How to Overcome Writer's Block: Six Effective Ways

By Rutuja Bhagwat - September 14, 2018

I have no idea how much the number of posts in a month matter to you but for me, it is the only thing that makes me stress-free. I feel restless at the end of the day if I have not published a post so I do not let the writer's block cast its spell. I do whatever it takes to continue writing but there are those days when I can't produce content, no matter what. There are a few days when I have a topic but no words to back it up and a few, when I am willing to write but I can't think of anything to write on. 


Before I begin sharing my tricks to overcome the writer's block, I must share with you the longest writer's block I ever faced in my five years of blogging (though I had written articles in that period, it was not enough for me). Last year, in December, I got a job that sucked my time from me. I used to reach home after 10:00 pm every night so I had no time to blog whatsoever. During work hours, the management did not let me post on social media as it was against company policy.

So if you go through my archives, you would see the insane downfall of my posts; until November, I had minimum 12 posts every month but since the commencement of that job, the count reduced to five posts per month. And, when I quit the job in February, I still had no words to produce. Until last month, I used to published only five articles every month. It was a shocker when I checked my archives. This is what an overtime job does to your blog; you get no time to write. So you see, I had a writer's block for six months (though I continued writing a bunch of posts every month, for me it equalled to a block). 

And on realizing this, I sat down to power through the situation. Whenever a topic crossed my mind, I immediately noted it down. This enabled me to overcome the 'when I am willing to write but I can't think of anything to write on' problem. The second difficulty is when I have a list of topics to write but no mood; conquering this is a consecutive process and there shall be no end to this.

So, how to overcome a writer's block?

MAKE A LIST OF BLOG TOPICS

You know how people tell you to make a list of blog topic ideas to overcome writer's block. It holds quite true, to be honest. However, the trick here is: the list should be short; meaning, it should not have more than five topics. You must be aware of how unproductive we get when we have a lot of things to do; we just end up procrastinating because the list is endless and the mood is dim too. If your list includes only a few topics then it is easy to write and just striking off as you finish them. You get a sense of satisfaction and you feel more motivated to write further. Having a long list spoils you by choice and you don't feel like taking up any of it.
Another trick is to include distinct topics that are not related to each other. For instance, if one topic is 'Travel Essentials', don't include the other as 'Winter Backpacking Essentials'. Because having two similar topics can only mean holding back from sharing the information because a) you had already written that in the first topic or b) because you have to write something similar in the second.

JUST WRITE – WITHOUT PUNCTUATION AND FANCY WORDS

This is a kickass way to overcome writer's block. When we write, we unknowingly focus a lot on the punctuations or thinking of better synonyms for a word or looking up for phrases and idioms that suit our sentences. Some days, you have no energy to move your fingers so you shut down your computer because you don't want to research or put more efforts on your brain to come up with better words or cleaner grammar. 
Therefore, just write. No matter how ill the writing is, just write. Move your fingers and sync them with the sentences in your mind. Write as if you are talking to someone. You needn't look after the grammar or sprout fancy words for this. Just keep on writing.

WRITE ON A SPONTANEOUS TOPIC FROM YOUR ROUTINE

I suggest you take a break from the topics that cater to your niche; for once, write on something personal, something that is ongoing at the moment. You can write about epiphanies – the sudden realisations of how life works – or a person who inspired you out of nowhere, or your current life situation, or the ongoing festival/season. The topics to write would be endless when you think of this. You have so many interesting things happening in your life, that it is overwhelming! You can easily come up with ideas by breaking your wall and cruising off-road. 

MIND-MAP YOUR ARTICLE

I have recently discovered this trick and oh my, I have been a better writer ever since. Back in my school and college days, I used to mind-map the answers. Meaning, I used to segregate the answer in different segments and then break those segments into different pointers. I got such a vast amount of study material by doing that. My mom had passed on this trick to me; she always asked me to write answers while studying. Since then, I made my own notes and always topped my class. 
I applied the similar trick for my blog posts as well. I wrote the topic on a sheet of paper and then emerged with related pointers that enabled me to have more content to write on as well as covered every aspect of the topic. By writing pointers, you concentrate only on one pointer at a time as opposed to wandering your focus when you don't have a guide with you.

CHANGE THE LOCATION

When I'm not travelling, I work from home. Sometimes, this lasts for more than a month and I get frustrated sitting at home, wearing those pyjamas, and staring at the same walls and looking around at the same things. Life seems dead and you want an instant lift-me-up that comes in the form of changing the ambience. To successfully write articles even when I am not travelling, I change my location for a day; I go on my terrace or sit in a cafe. The surrounding changes and with that, my mood. The productivity is increased manifold and I am able to write more content with some direction. Working from a cafe is a mood-changer, I believe. I get to dress up – which certainly is a refreshing change from the everyday home look – and get to sip on thick chocolate frappe while having nobody to talk to me. Changing locations can work wonders, I believe.

UNDERSTAND WHY WRITING IS VITAL TO YOUR LIVELIHOOD

Lastly, you need a little pep talk with yourself. Understand why writing is so crucial and why you must exercise your mind and put it in a direction. You must understand how your income is dependent on it and how you must shoo away procrastination and the lousy attitude to produce words. Watch motivating videos or meditate; talk to yourself and be determined that no matter what, you shall write. Gather up inspiration from reading someone else's work and stay away from everything negative, especially those things that are related to your career. Take some healthy time off but eventually, understand why writing is important for your livelihood. You must keep on writing. 

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