28 Apr 09
02 May 09 6:19 pm
I worked a journalist for a few years, and everyone gets writers block, however experienced you are. There are a few tricks which can help everyone though.
Firstly, like Aletta said it's best to write like you talk. Everyone can write, the best writing just sounds like someone talking excitedly about a subject. Most people just think they have to sound different somehow when they write so they think about it too much and freeze up.
Here is an awesome journalist trick that never fails to kill writer's block: it's to do with how our minds work when we think about a subject. We all naturally think much faster when we're answering a question. If someone says to you 'tell me about football', you will probably list a few things, then start to run out of steam pretty quickly. But if someone asks you: 'what do you like about football?' it is a specific question and you can immediately go on and on and on about it (if you like football :). The mind responds to questions!
So for your article try thinking of five specific points you want to talk about. Five topics, which will cover 500 words, 100 words per topic more or less. Then phrase each of those topics in the form of a question. So for example, if my topic number one was 'The benefits of playing a druid in WOW', write 'What's good about being a druid?'. Then, after each question think a bit about your answer and write three words that sum up your answer - I might write 'nature, power, magic' or something. Then topic 2 might be 'How Druids go up levels' so I'd write 'How do druids go up levels?' and so on...
When you have your 5 questions and answer words, you're ready to go. Set an alarm clock giving you 10 minutes and just read each question and write the answer as fast as you can. Don't read back over it, don't worry about spelling mistakes. Just write as much and as fast as you can in answer to each question, it's fine to ramble - the 3 words help to trigger ideas. When you've finished, you'll see in 10 minutes you have easily filled the 500 words and probably much more! Then it's just a matter of editing and tidying up the language. Which is much easier than starting from a blank page.
This whole process sounds strange but try it out when you're having trouble and you'll be amazed how easily you can write.
Hope this helps!