Words won't come? 5 simple tips for writer's block
How do you cure writer's block? It's simpler than you think! When you're staring down the blank screen of death, wondering how to stop writer's block, it's time to switch things up! In this post, you'll learn 5 simple tips for writer's block and some easy strategies to help you get unstuck and start writing again!
Table of Contents
- What is writer's block, anyway?
- How to stop writer's block
- Tip #1: Know what you're writing about
- Tip #2: Give yourself plenty of time
- Tip #3: Don't give yourself too much time
- Tip #4: Use a template
- Tip #5: Step away from the screen
- Live Q+A Replay
- Recommended resources
- Let's take action
- Share this post
Just start writing!
So simple, right?
If you’re like just about every health and wellness professional I’ve met (including yours truly!), chances are you’ve experienced that awful feeling as you stare at a blank screen, wondering what the heck to write.
So, the good news is: You’re not alone, friend.
And the great news?
You NEVER have to feel that way again!
What is writer's block, anyway?
While the experience has likely flummoxed creative writers at least since Gustave Flaubert lamented...
You don't know what it is to stay a whole day with your head in your hands trying to squeeze your unfortunate brain so as to find a word.
...the sudden (or chronic) inability to produce written words on demand is certainly not limited to the realm of fiction.
For the purposes of this post, let's broaden our definition of "writer's block" to include everything from a single frustrating writing session to the kind of dry spell that has you wondering if you even remember how to communicate at all.
All blocked writer's are welcome here.
Now, let's get unstuck, shall we?
How to stop writer's block
When we're faced with a bout of writer's block, we tend to believe that the solution lies in some magical burst of inspiration.
But, rather than waiting passively for a creative download, there are actually some very simple steps you can take to help encourage the words to start flowing.
Read on for 5 easy ways to overcome the dreaded blank-screen overwhelm + start writing already:
1) Know what you’re writing about
As in… ahead of time.
Before you ever sit down to write, you should have a darn good idea of what you’ll be writing about.
Otherwise, it’s just gonna be too hard. Trust me on this, friend.
Whether it’s a blog post or a social media caption, I highly recommend you map out your content topics ahead of time on a calendar.
- Check out this post on 3 sneaky places to find copy (+ content) inspiration
- Choose 1 dedicated place to store and organize your content ideas. (I love the content calendar template Louise Henry includes in her course, Uplevel with Asana!)
2) Give yourself plenty of time
Of all the possible conditions you could be writing under, CRUSHING TIME PRESSURE is perhaps the most brutal.
It’s also the least conducive to creativity— one of the essential communication superpowers!
So, set up routines that allow you plenty of room for creative inspiration, and don’t expect yourself to perform when pressed up against an unrealistic deadline.
Your writing (+ your peace of mind!) will be better for it.
- Check out my 5 daily habits for meaningful productivity
3) …but don't give yourself too much time
If too much time pressure is the enemy of creativity, then no time pressure at all is the enemy of productivity!
Give yourself all the time in the world to knock out a blog post… and guess how long it’s gonna take?
My love for the work sprint knows no bounds. It's truly one of my most essential tools to help manage my time.
You can keep yourself on track with just a simple clock, though. Once your topic’s mapped out, just set a timer for 20 mins or so. Write til the timer goes off, then reset it and start again.
Over time, try to build your speed + see how much you can accomplish in each sprint!
- Check out this guide I created:
View this guide on Instagram
2. Set a timer (I love the FocusKeeper app!) + try it for yourself
4) Use a template
I love to write. And yet, I would never subject myself to the task of writing for my business without a template.
I use templates for everything in my work:
- blog posts
- social media captions
- website pages
…seriously, for everything!
There’s something so comforting about sitting down to a nice, solid structure + simply filling in the content, piece by piece.
I often walk copy coaching clients through the process of structuring their blog posts + social media captions. And they consistently tell me what a positive difference it makes in their productivity and in their attitude toward writing.
Creating a template of your own doesn’t have to be complicated! Just pull up some of your most effective pieces of content + comb through them, looking for key elements they share:
- Does a certain structure tend to work best for you? Use it to format your template.
- Is there a number (or range) of key points it typically takes you to convey your message? Build them in to your template.
- Is there a main opt-in or other call-to-action you want to direct readers to? Include this at the end of your template!
5) Step away from the screen
If you’ve got your topic, the right amount of time, and a solid template to work with, and you still feel stuck…
…it’s time to step away from the screen for a bit.
But, hey! Before you fire up your current binge-watch of choice, listen up:
The key to making this tip work for you is to spend your screen-free time mindfully.
A few options to try...
- Move your body. I can’t explain it, but somehow shaking up your physical state has a way of shaking some new ideas loose. So, go for a walk, do some stretches + see what you notice!
- Recharge your creative battery. Turn on some music, flip through a favorite book, or take a few minutes to doodle right there at your desk. By engaging your mind without the goal of writing, you might find it easier to write when you’re done!
- Record yourself. Pull up your phone’s voice memo app and just start talking about the topic you want to write about. What are the main ideas you want your reader to take away from the post? Talk each one out in your normal, casual speaking voice. Then play it back + you’ll be amazed by how the writing starts to flow from there!
Here's a Reel I created to demonstrate this tip:
View this post on Instagram
Live Q+A Replay
Big thanks to SEVERAL of you for sharing slight variations of this Question of the Week!
"What do I do if I feel tempted to look at others’ copy when I’m stuck?"
Check out this video (timestamps below) to hear my answer:
View this post on Instagram
⏱ TIME STAMPS:
0:37 Question of the Week
2:30 This week’s blog post
3:35 A point of clarification re. 👀ing others’ copy
5:50 A word of encouragement!
6:45 If the temptation comes up when you’re stuck
6:55 Question #1 to ask yourself
Want to explore more ways to grow your health and wellness business? Check out these blog posts:
- How to get referrals (for free!)
- How to write great private practice website copy
- Why you should be pitching yourself as a podcast guest
Let's take action!
Ready to implement what you learned in this post? I like your style!
- Choose 1 of the tips for writer's block in this post and try it out.
- Looking for 1:1 copy support? Send me a note + let's talk!
- Want more actionable tips + real-life examples to help you reach more of your dream clients? Join my Close Friends list over on Instagram!
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