As once said by comedian Steven Wright, “I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.” Writing is a major part of any blog, and most of the time you’ll have an idea that leads to cranking out a great post in no time flat. Other times you’ll be at a dead end, unsure of where the road lies ahead. You may even think to yourself, “There’s nothing else to write about it!” I know I do, and I write for a living.
Commonly referred to as writer’s block, there is no way of escaping it completely. No matter how skilled or creative you are, it will surface from time to time. Like a lonely puppy, it’ll keep bugging you until you do something. Unfortunately, most people let the hopeless feeling overwhelm them. They allow distractions which are oh so prevalent in this social media age we live in, to keep them from what needs to be done.
However, as crazy as this may sound, your best work is ahead of you. Us humans are very resourceful creatures, and we are designed to create. In fact, did you know that every two days we create as much information as we did up until 2003? To help put this into perspective, that’s around five exabytes or over five million terabytes of data. The craziest part? This statistic is from 2010, so hard telling what mind blowing figure we’re at now.
Overcoming writer’s block is not easy, but here are several tips to get you back on track…
Step Away From The Vehicle
By vehicle, I mean your desktop, laptop, or if you prefer pen to paper, notebook. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own heads that we forget to step outside them (Tweet this). Whether it’s getting some exercise, going for a drive, whatever, just get away from everything. This includes staying away from your smartphone, albeit temporarily. No matter how you feel at the time, the world will not end if you disconnect, and put things on hold.
With social media, email, and mobile devices, distractions are hitting us from many different directions. Never before has it been so easy to get sucked into other conversations, conversations which are keeping us from getting real work done. Look at different ways of managing your time on different platforms. For example, instead of constantly having Twitter or Facebook open, allot yourself 10 minutes each hour. Of course, this is easier said than done, but you’ll dramatically increase your productivity and creativity.
It’s been found that people who are focused on a task and are interrupted, can take up to 20 minutes to get back to the same level they were before.
Switch Up Your Perspective
If where you normally write is in, say, a smaller room or office, that can lead to you feeling restricted. To fix this, find a different perspective. Go to your local coffee shop or if it’s not completely unbearable, hangout outside. Changing your environment increases your creativity, helping you get past writer’s block. Also, as ironic as it may sound, there are less distractions to deal with.
Whether it’s a blog post or a simple video, seek out inspiration in many forms. Chances are, you already follow quite a few awesome people. Even if the content you are consuming has absolutely nothing to do with what you are wanting to write about, you can still get ideas or a spark of creativity that leads to an awesome piece.
Write About Something Else
This is by far one of the most underrated tools to getting past writer’s block. In the worldwide bestseller “The 4-Hour Workweek”, author Tim Ferriss says, “What you do is more important than how you do something.” You can be awesome at checking email, but that’s not going to allow you to get a lot of work done.
Just because you can’t seem to write about a specific subject, does not mean you can’t write about something else. We all have many different interests, and find something that interests you. It may be a chore getting started, but once you do, you’ll eventually start to get in that state of flow, getting your writing muscles moving again.
How do you get past writer’s block?
Photo credit: Sharon Drummond
Mike Stenger is a writer with a love of all things technology.