We're not writing novels. We're not writing academic essays or lengthy progress reports. We are writing sassy, fabulous, informative and fun blog posts. We're writing about what we love: fashion, beauty, design, our lives, our interests and our closets!
So with all these wonderful, beautiful things to talk about, why can it be so hard to do? You sit down at the computer, you've got to have a post for tomorrow and… Nothing. Nada. You might even know what you want to talk about (summer beauty tips, perhaps?) but you don't even know where to start. How do you lead off, how will you organize your thoughts? What will your readers like?
Often I feel such pressure and responsibility to write something, that it stifles my desire to produce anything.
Your next post is in that noggin of yours somewhere, you just have to coax it out. To get those fingers tapping on the keys and bring brilliant thoughts to fruition, you may just need to break out of your routine, change things up a bit or maybe start fresh altogether.
20 tips to try to help you bust through your writer's block:
- Go for a quick walk. Circle the block, leave your cell phone at home. Keep your eyes up and take in whats around you. Sometimes you just need a charge of fresh air to clear your head.
- Try a schedule. Mark out a time in your day (or your evening, or your weekend) that is always for writing. Training yourself to be present at a certain time and place, and your brain will start showing up, too. Routines work, people!
- Let yourself draft. Often I feel stunted when I want to write because I want the words that show up to be perfect. That's what editing and re-writing is for, so just start with something, even if it's just bullet points.
- Set deadlines for yourself. I always function well under pressure, don't you? (Even if it's self imposed.)
- Do some browsing around on image-heavy sites like Pinterest or Tumblr blogs. Let your mind take a break from words to see some lovely things and get inspired and energized again.
- Write something else first. Try making your grocery list, a to-do list, a journal entry about how you spent your day – something easy. It's a good way to ease back into just putting words on a page.
- Read. I always get inspired to write when I read something particularly good. Whether it's a passage in a book, a great magazine article or a few of my favorite blogs, seeing something done well helps motivate my own creative juices.
- Get your blood pumping. Go for a bike ride, dance, hit the gym, attend a yoga class, run a few miles; as a person who spends a lot of time in front of the computer, it's just as important to get away from it and expend physical energy as well as mental.
- Get caffeinated. Seriously, it helps. Whatever your method may be, a little beverage-based stimulation can help the gears start turning.
- Write somewhere new. Try a different room in your apartment, a new coffee shop, an outdoor park that has free wifi (is that just a New York thing?) or even your friends' place. A change of scenery can do wonders for the imagination.
- Get out of bed. I have never written anything brilliant from under my covers (as many times as I've tried). A lazy posture inspires lazy writing, if you ask me. Sit up at your kitchen table, at a desk or at least in some kind of chair.
- Do an outline first. Get back to your middle school roots and compose a quick outline of what you want to accomplish in your post. Introduction? Body paragraph? List of shopping items? Start with the meat, then garnish later!
- Go shopping. You don't have to spend any money, but spend some time browsing the shops and seeing what's new. You may notice trends worth addressing, you may find your next favorite pair of shoes, you may have a great experience worth sharing with your readers. You gotta live your life to blog about it!
- Turn off the TV, turn on the music. I hate working in a silent space, but television can be the ultimate creativity killer for me. My writing is heavily influenced by my mood, so I play music to reflect it, and work from that.
- Set the scene. Sometimes I need to do some distracting things before I can actually sit down and work, so I let myself do them. Organize your papers, set a notepad and pen next to your computer, get a big glass of water and a plate of snacks. Create the environment you envision brilliant work to be produced in.
- Don't expect too much from yourself. Let's be honest: not every post you put together is a banner achievement. Sometimes you just need to get it done and move on. Once you take a little of the pressure off of yourself, you may find it easier to let your words flow.
- Establish a reward for yourself. Again, sometimes you need to #treatyoself. Will you get a frozen yogurt when you finish your post? Grab a drink with a friend? Browse your favorite shopping site? Don't let yourself have what you want until you've finished your task.
- Shelf it for a day. We all have days that just don't feel right, whether you don't feel creative or you're frustrated or too busy at work or distracted with other things. Sometimes you have to just let it be, sleep it off, and circle back later.
- Do the other things first. My biggest move when procrastinating is to do every, single other thing I can think of before setting to the task I really need to accomplish. When sitting down to write, if I can't stop thinking about doing my laundry or emptying the dishwasher or emailing a friend from home, I have to just let myself do them. Get to a place where all you have to accomplish is your writing.
- Just apply yourself. Yep, I'm sorry, but my last tip to break through your writers block is just to write. Tell the story, describe the outfit, dissect the trend. Look at that blank page (post) and say, “Not today, internet!” and cover it with words. Or something.
How do you beat the block? Share your best tips for beating procrastination and boosting creativity in the comments!