It’s happened to all of us – that blank screen with the cursor blinking in a very lonely way back and forth at us. Nothing is coming out and the longer the screen is blank the worse it gets. It’s called many things but mostly we know it as writer’s block, or in the case of building a successful online business, I call it “blogger’s block”. When you are building a business and a brand you need to have great content to draw people to you. Writer’s block can be a killer to your business if you don’t manage it! On the other hand, great content that supports your offer will help you shine even more brightly with your prospective customers.
Even though I have written professionally, and have taught writing skills for years I still get writer’s block from time to time. So when I had an attack of writer’s block recently I had to really look at what was going on and how to solve it! I thought I’d share some tips that helped me get over writer’s block without breaking out in a cold sweat! These are super-useful if you are a blogger or need some blogging tips. Here’s what worked for me:
Tip #1 – Get some shut-eye!
Yes, I know – nothing to do with the laptop but absolutely critical to solving my creative block! When I looked at what was going on for me as a busy entrepreneur with a big family I realized my creativity was zapped because I was just not getting enough sleep. No matter how committed we are to building a business – our bodies still need enough sleep to all of the things we need to do – and I was just not getting enough! As soon as I slip below 7 hours per night I go into another zone. Sleep is the great restorative and for me at least is the first step into stepping back into my creativity.
How many hours do you feel you need to operate at your best? If you find you are slipping below that then see what you can do to get back on track. There is lots of advice around on this – what I find works is critical for me is to *gasp* put away my devices by around 8:30pm so I can then move into wind-down mode which can involve a hot shower, a cup of hot milk and reading or doing some form of easy artwork (yes art is one of my other great loves!)
Tip #2 – Take a break and do something you love
Just as important for me as sleep is to build regular breaks into my day or week so that I’m doing something that I love and that fuels my creativity. (Don’t get me wrong I love my family and my business – but we all need a creative break!). I could see with my recent creative slump that I had dropped some of the things that were near and dear to my heart like regular yoga and some creative art time. Those things work for me – so choose what works for you so you can feel refreshed and get back to your work in a more creative state of mind. (Right now I am in heaven because I’m in Bali so am getting some very delicious downtime that will really fuel me up)!
Tip #3 – Mind-map your topics
Once you’re feeling clearer it’s time to get back into your zone of writing. This is something you can do before you get back to the computer. It’s really simple. Just take out a piece of paper and do a mind map to let your creativity out to see what topics you can write about. If you have never heard of mind-mapping give it a go. All you need is a piece of paper and a pen or coloured pencils to get going. Put your central topic in the centre and then draw radial lines out from the centre with your ideas. Here’s a sample one I’ve done for business or blog focused on raising happy, healthy puppies naturally:
There are a lot of great resources out there to learn more about mind mapping. Tony Buzan is considered the father or inspiration for mind-mapping. You can check out his resources here.
If you want to do an online mind map you can use Lucid Chart – this is one of my favourite tools. You can access it here.
Tip #4 – The amazing 10-minute brain hack to get started
I’ve saved the best until almost last! This simple brain hack is something that changed my life! A gorgeous boss shared this hack with me many years ago. It is an amazingly simple tip that will help you get started on your writing and it will also help you deal with a million other things on the bottom of your to-do list that never seem to get done!
So what do you do? All you need to do is to say to yourself that to start your writing task you only need to spend 10 minutes on it! Once you’ve spent the 10 minutes you can stop. Your brain loves this – and generally, once you have been working on something for 10 minutes you’ll be able to keep on going! It’s a simple tool that certainly works with my psychology and has worked with the hundreds of people I have coached and mentored over the years.
Tip #5 – Write from your stream of consciousness
Stream of consciousness writing is all about just starting to write whatever you are thinking and putting it onto the page. It is great when you are stuck. There is no need for any form or structure. Just let the words come out of your and onto your page. This is a great tool and is used by creative writers all of the time. So use the 10-minute brain hack and start writing. You’ll be amazed at what comes out. With this approach, I always aim to put down everything I would like to appear in a first draft. Once everything is down on the page I can then come back and edit it!
So those are my tips on breaking away from writer’s block. If you have any tips that work for you please share them in our comments section below!
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Yours in creating amazingly offers that sell!
P.S. I am really keen to hear what tips you use to get over writer’s block! Please put them in the comments section below. If you’d like to share in private then feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would LOVE to hear from you!