This Simple Secret Will Defeat Content Writer's Block Once & For All
You're in the flow.
Words just fly onto the page one after the next -- each more golden than the last. Whether you're writing content for a doctor's practice or a trucking company, you feel the euphoria of the creative process spilling out from your fingertips.
Then "Bam!". Like a brick wall, it rises in your path -- writer's block.
Nothing kills productivity faster.
But you're a content writer. This is your job. You're not writing for fun.
You don't have a deadline 3 months down the line. You're expected to deliver now, consistently and constantly -- for your company, your team, your client.
Without continuous compelling content, your content marketing strategies fall flat.
You're smart. You should be able to figure this out. You should be able to overcome it. But the harder you push, the more solid that brick wall becomes.
You've heard since you were a kid that "winners never quit" so you keep pushing. Keep trying. The more determined you are to break through it, the worse it gets.
The more painful it is.
Each hard-fought-for word on the page becomes yet another anchor holding you in place, pulling you back. You have deadlines to make. You have bills to pay. You have clients to please. It overwhelms you as you sink deeper into the pit of despair.
Snap out of it. Content writer's block doesn't have to control you. You have the power. You can again unleash that magnificent creative force within you.
I'll show you how to defeat writer's block once and for all. But first let's look at the science behind it.
The Beautiful Creative-Analytical Mind
You probably heard about the left brain and the right brain. As the story goes if you're left-handed your right brain, the creative side, dominates your thought processes. If you're right-handed, the left brain, the analytical side, dominates.
While this is a gross over-simplification of how the brain works, it does help to potentially explain what content writer's block is. And through this understanding you can learn how to fix it.
When these two work harmoniously to their strengths, you find your content writing zen, a pleasure to work and write and create in every way.
This is when you create the most shareable content ever. The kind that connects and helps you reach goals.
When they're at odds, you suddenly hit that brick wall that we call content writer's block.
Most of us tend toward the analytical side as some 90% of people are right-handed.
For those who are, you have to work a little harder to think with your creative brain. Over time you train your brain to think more creatively. And, in doing so, you learn how to ride the creative flow.
I'm a lefty, so it just comes a little more naturally for me to be in the creative flow. I've had to develop my analytical brain to find balance in my life and writing.
The Creative Mind
When you're using your creative brain, everything is moving smoothly. Your fingers seem to have a mind of their own. They type the next line before it's even fully formed in your head.
The creative mind sees the world differently. It sees potential, the hidden, the unknown.
It then works to bring the unknown into the known.
It makes the unseen a reality.
When you're in "the zone" as a professional athlete might call it, you do some of your best work. Hours fly by. And when you reach the end of your day, you have work you can be proud of.
You need to be in this space to create your best work. But staying in this space, in your right brain, isn't easy.
The Analytical Mind
The analytical side of your brain is responsible for forming coherent language. If you were too far off into the creative mind, you'd likely be writing gibberish.
The analytical mind evaluates your writing to make sure you're clearly conveying the ideas that you've researched. It helps ensure that you're still relating to your target audience. It considers your content marketing objectives.
It reminds you that you're on a deadline.
Have you ever had trouble following what a creative genius is saying? It's because they've hyper-stimulated their creative mind -- which allows them to create the amazing things they create.
But it makes it hard to communicate with others.
On the flip side, have you ever been around a ultra-realist, who can only see what is. They use logic to explain everything. This person has trouble seeing potential or possibilities beyond what they already know to be true. This may serve them well in their line of work and be necessary for them to do what they do.
But they're weighing too heavily on the logical side of the brain if they can't step outside the known to the "what if" when it serves them to do so.
As you can clearly see, you need both your creative and analytical mind to be a content writer -- or any kind of writer for that matter. You need that flow to be highly creative and productive. But you need that more logical brain to remind you who you're writing for and so on.
Even if you do send time in the creative flow as a content writer, a disruption can occur that off-sets this balance.
It starts small, like a tiny pebble in your running shoe. But as it continues to rub at the bottom of your foot, you develop a blister. Then the swelling and pain begin until you can't think about anything else.
You can't take it anymore and you certainly can't continue your run.
In content writing, this disruption is caused when the analytical brain overwhelms the creative brain at a time when you would be better served staying in that creative space.
