Writer’s block can happen to anyone, at any time. When you least expect it, you are left sitting in front of your computer staring at a blank screen waiting for the words to flow freely, like they usually do. But do not fret, this happens to the best of us and can be especially persistent in the B2B content writing sector. Take a deep breath and try one of these 5 sources of inspiration to fight writer’s block and get yourself back on track.
Take a break
Staring at a screen for hours can take its toll on anyone. Be sure to take regular breaks throughout the day. One method we try at Isoline is the well-known 20 – every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break from your screen and focus on something at least 20 metres away, to give your eyes a break from focusing up close. Get up and step away from your work, it will be waiting for you when you get back, we promise. Take a walk, go outside, grab a coffee, stretch. Let your brain have a bit of time to focus on something other than the article you are writing, sometimes focusing too hard on a project puts up a barrier that you need to conquer.
If you hit a wall, why not take this time to focus on another activity that is unrelated to the task at hand. You can still be productive while you are getting some perspective on the piece you are writing. One idea is to take the time to do some research on competitors – after all, knowledge is power. There is a plethora of software and tools on the market to give you the ability to learn more about your competition than ever before. It is good to regularly conduct competitive analyses in order to ensure you stay a step ahead. If you are experiencing writer’s block now, take a few minutes to read this comprehensive article by Hubspot on the topic.
Change your scenery
A change of scenery can really change your whole perspective. Sometimes the same old routine puts us in a comfortable rut that is hard to break out of. Try working from a different room or a different location all together. Switch things up to keep things fresh for yourself and your mind on its toes. If you are stuck in an office, take some time to go outside and sit in a park, get some fresh air and enjoy the outdoors for a few minutes. If you do your writing on your computer, like the majority of us do, try picking up a pad and pen to get your thoughts flowing again the traditional way!
When you find yourself stuck on a certain topic, open yourself up to exploring other topics. Try freewriting – a strategy similar to brainstorming but rather than just listing ideas, the writer uses full sentences and paragraphs. The technique involves continuous writing, usually for a predetermined period of time (set a time that works for you). Write without regard to spelling or grammar, and don’t make corrections. If you reach a point where you cannot think of anything else to write, just write that – “I cannot think of anything” over and over until you find another line of thought. Feel free to float between topics, letting your thoughts lead where they may. This technique will allow you to write without a filter and without judgement of what you are writing. It will help to open you up to new ideas and hopefully spark some creative thinking to combat your writer’s block. If you are the type of person who needs a bit more structure, try a random word generator like this one or this one. These sites will give you random words and phrases for you to start from.
“To stimulate creativity, one must develop childlike inclination for play…” – Albert Einstein.
Sometimes what we need is to shake off some stress and take a step back. Play, in all of its forms, nurtures our creative side and can be extremely helpful when dealing with writer’s block. While you may not have time for a full game of golf during your workday, try to carve out some time to have a bit of fun. Do a crossword puzzle, play solitaire, or pick up one of these adult colouring books and have it on hand for when writer’s block strikes.
When you find yourself at a writing impasse, do not give yourself a hard time. Do not dwell and sit staring at the blank page hoping for inspiration to strike, be proactive and try one of the aforementioned 5 sources of inspiration to fight writer’s block and get yourself back on track.
If you have found this blog post helpful or would like to discuss how Isoline Communications can help strengthen your content marketing strategy, email us at [email protected]