How to Overcome Writer’s Block
For years I have said there is no such thing as writer’s block, but today I’m going on the record as admitting that this is an issue for many people. Just because I have been fortunate enough to sit down and write over a million words since 2006 does not mean this is a simple task for anyone else.
Also, I write non-fiction almost exclusively, so the overwhelming majority of what I will share with you here will relate to this genre and style of writing on topics related to business and personal development.
So, if you find yourself blocked when you wish to write, what steps can you take to overcome your writer’s block? In a recently updated post by Henneke Duistermaat, entitled Writer’s Block: 27 Ways to Crush it Forever she shares some great tips:
“Talk to an Imaginary Friend
Whether you’ve 10 readers or 10,000, thinking about them makes writing a post daunting.
So, forget about your readers. Instead, create an imaginary friend.
Your friend is a real fan. He (or she) loves everything you write. He supports everything you do.
Give your imaginary friend a name. Create a little drawing or find a picture of a lookalike. Pin this picture on the wall above your desk.
Instead of writing a blog post, start a conversation with your friend. Or write him a letter. Discuss his dreams and challenges. Help him with whatever he is struggling with.
Be a good friend.”
This reminds me of a strategy I used as a child when making up stories in my back yard. My imaginary friend was named Tippy, and he was an elf. If only I had written down some of what we discussed over the years!
These days I do use this when writing email messages to the people on my list. I imagine that one of them is right beside me and asking for help in starting and growing an online business. Then I share my very best methods and techniques and recommend a product or a service that has been helpful to me.
Another tip shared by Henneke is this one:
“Be a Misfit
Being a blogger isn’t about conforming to the norms.
Don’t feel the pressure to be like your hero bloggers. You have to stand out on the web. You have to be YOU.
Accept you’re a misfit. Just like me. Just like Jon. Just like all other bloggers.
Be yourself. Enjoy yourself. Because your enthusiasm is contagious.”
This one really resonated with me because I had to find my voice when I came online and it was only when I decided to stop caring about what anyone else thought of me or of my writing that I truly took off as an entrepreneur. Like I stated in another post on technology and the economy:
People who value their uniqueness often find themselves in a position of great power and responsibility, while those striving to conform to society’s standards must be content with the status quo. Become a specialist in a world of mediocre generalists and the world will be your oyster.
The final tip I will share on the topic of how to overcome writer’s block is:
“Reread Your First Ever Blog Post
If you’ve been blogging for six months or more, you’ve written a lot. And you’ve learnt a lot.
Go back to your first few blog posts.
Find one you can rewrite. Add new insights, new arguments, and new examples.
Voila. You got a new post.”
I was not a writer when I first came online. Instead, I was someone who had always wanted to write but talked about it way more than ever taking pen to paper or fingers to a keyboard. Then I began blogging and found that I could write posts and publish my thoughts and ideas easily. Most of these early writings were incomplete and vague. Knowing that I can always go back to them anytime I feel the urge to update my posts with new insights and examples is a great feeling. If you are brave and have some time on your hands I invite to read my early posts and see why they are the perfect material to be rewritten.
What are your thoughts on how to overcome writer’s block?