I’ve often said that there’s no such thing as writer’s block; the problem is idea block. When I find myself frozen–whether I’m working on a brief passage in a novel or brainstorming about an entire book–it’s usually because I’m trying to shoehorn an idea into the passage or story where it has no place. – Jeffery Deaver
This is a new blog and my goal in the next few months is to write valuable and helpful content for as much as I can on a weekly basis. My content target is just two articles in a week but I’m trying to exceed that target for two reasons.
First, it is to improve my writing skills. I’m aware that consistent practice will help me improve my writing skills a lot. I know that I’m not a good writer but I also know that I really want to be good at this craft.
Writing is perceived as an inborn talent by some and a learned craft by others. I think I’m not innately born with the talent to write.
I believe that hard work and consistent practice can build any skill such as writing.
My second reason is to build discipline and a habit of consistency. I have a lot of time on my hands now due to the lockdown since we are not allowed to go out of the house.
Balancing my time between the needs of this blog and my main hustle will definitely be a challenge. So, I thought, that before the lockdown is lifted, I should start practicing how to produce content in the most effective and efficient way.
It’s not easy to write on a daily basis.
There are certain times when you don’t feel like doing it. In the past few months that I have been blogging, I have been consistently experiencing what is commonly known as writer’s block.
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What is writer’s block?
Writer’s block is defined by the Lexico Dictionary as the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing. It seems to be a common thing and it is both experienced by novice and famous writers.
As a blogger, I have a content strategy that includes a list of articles that I want to write. It’s based on keyword research that I do on a weekly basis.
However, even if I have a list of topics, I still find myself struggling on some days with writing a blog post.
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Why do you get writer’s block?
I’m a person who likes to observe. Observing is a huge part of my learning process. In order to learn blogging, I constantly observe other bloggers by reading their blog posts or by talking to them via social media or their comment section on their blogs.
I’m also constantly observing myself as a blogger, by taking mental notes of my blogging process, struggles, and small wins.
In the past few months that I have been blogging, I usually encounter writer’s block when I’m feeling:
Uninspired or Lacking of Inspiration and Enthusiasm
Sometimes, I just feel uninspired to write about anything even if the article does not need that much creativity such as listicles or a blog post about a list of something.
Ancient Greeks believed that enthusiasm is created by the possession of a God or by a ‘God’s essence’. I don’t think I need to be possessed by a ‘God’s essence’ in order to write about my side hustles or anything about earning or saving money.
But maybe I need it to be able to write an article that could effectively and easily convey my ideas to my audience regardless of the topic.
I know that inspiration and enthusiasm both play a big role in the total outcome of my content.
I also think that I should not fully depend on just inspiration and enthusiasm if I want to build this blog as a business in the future (in case I decide to be a professional blogger).
Exhausted or Lacking Proper Rest and Sleep
Exhaustion and lack of sleep hinder anyone from being creative and productive. When you lack sleep or when you’re really really tired, it’s very difficult to do anything else including writing a blog post.
Fear of Failure
This is probably one of the reasons why I constantly experience writer’s block. There are lots of times when my fear of failure gets the best of me. Heck, it even stopped me from blogging for 9 months.
This has been a constant battle in the story of my life. And probably, it’s part of the story of everyone else life too. We are always afraid of what other people will say about what we do. We’re always worried about what they will think of us.
It can be good at some point if you can use it to help improve yourself for the better. But for a lot of people that I have observed, including myself, it became a nagging force that hinders me from achieving my short-, mid-, and long-term goals.
What I usually do whenever I’m feeling afraid to fail is listen to uplifting music, take a walk, and engage myself with highly motivated individuals.
Distracted, Lazy, and Procrastinating
This is probably the main reason why I often end up not writing anything in a day.
I can’t assemble my thoughts when I’m distracted, feeling lazy, or when I’m procrastinating.
Whenever I sit down with the intention of writing, I always end up doing something else.
Some of the things that I always end up doing instead of writing include, mindlessly surfing random Youtube videos, chatting with friends on messengers, non-stop scrolling Instagram travel pics, etc.
After thinking about this a lot, it all boils down to me not having a schedule to follow.
If I have a blogging schedule to follow, it will be very easy for me to structure my day.
How long does writer’s block last?
For those who are writing books, scripts, films, etc, it might take a while because the task that they have to accomplish is probably bigger than a blog.
But in my experience as a blogger, writer’s block sometimes takes hours, days, and sometimes even weeks.
Luckily for blogs, it may or may not have that big economic pressure on the writer or blogger’s end. Especially if you’re just blogging as a hobby, you wouldn’t mind not writing even for a few months.
I can’t imagine what it’s like to write for a living and to constantly experience writer’s block.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
I intend to make this blog one of my side hustles in the next few years and having said that, I should be able to overcome writer’s block every time it hits me. And to overcome it, I need to:
Summon the Muse or Stay Inspired
The Ancient Greek authors invoked muses when they wrote. I honestly don’t know how to do that and invoking supernatural beings is not my thing.
