Crazy Tip For Overcoming Writer’s Block

Even with all the time I spend helping bloggers, there is one problem that has always stumped me: writer’s block.

I have the ability to pump out posts pretty quickly and it obviously comes in handy for me. However, many others that I work with get completely stumped when it comes to actually writing for their blog.

What do I write about? Will people care? Is it any good?

writersblock What happens is that you sit down to write a post and you spend more time in introspective thought than actually writing.

Another issue I see a lot is that some bloggers are writing, but from their audience’s standpoint. So, the entire time they’re writing, they’re constantly self-judging and nit-picking at the post from somebody else’s standpoint.

In other words, you’re doing everything except ACTUAL WRITING. The result is that you either don’t write at all, or it takes you FOREVER to produce a blog post.

Ironically, many times, the evidence of this is obvious to me. I’ll get LONG emails from people, yet they’ll tell me they have a hard time writing. 🙂 Obviously not. I got this uber-long email to prove it. The problem is that they tense up when they know others will be reading it.

Successful bloggers write, they don’t think about writing.

At the core of the solution here, I believe you need to be yourself (not your reader) when you produce a blog post. This is a matter of mindset. You need to make the conscious decision NOT to self-judge.

Do what you’re doing while you’re doing it, in other words. Writing and editing are two different jobs and you cannot and should not be wearing both hats at the same time.

So, here’s a little trick you might want to try. It is a little crazy. 🙂

Turn off your monitor.

Have an idea, a thought, a concept that you want to communicate to your reader. Go to the screen where you will begin typing the post. Then, simply hit the power button on your monitor in order to turn it off. Then, just start typing blindly. Type as if you were talking out the concept to a friend sitting there in the room. Just type what you would say. Don’t worry about formatting, typos, grammar – anything.

When you’re done, turn the monitor back on. At this point, you’ll change hats. Stop being the writer and start being the editor. Fix typos, grammar and just generally ensure the post reads well.

If my description of writing above is pretty much you, you might want to give this little trick a try and see if it works for you.

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Responses

  1. We have regular power cuts and I find that I get more ideas and outlines for posts down on paper on those days than I do ever sitting in front of a screen. I don't ever get writer's block, I don't know why, but I never have problems starting or keeping the writing flowing–my problem is stopping it. But, not having power is definitely a way to focus your mind. Ideas flow much better with pencil and paper. Seriously. I crafted about 70 posts in 3 days without power. Give it a go for half a day and see what happens. That is, turn off the PC, turn off all noises and sit down and start scribbling ideas, notes, lines, scraps of thoughts, whatever. Then arrange them coherently, mind-map them, whatever works for you. I love mind-mapping. There you have loads of content. Write, write, write.

  2. I love this idea – only thing is I have a laptop. I think I might try putting a piece of cardboard or a brochure over the monitor and see if that will do the trick!

  3. Interesting advice David. That turning off the monitor idea sounds crazy but it just might work. Thanks for sharing!!

  4. That idea is just crazy enough to work. I’ve been doing a little experiment where I go into a room away from the computer and record the post I want to write by talking to a dictaphone. Then just typing up the recording word for word. It certainly gives a post a more human voice although does end up taking a little longer to do.

  5. That idea is just crazy enough to work. I’ve been doing a little experiment where I go into a room away from the computer and record the post I want to write by talking to a dictaphone. Then just typing up the recording word for word. It certainly gives a post a more human voice although does end up taking a little longer to do.

  6. Sometimes I do a very similar technique, with one small difference. I speak out my thoughts while I'm typing the post. For me, it helps in quickly expressing what I want to say.

  7. Here's a little exercise I'm playing to fight writers block [anybody can do it]

    Disconnect your mind ; take a minute or two. Get outside the room. Get out in the nature. Drink water. Or whatever. Your subconscious will sprung new ideas – let it do its magic on you!

  8. I'm not sure I could actually turn off the monitor, but I like the idea. I try to follow some advice I found at Copyblogger, S.P.E.E.D. Writing. I find the last piece of advice the most helpful; to write and NOT edit until later, which is just what you advise too. I wish I could report I'm good at this now, but I'm not; it still needs work.

  9. What about those of us that still type looking at the keyboard, shouldn't need to turn off the monitor! 😉

  10. Great advice. I often do something similar since I write free-hand. I sit in the dark and write. Works awesome! Makes you write fast and truthful. 🙂

  11. Steal from your old blog posts.
    Just re-write them and as time has changed the world and business, the message will be slightly different.
    This will take you a few days off the pressure.

  12. Hey David, this works. Another tip is to pretend your friend or mother asked you for some advice on your topic of expertise but needs you to write a letter to tell her or friend because she got tired of her phone and broke the thing ;- )

    Not sure you got my comment from last post. I put here again.

    Your next post idea should be about article marketing and why we should do it and why it might be overated as some presenters mentioned at the Continuity Summit recently.

    I heard that its not as necessary as before because it doesn't stay up enough time. But some argue that it provides a link back to blog.

    What is your take on this. I will be looking for this on your next post. Thank you… 😉

  13. I LIKE this idea. Too bad I can't power off my screen without powering down the whole laptop! I will have to sit down and have a think to figure out a similar idea for myself 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  14. i also received this tip from our writing workshop–freewriting… 🙂 I guess it applies to general writing regardless whether you're writing a blog post or even a PhD chapter. 😀 thanks!

  15. Yeah, that can work to make some bloggers lose that incapacitating self-consciousness. A good mix of freedom and a hint of danger to make that worth a try. It may prove to be a daunting job for the editor in us later, but hey that comes with the editor's territory. Cleaning up one's writing is far more productive than nursing writer's block, after all.

  16. Crazy good idea! I know my last couple of posts have came from the heart. Pretty damn deep actually and I've been focusing on writing for myself from the most real place possible. Seems to be working because I'm connecting with people on a much deeper level and I'm receiving emails from folks telling me how it feels like I'm talking directly to them.

    Fact is I'm writing from my core place and it resonates like hell with them. I've turned off the mental editor and tuned into my “real space.” I drop a few more F bombs in my post than ever before but no one seems to care. The meet is in the message.

    Good call brother!

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