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5 Ways to Beat Writers Block

5 Ways to Beat Writers Block

I love writing. For me there's no better feeling than sitting at my computer typing away – words seemingly flowing out of my fingers (this might explain my tendency for long-winded posts). But every writer, from best selling novelists to bloggers, hits a wall from time to time. And while a novelist might churn out a book once every few years, many bloggers produce content with frightening regularity – daily or weekly posts. For me, writing's the easy part – coming up with ideas, now that's hard!!

In fact, possibly my biggest struggle in my role here at Affilorama is coming up with new ideas to write about. And as many affiliate marketers use regular blogs as part of their marketing activity, I have no doubt that many of you have encountered this problem! Fortunately, being a fairly typical common problem, in doing my research for this post I found heaps of great ideas on how to get over this hurdle. I've assembled the five common themes I found. Be sure to check out the links at the bottom of the page for some of best articles I found on the subject.

1. Read!

The trouble with blogging as part of your job is that it's very easy to feel guilty if you're not pounding away at the keyboard. But in reality, one of the most important things you should be doing each day is reading! There's a reason why the best writers are also avid readers. Nothing gets the creative juices flowing better than reading someone else's words. In one of my favorite movies, 'Finding Forester', Sean Connery as a troubled legendary author gives the young aspiring student a piece of his own work to copy. “When you begin to feel your own words, start typing them.” Other people's work can provide the inspiration for your own work (just don't plagiarize!). Also, in the constantly evolving and dynamic universe of the internet, being up to date on new developments is essential. So don't feel bad about taking time each day to read blogs and newsfeeds – it is time well spent. Check out my previous post of 10 Blogs for the Internet Entrepreneur for some ideas of what to read.

2. Relax

Give yourself a break. Nothing can choke up the veins of creativity more than too much pressure. Your brain's too busy saying “I need to get this done” instead of actually thinking of good ideas. Now that doesn't mean that you shouldn't set deadlines, in fact I find I’m at my best when I have a bit of time pressure to get something done. But I've also had to learn to walk away. There's no point flogging a dead horse – and there's no point banging your head against a computer screen if nothings coming. So take a break – go for a walk. Do something else. Read for a bit. And then come back to it later. Sometimes it's just not worth forcing it, and you may find that a bit of a break is all you need for the ideas to start coming.

3. Brainstorm – Effectively

While we all know the old mind map strategy of writing something in the middle of a bubble and then branching off everything we can think of, I imagine that few of us ever really use this powerful strategy – and rarely to its full potential. Also, we often use brainstorming when we are already frustrated with failing to have come up with an idea – so we end up with a blank piece of paper. Instead, approach brainstorming as a separate task, from which ideas for posts will come off. You can start from specific keywords from your particular niche – in which case I sometimes find using a keyword suggestion tool like Traffic Travis actually quite useful for coming up with words I might not otherwise have thought of. I also found a really great article on ProBlogger about how to brainstorm of your last five posts and extend off into new ideas. This really struck me as a good idea and I plan to use it in the future.

4.The 'F' Word

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself” said Franklin Delono Roosevelt in his first inaugural speech. Fear can be one of the most crippling afflictions for a writer. Fear of rejection, success, failure, mediocrity, risk - Copyblogger has a great post on fear and how to overcome it. Perhaps you don't consider it fear – but that feeling you get when you start to write something, only to furiously backspace muttering “people will think that's stupid,” that's fear. Also remember that mistakes are part of the game. Every time you make a mistake, you learn from it. You show me someone who's never made a mistake and I'll show you someone who's never achieved anything!

5. Write for Fun

At the end of the day, after 8 hours of sitting in front of my computer at work – much of it often spent writing – one of the last things I feel like doing is getting out my laptop to write some more! But writing for fun, with no particular goal or objective, is like an athlete training for a big race – it's working your creative muscles, increasing your vocabulary, developing your style and helping you connect with that part of your subconscious where all your best ideas flow from. So just take some time, every other day, to sit and write about something. It doesn't have to be anything to do with your blog or your business. You don't have to worry about proof-reading, and it doesn't even have to be very good, but the mental exercise of simply writing will help you when it comes time for the real thing. Personally, I like writing about some of my other interests, for example politics, music, science, and people. You can be as opinionated and offensive as you want, because no one ever has to read it! You may even find that out of the swath of inane mumblings comes a few real gems – if that happens, take them and develop them. But don't worry if that doesn't happen either. It's still worth just writing for fun, because, well, it's fun!

I hope these ideas help you the next time you hit the dreaded writers block wall. If anyone has any other ways that they personally find useful in getting past writers block, please share them in the comments!

Great Articles on Beating Writers Block:

Photo Credit: Jonno Witts
11 Comments Add your comment
  • Reply Sunshine • 3525 days ago

    I will certainly find ways to incorporate all of these tips.

    Thanks!

  • Reply Mari Mccarthy3519 days ago

    Great article, Chris. I loved the suggestion of 'Write for Fun'. I'd include Pen to Page JournaIing in that category. Journal writing enables us to play, release all kinds of "stuff" and find out more about what's happening inside us!

  • Reply Devereaux Harry-Barnwell • 3519 days ago

    Well said! I like what you said writing for fun. Many of successful Internet Marketers (IMs) started off that way...and inadvertently stumbled on their Gold Mine. I find it more rewarding not to focus primarily on what I can get out doing something but more how I can help others get something out of what I do.

    It's a biblical principle and a common saying that is practiced by many IMs the more you give the more you receive.


    It's the way we build trust with fans, followers or subcribers. It's the mutual way of helping each our...nothing but a win win situation.

    -Cyphas

  • Reply Inspirational Guidance3517 days ago

    Great post. I definitely use the relax one. Can't get a damn thing done when I tense up because I feel I "have to" write!

  • Reply kevin • 3320 days ago

    Great post. I agree with the reading part because whether for blogging purposes or any other, reading inspires writing. Cheers
    Kevin Njoroge

  • Reply mavekele rachidi • 3224 days ago

    hi, i was really impress for the knowledge that i find to this message ,it teach me many thing that i didn't know and it give a confidence to focus on my research ,it really empower my brain by focusing on reading and understanding the important of improving my ability to write and to read i hope if i can be send for another message that content this kind of knowledge so that i can learn more and store so much information concerning this subject or issues ,that was wonderful , i am waiting torward for another news knowledge.

  • Reply Stocks to Buy • 3221 days ago

    Can someone here suggest a good source for cheap and best article writers. I am having hard time finding good ones.

  • Reply ngih thomas tansa • 2992 days ago

    Great article, Chris. I loved the suggestion of 'Write for Fun'. I'd include Pen to Page JournaIing in that category. Journal writing enables us to play, release all kinds of "stuff" and find out more about what's happening inside us!

  • Reply Bryan • 2988 days ago

    Great little article about writing content. This is by far the biggest hurdle I have especially with dozens and dozens of sites to add content to. I think your dead on with this article. I use all of these methods to come up with new fresh content. Thanks for the great post

  • Reply Asim Bawany2982 days ago

    I've got an idea about getting ideas to write on

    Take a hot bath :p
    Thats when all my ideas come to me... good, bad, big small... All of the, :D

    Anyways, I really found this article helpful. Writers Block is my biggest problem. I just didn't know the term for it... and also how to get over it..

  • Reply Carlton • 2636 days ago

    I think im experiencing a writers block despite having key words that i can write on.Hope to overcome this soon

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