It is inevitable that as a writer you will occasionally feel the sting of writers block. You will feel like you should probably update your blog but you will lack to motivation to do so. The words will not be bubbling up inside you, screaming to be spilled out of your head like cheap beer from a pledge at a college frat party. It happens to us all and presents us the opportunity to give up or shine! I’ve dealt with writers block several times and I have some tips that just might help you out too.
Don’t force it
The one tip that has never worked for me is to “write anyway.” I’ve read a lot of advice that says you should just sit down and force yourself to write one word at a time. When I try to do this I can actually feel my temperature rise. Everything that comes out feels forced. The idea is that if you work through enough of that you’ll eventually break free and be in the clear. I rarely have that moment. I usually just end up more frustrated and somewhat angry.
One technique that has been very successful for me in the past is to just stop trying to write and start reading. If it is possible, go read what others have to say about the topic you want to write on. Read as much as you can until eventually you hit a word, sentence, or paragraph that inspires you. It happens to me all of the time. I’ll be checking out someone’s blog and a point will be made that resonates with me. The last time this happened it was because someone left another blogger a negative comment. It flipped a switch in my head and I put together a pretty cool article because of it. If I had just sat and tried to force myself to write it wouldn’t have happened. Reading gives you the chance to be inspired. It fills your gut with the words you need to get past the block. Read often!
Find a friend
I am a huge team player. As an individual I have no competitive nature. I don’t care if someone “beats me” or if I “lose a game.” If you put me on a team, however, I’m going to go all out. Not because I want to win but because I don’t want to let my team down. I might be able to suffer defeats but letting my team suffer is not an option. From time to time I collaborate with other writers. This puts me in a team situation where I can’t let them down. It also gives me a partner to talk to about thoughts and ideas. I frequently find a lot of inspiration this way. I’ve also produced some of my best work through collaboration. This can work for you! Find a blogging buddy.
Write other things
There is a misconception out there that writers block means you can’t write at all. In my experience it just means you can’t write on the subject you currently feel like you should. If I am working on a manuscript I always feel like I should only be working on it. The truth is sometimes I get a little burnt out on one project. If I change over to another it doesn’t exhaust me and it builds my strength and energy to write on the other topic. Any writing when you have writers block feels like a success and success gives you confidence. That confidence can then be spent on the first topic. Try to write around your topic before you start trying to force it!