I’ve been putting off writing this intro for a while now. My Instagram feed is feeling way more interesting than trying to work my way around writer’s block. I think anyone who has to put his or her ideas on paper has dealt with this feeling. It’s just so easy to do, well, anything else other than write. As a content writer, this is an issue I face almost every day.
Here are some of the most common productivity issues for writers and a few tips to help you not get … Sorry, my phone lit up. What were we talking about?
Writer’s block is one of the most common issues content writers experience, especially those who have to produce a lot of quality content in a short time frame. If you have high expectations of yourself, this issue can appear even harder to overcome. Coming back after each sentence to edit it and make it more engaging takes a lot of time and prevents you from writing down your flow of thoughts.
The trick is very simple — separate creation from editing. Even if your draft looks appalling to you, stick with it until you are finished with the content production process. Then you can go back and clean it up. The trick with this one is to just get as much down as possible; it might strike a thought that triggers a whole page of even better thoughts.
Sometimes, the writer’s block can be a result of having a wild mind. This happens when a writer concentrates too much on creating content and has to deal with dozens of ideas at the same time. As a result, writers become indecisive and can’t focus on following just one of their many trains of thought.
If this is something you are experiencing, try removing yourself from the situation completely. Nothing helps calm a wild mind like going on a walk or doing some kind of mindless activity like watering plants or washing dishes. If you can take your mind off of the overwhelming amount of ideas you have for a moment, when you come back to them, you can pick out the most promising ones.
You’ve probably been in this situation already. You’ve got your piece written, but there’s a white blank at the top where the title should be. No matter how long you stare at it, the ideas just don’t come to you.
Don’t worry. While the well of title ideas will occasionally run dry, there is an easy solution.
Stop staring and fall back to researching. Your colleagues have probably created masterpieces on your topic, or a similar one, already. Dive into their content, and use it as a springboard for title ideas of your own. You can even start a knowledge bank to increase your productivity and get ideas more efficiently. Once you come up with two or three title possibilities, ask team members which one they think fits best. After all, two (or more) heads are always better than one.
While writing down everything that comes to your mind can result in a great piece of content, more frequently, you will end up with poorly structured content. The readability of your text depends on the flow of ideas and how you stitch them up. Poor structure equals poor quality, and it may cause you problems when starting your own blog.
If you experience this happening way too often, the outline is your best friend. Before you start writing your content, create an easy-to-follow blueprint to stay organized. Write down the main points you want to be sure to cover within the content and go from there.
Meeting deadlines is one of the many day-to-day activities on a content writer’s to-do list. The sad fact is that content writers are not superheroes, and from time to time, they might write too slowly. And you know it yourself. If you push yourself to write faster in these situations, it won’t help.
The trick lies in treating yourself. Whenever your productivity starts to suffer, take a break. Use this time to recharge yourself. No one knows you better than you do, so think of activities you can do throughout the day to re-energize yourself. When I’m not on a roll, I like to find a short creative writing prompt to get me back in the flow.
It’s so easy to fall into an “I can’t work now — let’s see what’s new on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook” trap. Deep down, you know that the work won’t finish itself.
Because this often happens to writers who have a lot on their plate, do your best to segment your work. Set easy-to-reach milestones, and get rid of those nasty social media tabs. Take it one step at a time, and reward yourself after reaching each milestone.
As you can see, none of these issues is unique to you — we all face the dreaded writer’s block. To achieve long-term success, make sure to stay consistent with the solutions. Remember to reward yourself, take regular breaks, and nurture your creativity as often as possible.