Blogging Better: What To Do When You Have Writer’s Block

As I delve further and further into the world of freelance writing as part of my career, I find myself encountering something that many writers dread: writer’s block. And it’s honestly one of the most frustrating pieces of my job. Because some days, the creativity just flows, and I feel like I could write fifteen articles in a row, no problem. And then I have days where I really have to push myself to get just one or two pieces done.

I’ve never noticed anything to really “trigger” writer’s block – I think it’s more of a combination of being tired and having too many things going through your mind at one time. So since there’s no way to really prepare for or know when this is going to happen, I’ve figured out a few ways to work around it instead. Enter: my writer’s block secret weapons.

Since I’m guessing that ya’ll have some of the same writing issues that I have (which sometimes just consist of psyching myself out with the whole, but I just can’t imagine sitting at my desk for the next hour because I can barely even think right now!), I’m sharing these super amazing (read: common sense based) ways of kicking writer’s block butt.

1. Create an editorial calendar. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy – I set up different ways of doing this based on what I’m writing. Sometimes, I just brainstorm a bunch of topics for the week and write them on my whiteboard to keep me focused. Sometimes, I create a spreadsheet that lists article topics by day for the next two weeks. And I’ve just started using this free project management software (it’s cloud based) called Zoho that helps me keep track of deadlines really well. No matter what, I just have to be disciplined about staying ahead of my editorial calendar – and then when I hit a day that’s leaving me feeling more than a tad unfocused, it’s a lot easier to throw a topic in front of myself and get to work.

2. Get away from your desk. That might seem counterintuitive – but really, when your brain is tired of looking at the computer screen, sometimes getting out for a walk, jumping on the elliptical for 20 minutes or running to the store can re-energize your mind. It’s strange how this works, but it does. Work, I mean. So if you find yourself tapping the keys for an hour with nothing to show for it, cut yourself some slack and look at something else for a while. When you come back to your work, you can refocus on what needs to get done.

3. Force yourself to stick to deadlines. If you want to be successful – no matter if it’s your own blog, a client that you’re writing an article for or a publication, keep yourself on deadline. If you know that you don’t have an option but to get the piece done, you’ll get it done. And once you just force yourself to sit down, do a little research and start writing, the article usually just starts flowing. Sometimes…it’s just a mental thing that you have to get around.

Bonus: editors love it when you get stuff to them on time. Which means you might find yourself with more work down the line. And I know we all can appreciate that!

Tell me in the comments: how do YOU navigate writer’s block?

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