Seven Steps to Beat Writer’s Block
Use these seven steps to beat writer’s block when you’re next staring at a blank screen. We’ve all been there – you’ve been asked to post something on the company blog or write a report that’s due next month. You put it off because you’re busy, and when you finally can’t put it off any longer, you sit down at your screen but can’t think anything to write.
So, what do you do? These 7 steps will help get those creative juices flowing.
- Relax… and set your goal
- Free write for 5 minutes
- Organise your notes
- Think about your reader
- Ask for feedback
- Check your facts
- Reward yourself.
Relax… and set your goal
- Yes, this is easier said than done, but it’s important to remember that you’ve got this. They’re only words and you use words all day, every day.
- So, set your goal and remind yourself why you are writing. Are you writing to boost sales? Do you need to do it to keep your job? Are you celebrating a great review from a happy customer?
- Write your goal on a piece of paper and place it somewhere you can see it while you write.
Free write for 5 minutes
- Write down everything you know about the topic for 5 minutes flat.
- Don’t take your fingers off the keyboard. Don’t edit. Don’t judge.
- Use a mind map if you prefer. How you do this doesn’t matter. The idea is to get everything you know about the topic on the page as quickly as possible.
- Remember, you’ve got this.
Organise your notes
- Use headings to organise your thoughts. Then, number the paragraphs to group ideas together.
- You might find that new ideas spring up as you see the overall picture.
- Delete things that don’t meet your goal. Add more content that does.
- Remember to be amazed at how much you know about the topic.
Think about your reader
- Your reader is busy. They’re probably scrolling whilst making a cuppa or sitting in on a Zoom call.
- You need to be clear about what you want your reader to do when they read your document.
- If they’re reading it to find information, make it easy for them to find what they want.
- Subheadings and bullet points can help here.
- If it’s to persuade them, make sure your arguments are sound.
Ask for feedback
- If you can, ask a trusted person to read your work and give you feedback.
- Ideally, they should be in the same group as your potential reader.
- Listen when they point out jargon or assumptions, and alter the text accordingly.
Check your facts
- This is REALLY important. Ask yourself, are all the facts right? Do you have the right dates/prices/times?
- At the very least, do a spellcheck.
- By doing a little research, you’ll reaffirm that you actually know this stuff…and the writing will seem less daunting.
- Once you’ve sent the document out into the world, reward yourself for a job well done.
- Remember, you deserve it.
- Go for a walk, make a mocktail, pat your pets.
- Whatever it is, take the time to enjoy the reward.
- Heaven knows there’s little enough time to celebrate success these days.
Don’t worry if you don’t ace it the first time. Practice really does help with writing…just start the task a little earlier next time.
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