“I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.” Ernest Hemmingway
I’ve found myself in a place new to me recently. Of course, that’s on many fronts, which is the root of the problem, but what I’m referring to here is writer’s block. It’s not that I don’t want to write nor is it about a dearth of topic ideas. The issue is, sharing what I’m really thinking isn’t smart.
Don’t misunderstand. I’m not suggesting your writing should be inauthentic or contrived. Neither should your marketing message. Some people are very comfortable letting it all hang out there for the internet to archive long after they’re dead. That’s not me. I recognize life brings moments some prefer not to share – particularly during challenging times.
That said, I believe a lot of people struggle to put pen to paper not because they don’t have ideas (even though they may think this is the issue), can’t write (the internet mix proves that’s not a stopper for most), don’t have time (it’s a choice) or are afraid. Instead, I’ve concluded barriers usually aren’t about the exercise of writing. Maybe it’s stress, perhaps sadness or possibly situational where confidentiality, repercussions or work personalities preclude you from discussing life as it is at the moment. Having to sensor so much can lead to silence.
So, how do you break that writer’s block barrier?
Write about something you love. Whether that’s a family member, a friend, a pet, a hobby or a dream, you can easily connect that thing that brings a smile to your face to a relevant topic that ties back to your expertise.
- Dogs can be funny reflections of how people might express themselves more fully.
- Gardens are great metaphors for growth.
- Family and friends offer lessons all can learn from – plus can provide humor and a lot of laughs, done right.
- Dreams and hobbies can connect to things much deeper than the job.
People retain more when stories are involved. Start writing from your heart with something you’re passionate about. Once you begin, a natural path back to a business point will reveal.
Quick tips to save writing time and struggle
Collect short quotes. There are tons of free resources that provide inspiring or relevant quotes for any topic. Daily dribbles are my preference, but a Google search will give you tons of archives to choose from. My favorite daily feeds include A Word a Day (AWAD – not only do I enrich my vocabulary with this brief, daily message, but each one includes a brief quote at the end), Success newsletters (there are many – all offer a number of quotes related to the core topic of the e-mailing) and Brian Tracy’s quote of the day (few are from him). A good short quote can be the starting point for powerful blog post you may have never considered.
Get exercise. This may seem a silly idea when it comes to writing, it seems, but it’s amazing how quickly you can change your mindset and release creative brilliance when you encourage adrenalin flow.
Set tiny goals. Often people get paralyzed with overwhelm. If you’re finding yourself stuck staring at a computer screen or even a pen and paper with nothing flowing, stop expecting so much of yourself. If all you can do is 250 words, consider offering shorter blog posts or publication submissions while you work to get back into your groove.
Clean the clutter. While this seems unrelated, the space you work in or live in tells tons about where your mind is at. Simply accomplishing a goal that includes reducing the piles can be huge in summoning productivity and confidence for your writing goals.
Forget about key words, SEO and search juice for a while. Working off a list of terms someone else deemed important can get stale pretty quickly if you’re trying to access creative juice. Writing from your heart and producing something is better than getting stymied with rules so you do nothing.
What’s stopping you?
Have you considered what’s really causing your writer’s block? It’s probably not what you claim. If you spend some time exploring the stressors, you’ll likely discover a way around them to effectively muse a new approach not only helps your writing flow again, but also enriches your mindset as you discover uplifting and cathartic expression. Think you can’t master this challenge? Share in the comments to get ideas for breakthrough. Have you found a solution that works well for you? Please add your wisdom below to help others.