Becoming an Entrepreneurial Writer: Dealing With Writers’ Block

writers blockWe’ve all been here before. You should update your blog with a new post. That freelance article is past due. But you still don’t have a clue about what to write about (or in some cases, you just feel like writing). Those moments have partially inspired this post, and I’d like to share some of the ways I get over them when I have a looming deadline.

 

Take A 15 Minute Break

Sometimes the easiest way to figure out what words you want to get onto the page is just to take a breather. Read some of a magazine or a book, take a walk (one of my internship bosses was a huge fan of this option) or browse the internet for a while.

I also like to use these types of things as a reward for getting some work done to motivate myself rather than just taking breaks whenever I feel like it. For instance, I might reward myself with 15 minutes of internet browsing for every 250 words I write, so I have motivation to keep working.

 

Write Something Else

A lot of the time I’ll have multiple articles due in one day, and often I’ll want to get the most difficult one out of the way first so I don’t have to worry about it. However, if I’m struggling to get it done for whatever reason (I don’t know where to start or what to write about)–I’ll switch to something easier. Usually after I  get the easier article done, the more difficult one flows better because I’ve already been writing for a while.

 

Write Anything

This one’s pretty common and dates back to my college paper writing days, too. Instead of focusing on making what I’m writing sound “nice” (something I often struggle with when writing a first draft)–I’ll just write the basic jist of what I need to get written to get it down. I often find that what I come up with is a lot better than I thought it was going to be once I get started.

 

Read other Blogs and Articles

Sometimes when I’m really struggling to even come up with a topic, I’ll read other blogs or articles for inspiration and “steal” an idea. Usually reading other blogs or articles about topics will spark some sort of idea for my own blog post or article. For instance, if I end up reading about how someone else is struggling with finding freelance writing jobs, I might decide to write about my own struggles and how I’ve overcome them so far. For my personal blog, I like to find what other ballet bloggers are reviewing and focusing on more.

 

Participate in A Blog LinkUp

If just reading other people’s blogs or articles still didn’t give you an idea and you’re still stuck, consider participating in a blog linkup, a concept that practically encourages you to piggyback on someone else’s idea. Usually these will be hosted by a single blogger (or a group of bloggers) where they encourage other people to write about they same topic and then post the link on the host’s blog. For instance, I recently participated in a linkup called “Weekly Wishes” meant to be motivational about what we chose to try to accomplish that week. To me, it was a way to make my weekly recap post more interesting by putting a different spin on it. Plus, the concept encourages you to interact with other bloggers.

 

Do Another Task

Sometimes the easiest way to make myself get an article written is by doing another task for a little while (it’s like my first option, but not as fun). I’ll make myself send e-mails or other boring work tasks–or if I’m at home, I’ll make myself do the dishes or laundry or vacuum. Usually, I hate whatever task I’ve made myself do enough that I’ll be back to writing (or at least actively trying to to write) pretty quickly if I don’t like what I have to do.

 

Change your Environment

This is one of the oldest tricks in the “writer’s block” book, but it’s still worth mentioning. If you’re a freelancer, consider changing your work environment or getting out of the house to encourage you to work more. Sometimes I find if I’ve been working out of my apartment too much that even heading to the library or a coffee shop for a few hours to get some work done can greatly increase my productivity, even if I think I can get it done at home.

What do you do when your struggling to write an article?

About Kristen Gillette

Kristen Gillette is a freelancer who has written for a wide variety of publications including Philly2Night.com, two.one.five. Magazine, and Cred Magazine, thINKingDANCE.net, the Philadelphia Dance Journal, TechnicallyPhilly.com and more. She runs AdultBallerinaProject.com

Comments

  1. Great tips! Timely for me, too – I know I was definitely suffering from a bit of a block all this week. Thanks for sharing!

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