How to Combat Writer's Block
posted August 8th 2016, 5:59 pm by Nicole Nelson
We’ve all been there—well, all of us who do the blogging for the company’s page and are expected to have a bright and shiny new article ready in time for posting. Sometimes you just can’t figure out what to write about. Learning how to combat writer's block is no joke. The scenario often goes like this: “What is there to write about?” you ask yourself. “It has to be something that’s interesting and relevant and new.” Righhhht. Like it's that easy.
Let's complicate the problem of writer's block one step further: writing sometimes (or a lot of the time, depending on your situation) comes down to the nick of time, and, in those moments, you don’t have the luxury of hemming and hawing, of putting off the writing until you’re feeling a little more creative. That's not an option. Your only option, really, is to write. Easier said than done, right?
We have good news. You can make this painful process easier on yourself by following some of these suggestions. These are tried and true tips, ones that I have used many times over the course of managing and maintaining blogs, both for us here at RedMoxy and for our clients. Try out these suggestions and let us know if you notice a difference.
How to Combat Writer's Block
- Think about what questions you’ve been asked lately. What are your customers wondering about? Chances are, if they’re wondering, that makes it a good topic to write about.
- Think about what you’ve just read—what was it that you found interesting? Would it apply to your readers?
- Look back at the blog posts you’ve written most recently. Can any of them be expanded into a whole new post? Can you break off a new blog into a related subject?
- Look back at the blog posts you wrote a long time ago. Do you have a collection of blogs built up from year ago? Repurpose the content into a new blog post! That kind of content is called "evergreen," and it's because it's always fresh and applicable, no matter when you use it. (Learn more about evergreen content here.)
- Look at blogs in your industry. What’s your competition writing about? Don’t flat-out steal content—we call that plagiarizing—but use it as inspiration. Perhaps a new idea will come to you when you see what others in your field are discussing.
- When you have a good idea, write it down. Keep a sticky note (either on your computer or on your desk) handy so that when inspiration hits, you’re prepared. Inspiration might not hit when you’re already writing, and you’ll want to remember when the time comes to decide what to write about and you begin drafting.
- Write about your topic for 1/3 of the total length of the post. If you’re planning on writing roughly 300 words, write 100. Then go back and see the flow of what you’ve written so far. Is it worth continuing? Do you see an area to refine already? Checking back helps you to maintain fluency and consistency as you ramble—I mean, write.
- Keep your goals in mind. What is your intent with this blog? Focus on that. And then…write. Sometimes putting your objectives into priority again brings a whole new clarity.
Feeling inspired? We hope so. One last tip to consider when figuring out what to write about: make a content strategy and calendar in advance. You can even go so far as to create brief outlines of your intended content as you create the calendar. When you begin drafting, you’ll already have the idea and framework in place. No more racking your brain required! We’re stellar at creating content calendars, so if you can’t figure out where to start, contact us here.