on your next post.
The writer’s block can only be embraced, not avoided. However, be sure you have a few tricks up your sleeve that can keep the words coming.