It’s real, it’s excruciating, and it’s such a time suck. But if you try this simple method, you might escape the grasp of the dreaded writer’s block.
I write this after getting no further than two sentences into no less than four other blogs. Sometimes our brains just don’t give us a chance to put words on the page. So I’m facing the demon writer’s block head on by writing about the darned thing.
Of course, I’d love to just give up and spend my Saturday night bingeing on a box set of Grey’s Anatomy (those awesome lazy Saturdays!) but I’ve committed. *I’ve committed, I’ve committed, I’ve committed.* Right then – I’d better get to it.
What causes writer’s block?
The question I often arrive at when it starts to take hold is ‘Why?’ The answer? Who knows! Possibly it’s spending the day running around after two pre-schoolers, maybe it’s not getting enough exercise, perhaps it’s the heavy weight of a long winter ahead. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter. Because I have a really simple process to follow when you experience it.
Step 1: Find your topic
There’s a few places I like to explore when I’m stuck for what to write about. The first is to look to my customers’ frequently asked questions. If there’s something they ask and I have the answer, that could be all the inspiration I need.
If you’ve exhausted your FAQs already, look at any other customer research and see what areas they are in need of help with. See what they’re talking about in social media, check your analytics, look in your contact forms. Take inspiration from your customers’ engagement and you can’t go wrong.
Alternatively, you can look to what you’ve been doing in the business that may be unusual, inspirational or important for your customers. Content marketing and blogging shouldn’t be salesy, but if it ticks any of those boxes and it’s written well, then it’ll provide something of worth to your readers, and that’s the aim.
Step 2: Write a title
Once you’ve got your subject matter, write a title. It doesn’t have to be the final title, but writing a ‘working title’ can help to bring some sense of realness to the process and encourage the words flow. I usually revisit a title several times and scrutinise through a different lens each time: Does it read well? Does it inform? Does it spike curiosity? Does it make sense? Does it include keywords?
Step 3: Create sections with subheadings
Next, spend a minute or two thinking up a few key things you want to say and then write them as subheadings. Try to order them in a logical manner so that when read in sequence they create a story. So, for example, this story will begin with me having writer’s block and end with me beating it into submission as I conclude with a fully complete blog at last!
Step 4: Fill it all out
Once I have my subheadings I simply start to fill out relevant information between them, making sure it flows smoothly from one section to the next.
By this point, you’ve broken the back of your blog and you are definitely on the winning side. With a quick edit to tidy it all up and a smug mic drop, you’ve conquered the beast! Take that, Brain – the pen is mightier than the writer’s block.
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Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash