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Overcoming Writer’s Block

5597111652_e21e20cd24Pressing that big orange “Publish” button is always exciting. The sense of accomplishment makes the tough work that goes into the process all worth it.

Selecting the right modules, video content, Amazon, eBay or Etsy products and choosing the layout are important parts of the process, but the heart of an excellent lens is still excellent writing.

Writing is a rewarding and beautiful way to express yourself, but sometimes it can feel impossible to get what’s inside of you to stick to the page.

Writer’s “block” is a vexing condition that everyone will face from time to time. If you’ve done the necessary research and have chosen a topic that you understand and care about, all of the challenges and creative blocks that you face are inside of yourself. This can make them hard to describe, much less overcome! Here are a few things that you can try the next time the words don’t want to flow.

1. Go analog

Since most of us will be creating the written content for our lenses on a computer keyboard, you can leverage different types of thinking and make new creative connections in your mind by taking the tech out of the equation. Writing by hand activates different parts of the brain and you’ll find that you write slightly differently – for most people, it’s slower and more deliberate.

2. Create a mind map, brainstorm or try free writing

Try the technique of free writing or create a mind map of the information you would like to write about. If you’re having trouble finding a topic to write about, try an individual brainstorm session where you create a list of ideas as they come to you. These techniques won’t necessarily give usable writing, but the jump-start to your creative mind can help you overcome blocks and renew your enthusiasm.

3. Believe in yourself

Sharing your personal thoughts and feelings with the world is scary, but it’s important that you believe in yourself, your unique vision, and original perspective. Don’t get caught up comparing your work to others or doubting the worth of what you’ve accomplished. In order to move past writers block you have to charge forward, trusting that your experiences, talent and passion are more than enough to overcome any obstacle.

How do you move past writers block or engage your creativity when you’re feeling stuck? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

Photo Credit: stevendepolo via Compfight cc
 

  • http://LifeInOut.com/ Susan Deppner

    Brainstorming with pen and paper really helps!

    • http://tommaybrier.com/ Tom Maybrier

      Same here – I chose that as number one because it works so well for me.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/ColonelAntilles ColonelAntilles

    I know that staring at ‘the blank page’ can be intimidating to all writers – including experienced ones: something that I find helpful when I am writing is to listen to music or CDs of Nature Sounds – I find that listening to things like waves crashing on the shore, sounds of the oceans, swamps helps me clear my mind and let my creative juices flow; but the sounds that really help are those of thunderstorms and rains falling. I have also found that I can write better during rain and/or thunderstorms. I know this may sound weird but it is what works for me.

    • http://tommaybrier.com/ Tom Maybrier

      Actually that makes perfect sense – studies have shown that we are more productive in spaces with some ambient noise as opposed to total silence.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/ColonelAntilles ColonelAntilles

    I forgot to mention something else that helps be to break through Writer’s Block is to do something that I really do not have to think about such as baking or cooking – I can write large parts of manuscript in my head as I am performing these tasks and then I edit as I write.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/rogeralyn rogeralyn

    I keep ideas for topics everywhere (a notebook by the TV, on my computer, at “real” work, etc) when they come to me and then I can look back through them later when I am in need of sparking an idea.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/grammieo grammieo

    Having a pad and pen at my bedside helps, I get my best ideas in the middle of the night…….

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/DeniseMcGill DeniseMcGill

    Great advice. I never thought about the difference between typing (digital) and writing (analog) but it makes sense that it fires different parts of the brain and creativity. Thanks.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/angelatvs angelatvs

    Step out of your comfort zone and do something different, that always leads to great ideas. Go see a rodeo, take a walk on the beach, ride a rollercoaster, eat a new kind of cuisine…

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/flinnie flinnie

    I like these tips, thanks.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/Scindhia Scindhia

    Taking a break and doing something else can sometimes trigger great ideas.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/DaveStone13 DaveStone13

    The best advice I ever got as a writer was – “If you can’t write, type.” Remember it’s a job too and get to work whether you feel like it or not. If you stick with this commitment, writer’s block will vaporize. It’s like priming a pump. Just don’t stop.

    On a practical level, I find that writing my lens as a document apart from the modules first, then chopping it up and pasting it in, gives me a liberating freedom to write. Sometimes, working inside the modules just feels awkward. I do this almost every time these days, and that’s three or more long lenses every week, plus hard copy newspaper freelancing.

    • http://tommaybrier.com/ Tom Maybrier

      Great tip about writing in a separate word processor, thanks Dave!

  • http://tommaybrier.com/ Tom Maybrier

    Bonus tip: If you’re really feeling stuck, why not try writing about having writer’s block? Sounds funny but it works a treat!

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/whattaplay whattaplay

    I’ve always been a proponent of the stream on of conscience. Just write gibberish that lacks transitions and, before you know it, you’ll start writing some decent stuff that makes sense…

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/CalobrenaOmai CalobrenaOmai

    There are times when I go to paper before computer. Much like that lens making quest that involved generating a gift list for guys. Some times there are quests that get me going to the point where I can kick out a lens in an hour or so. Music is a big help along with television and YouTube. Thanks for the additional assist in the writers block category.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/smartmom2 smartmom2

    This was very helpful! I often deal with writers block. Now I know that I am not alone.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/aswahayah aswahayah

    Writer’s “block” can
    be a vexing condition
    that everybody
    will face from time
    to time. research
    have shown that we
    are a
    lot more productive in spaces.love you

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/topclimb topclimb

    As a new writer, I really like your suggestions and ideas. Thanks!

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/Mattstodayspcparts Mattstodayspcparts

    I find that over thinking the topic can lead to writers block. I try to keep it simple as though I am having a conversation. Sticking to subjects I am passionate about makes for better content. I do find it easier to write on pen and paper first. Thanks – All great ideas.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/karendd123 karendd123

    I read back over some of the stuff I have already written. This helps to get me going.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/PattiJAdkins PattiJAdkins

    Good advice! I find it also helps just to stop worrying about it and do something else for a while, like taking a walk.

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