Ah, writer’s block. The bane of every writer, whether a novelist, researcher, or content writer. It prevents you from continuing your work and is endlessly stressful and frustrating.
But wait, what exactly is writer’s block? Writer’s block is the condition of being unable to write something new because something in your mind prevents you from doing so. It can last from only a few minutes to as much as one or two days.
Some common symptoms related to writer’s block include anxiety, depression, self-esteem issues, and stress. In addition, we often tend to be overly critical of our work and wish it was as good as that of other people’s.
Since it’s such a massive hassle when it happens, here are some tips you can use to overcome writer’s block.
Take a Break from Your Writing.
Speaking from experience, pushing yourself harder to come up with something makes it harder to think creatively. Instead of squeezing your brain dry and stressing yourself further, why not take a break first?
You can take a walk and smell the fresh air. Or, you can do one of your hobbies for a while. Exercising, in particular, is a great way to overcome your writer’s block and jumpstart your creative process by reducing stress and improving your creativity.
Doing these lets you take your mind off your work so you can return to it with fresh eyes. Of course, if you’re on a tight deadline, just grab a quick bite or listen to a song or two before returning to work.
Remember, You’re Still Working on the First Draft.
Everyone wants their first draft to be perfect. I mean, who doesn’t want to spend as little time as possible on the editing process?
However, this perfectionism is one of the main reasons you’re experiencing writer’s block in the first place. Trying to find the perfect words instead of just starting causes you to stall.
Thus, the best thing to do when you experience this is to remind yourself that you’re only working on your first draft.
Yes, it won’t be as good as you envisioned. But being able to write something is better than nothing. At least when you’ve written something, you’ve got something to work with.
Try the Pomodoro Technique.
One of the most common writer’s block exercises you can do to overcome it is the Pomodoro technique.
This technique breaks down your tasks into twenty-five minute “Pomodoro sessions.” Doing so tricks your brain into focusing on your work during these twenty-five minutes. After twenty-five minutes, you can take a break as a reward.
When trying out this technique, remember to not let anything distract you during your twenty-five minutes of work. Once the time is up, you can do whatever you want again. Rinse and repeat, and congrats, you’ve got an effective way to overcome your writer’s block.
Use a Writing Prompt.
If you’re having difficulty thinking of a topic to write about, there are always writing prompts. A writing prompt enables you to zero in on a writing topic. It’s often used in school to help students to write about a particular topic.
As a content writer, prompts enable you to view a topic you’re stuck at from a different angle. This can help you overcome writer’s block on your current work and continue writing, and even generate future article ideas to write about.
Try Mapping Your Thoughts.
If your writer’s block is rooted in difficulty organizing and making sense of your thoughts, try mapping them out.
Mapping involves writing all your thoughts and ideas regarding your topic on a piece of paper. Space them slightly so you have enough space between each one. Once you’re done, connect each related idea as if you were connecting the dots.
This activity is meant to help you find connections between seemingly unrelated ideas regarding your topic – as well as helping you organize and connect your ideas with one another so you’ll have an easier time writing them.
Avoid Distractions While Writing.
Another common reason writers experience writer’s block is the ambient distractions around them. It is rather challenging to think clearly and creatively when the neighbors are singing like their life depended on it in the middle of the day.
To minimize the distractions you’ll experience, try setting up your workstation in a quieter part of your house where you’re less likely to be interrupted by anyone. If that’s not possible, communicate with your family so they won’t disturb you while working.
Besides your family and neighbors, another common distraction for many remote workers is their cell phones. Since you don’t have a boss looking over your shoulder, it’s easy to lose track of time spent browsing social media or watching Youtube videos.
To prevent this, try placing your phones somewhere out of reach, so you won’t be tempted to use them.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep the Night Before.
Nothing rejuvenates your creative juices more than a good night’s sleep. Based on my experience, when I lack sleep, that’s when I struggle to write my articles the most.
I can’t come up with the words to write, even though I know the subject I’m writing about. And I have difficulty generating new ideas to expand my topic with.
Sleeping early improves your creativity, so you can better produce new ideas to write about and improve your memory. So when you wake up and go to work, you won’t have trouble organizing your thoughts and putting them into words.
Say Goodbye to Writer’s Block!
Experiencing writer’s block is not fun. It can severely hamper your productivity, induce stress, and make you feel useless. However, you need not worry. There are many ways to overcome your writer’s block, such as the ones above.
There are many more ways that you can beat writer’s block since each person handles it differently. Just try each one and go with whatever works best for you.
But if you’re stuck looking for an online job, Remote Staff is here to help. Our jobs list has a wide range of available jobs, not just ones that involve content writing, that you can apply to. Good luck!