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As they say, the first step toward recovery is admitting you have a problem. Those who suffer from chronic writer’s block – aka staring at the screen and wasting time instead of writing – need to be honest with themselves and get help!
Here are four tips for battling writer’s block:
1. Make your calendar more flexible.
Allow some flexibility in your content marketing calendar. When this week’s topic just isn’t working for you, do some rearranging. Come back to it later when you have had some more time to think about it. When I’m just “not feeling” a topic, my writing suffers – and who wants that? Besides, maybe the blog you had planned for later in the month would work better now – maybe it will go along nicely with a call to action that is slated to go on your site this week.
The bottom line is: As long as you still post blogs each week and have at least four to eight topics planned for the month, you’re in good shape. Blog topics that aren’t time-sensitive can easily be rearranged for your convenience.
2. Save resources as you go.
I have a folder on my desktop called “Resources.” Every time I stumble across a link, paragraph, quote, eBook, etc., I save it in its own Word document with a few notes about what it could be used for and the spins I could put on it. Sometimes it is a specific topic complete with bullet points and background information and sometimes it is just a generic, all-encompassing idea that can be applied to any of our clients.
Another helpful hint: There are certain topics that everyone needs to be well-versed in, like social media for example. It’s important to every business – and if it isn’t, it should be! I save resources for these topics, especially. I have separate files for each social media platform where I gather all of the information I come across in my research travels. It’s much easier to make yourself an expert on a topic when you aren’t constantly forgetting what you’ve already learned. It also saves time on re-Googling. With all of the information you need right in front of you, you can crank out blogs in no time at all. And no more writer’s block!
3. Jot down quick ideas when you think of them.
When you are inspired to write, you just have to run with it. Whether you’re jotting down notes as you save resources or typing up quick bullet points as you begin a blog, it helps to document your thoughts before they escape you. In fact, you might not even have a Word document open. You could be on the phone with a client or in a meeting with your boss and they might explain SEO in a way you have never heard before. They might shed light on a topic that’s hazy to you. I’ve taken four or five pages of notes while on a call with a client before… I got a blog AND an eBook out of them.
4. Use fun colors and fonts.
As I’m writing, I like to play around with fonts and colors to spice things up and keep myself concentrated. This works especially well for visual learners like me. I choose a new font to work with every few days just to keep things exciting. If I’m in a playful mood I’ll use one of the handwriting fonts. If I’m feeling serious, I’ll use Times New Roman. It sounds stupid, but it helps. Colors do, too. The paragraphs that I’ve already finished writing I will make purple, red or whatever I’m feeling like at the time.
One caveat: Just don’t go overboard and let it become another distraction.
What’s your saving grace when it comes to writer’s block?