You've undoubtedly experienced the inverse where you just can't seem to stay focused on something important because your creative mind wants to play.
With writer's block, a shift happens. We start thinking about deadlines. We start questioning if it’s good enough. We start looking for typos. We start editing what we already wrote. We start thinking that our target audience or boss won't like it.
This is all analytical.
A little dose of this is necessary to stay on track. But when we allow it to take over, we move away from our creativity.
It's logical and important. We should ask these questions as a content writer. No one should hire a content writer who can't spend some time in the analytical brain. They can't meet goals or deadlines. They can't communicate effectively.
But it becomes counter-productive when it blocks your flow. Because there are definite times when the creative brain needs to be running the show. This is one of them.
A power struggle ensues.
Your analytical mind has quite an ego. It thinks that since it's the logical one, it should always be in control. But logic is understanding what is. Creativity is the ability create something entirely new.
Even if you're researching extensively, writing is creation.
Stopping the Disruption
To stop the disruption, you must prevent your analytical mind from trying to take over the creative process. You can't do this in an all-out offensive though.
When you focus on what you don't want, you actually create more of it. That's a major component of the Law of Attraction, by the way.
Instead, focus on what you do want, which is staying in your creative space.
1) Draw the Line
Make a commitment to yourself that you will not correct typos or edit while writing. This is the first step toward the slippery slope that allows the analytical mind to take over.
Editing and proofing are secondary processes to writing. It's not possible to do them at the same time.
They stimulate opposite sides of the brain.
Don't beat yourself up if you correct something naturally as you go like changing "your" to "you're". But don't start re-reading and looking for things to fix.
That's analytical and will lead you down the path toward writer's block.
2) Think Positive Thoughts
Positive thoughts are much more powerful than negative ones. Negative ones only have any power when their numbers overwhelm.
Remind yourself that this is the best piece of content you'll ever write. And continue to think this as you work.
If you start to feel those "it's not good enough thoughts" creeping in, don't fight them. Instead, replace them with a positive mantra that's meaningful to you.
Over time this mantra will become a part of your subconscious mind.
3) Give Yourself Time
Put that analytical mind to good use by organizing your day in such a way that you have ample time to get assignments completed.
Reduce deadline stress by setting a schedule in advance and not waiting until the last minute.
Sometimes we get down to the wire because we keep saying "if I do it later, it will flow more smoothly". We then procrastinate and procrastinate until we're forced to get it done.
This won't be your best work. In the next several points, I'll show you what to do instead.
Exercise releases endorphins, happy hormones. These hormone help you stay in a more creative place.
On top of this, exercise gets the blood flowing to the brain. You need that healthy blood flow to create.
Don't spend 30 minutes sitting in front of a blank screen. You'll be more productive if you use this time to go for a walk, ride a bike or do some pushups.
Don't focus on your assignment as you do the activity. But quite often, the ideas will just begin flowing as you get more oxygen to your brain.
Researchers compared 48 people who only engaged in mild exercise on a regular basis with 48 people who exercised regularly. The group who exercised regularly outperformed the other group on several creativity tests.
Another 20 year study followed a group of more or less equally-matched scientists through their careers.
They found that the ones who worked long hours and took little time for family, friends, exercise and leisure had over those 20 years had fewer break-throughs, discoveries, etc.
These kinds of creative events are what define a scientist's career -- not the endless hours they spend experimenting and researching.
Worry about deadlines and guidelines can kill creativity. But meditation helps you recenter yourself.
As a writer, the most important moment isn't the deadline. It's right now. If you're focused on your deadline, your brain is in the future when it would better serve you in the present.
Meditation can effectively recalibrate your mind on the present moment. You'll emerge more focused on writing and better able to complete a creative task.
6) Bounce Ideas off Friends
Sharing with others is a great way to get back into your creative space. Take some time to bounce ideas off others. Get feedback. And then start creating.
The right cohort can propel you to the moon.
7) Spend Some Time Being Inspired
We need to draw a fine line here for certain. Browsing the Internet while you're supposed to be working can cause procrastination.
But it can also inspire you. Surround yourself with visuals that inspire. Find images or videos that make you happy. If you prefer music, use it to accomplish the same thing.
Channel this positive energy into your creative flow and create more amazing content.