However, we can all summon inspiration or we can subject ourselves to experiences that will inspire and motivate us.
As bloggers, we have chosen a variety of niches to excel in. Sometimes, we specialize in a few niches and work our way to being masters of those niches.
If you’re a travel blogger and you feel uninspired to write, maybe you should try going to a different destination than what you’re used to.
Staying healthy has a lot of benefits not only to our physical body but also to our mental and overall well-being.
Getting enough sleep and rest, eating nutritious foods, and drinking plenty of water will help us stay on top of our game.
Physical exercises, meditation, and taking long walks are also relaxing to the mind. It clears out mental clogs that we have accumulated in our heads. And this might just be one of the things that we need to do in order to overcome writer’s block.
Regardless of your profession, even if you’re a writer or not, keeping yourself healthy, physically fit, and well-rested will ensure that you are in the right condition to achieve your goals.
Stay Focused on Your Goal
Staying focused on your goal will help you overcome writer’s block.
Our brain is constantly working hard to ensure that we achieve what we put our thoughts into.
It’s like always thinking of a solution to our problem and writer’s block is no exception.
If you stay focused on your goals, your consciousness will devise a plan on how to overcome all the barriers and hindrances to that goal.
The best way to stay motivated is by knowing your ‘Whys’. If you are well aware of your reason for writing (for example, if this is your bread and butter and your only source of income) then summoning your motivation will come naturally to you.
I have always believed in the value of intrinsic motivation and I believe that it’s our personal and professional responsibility to keep ourselves motivated.
External motivation is also very important and one of the things that I also believe in.
I do acknowledge the fact that sometimes it’s hard to summon our internal motivation if we’re feeling down. This is when external motivation becomes so helpful.
One of the things I do to keep myself motivated is to surround myself with like-minded individuals.
As I have always said in my previous articles, that behavior is contagious. If the people that surround you are hardworking and motivated individuals, then chances are, you will also be influenced by them.
How do you take advantage of writer’s block?
I have always believed that Content is King in blogging.
Your content is the reason why people find your blog. Content is also the reason why you have built a huge following on social media. A lot of people find your content valuable and helpful.
However, producing content is not the only thing that bloggers do especially if you’re a one-man team like me. There are also other aspects of blogging that we should think about.
Having writer’s block may provide you with some free time to take care of your other blogging responsibilities.
Some of those tasks and responsibilities include:
Optimize Content for Search Engines (SEO)
As I have mentioned in my previous article, if Content is the King then SEO is its Queen or most trusted knight. SEO will bring your content to the screens of various readers around the world.
This is very important, especially to bloggers who want to monetize their blogs in the future. If you don’t intend to monetize your blog, then it’s okay not to worry about optimizing your blog for the search engines.
If you are experiencing writer’s block, why not spend the day responding to comments on your blog? You can also use this time to comment on other blogs and develop a good relationship with other bloggers.
Improve Your Website
Aside from taking care of SEO and improving engagement, it’s also important to constantly improve your blog’s template.
Imagine your blog’s template as the physical store where you display your products. And imagine your readers as the customers who go to stores to shop.
- Is your website easy to navigate?
- Can anyone new to your blog easily find the information that they’re looking for?
- Does your blog load fast on laptops, desktops, and mobile phones?
- Are there unnecessary things in your blog such as widgets that don’t add value to you and to your readers?
- Do you have to change the colors and the fonts to make it more visually appealing to your readers?
These are just some of the questions that can guide you in designing a better experience for your readers.
Learn Something New
Technology is a fast-changing environment and the success of a blog is closely tied to the advancement of technology. Learning new things will ensure that your blog does not only survive but also thrive in this ever-changing environment.
Policies in blogging are also changing every now and then. Keep yourself updated with the ever-changing policies to ensure that you don’t get penalized for anything.
New opportunities also appear every now and then. Be on the lookout for new social media platforms or websites that may help increase your blog traffic.
Remember, there are more than 500 million blogs that exist in 2019. Some of those blogs may have been discontinued, but a lot more have been created in the first few months of 2020.
The competition is getting tighter and more difficult as days go by and if your blog does not stand out in a crowd then it will just be forgotten.
This is bad especially if you intend to earn from blogging. If you don’t intend to monetize your blog then you don’t have to think much about this.
Rest and Relax
For those who intend to monetize their blog, please know that blogging is a REAL business that takes a lot of time and effort. Creating content is not the only thing that needs to be done.
You have to take care of SEO, your blog’s layout, engage in social media, etc. It can be very tiring, especially to newbies who are not familiar with a lot of stuff at first.
It can be very stressful but also rewarding once you achieve your blogging goals. Most especially if you know that you’ve helped someone through one of your blog posts.
That’s why it’s important to also remind yourself to get enough rest and sleep. If you are well-rested, you will avoid getting burned out that easily.
If you are well-rested, you can stay focused on creating highly valuable content that could possibly reach various audiences around the world. Having enough rest and sleep is crucial to your blog’s success.
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Do you also blog? How do you overcome writer’s block? How do you make it work for you and not against you?