writer’s block? 34 simple tips & trips to solve them

introduction

trips to solve them Nobody likes them and yet they keep coming and plaguing you. The result is sheets drenched in sweat and a sudden awakening with a pounding heartbeat. The common thing about nightmares is: You are completely at their mercy. No matter how much you wish to dream something beautiful and fulfilling before you fall asleep, your mind won’t heed those requests. Writer’s block is every copywriter’s, blogger’s or author’s nightmare. However, there is a small but subtle difference between the two: You are not powerless against writer’s block. In this article I will tell you which simple and immediately implementable tips you can use to overcome writer’s block in the future

contentsHide

  • General Tips
  • Preparation Tips
  • Optimize writing process
  • FAQ

General Tips

Here are some general tips that will make you a better writer and help you break free from writer’s block.

1. Practice makes perfect

Writer’s block is often the result of a lack of practice. Actually logical, right? Your mind and ability to write are like a muscle that gains volume and strength with constant exercise. So if you train your “writer muscle” regularly, you’ll become a better and better copywriter and will greatly reduce writer’s block in the future. For this very reason, many professional copywriters force themselves to write at least 500 to 1,000 words a day – even when there is actually no text to be written. Think of it this way: If you don’t want to be out of breath every time you climb stairs, then you should work on your endurance. For example by jogging. On the other hand, if you don’t want to deal with writer’s block with every blog article, then you should work on your writing skills.

 

2. Learn to type fast

You will be able to write texts much more efficiently and quickly if you are able to use all 10 fingers when writing. If you can immediately put a thought that pops into your head and put it down on paper, the chances of losing the thread and getting stuck are significantly reduced.

3. Create a swipe file

Professional bloggers and copywriters are aware of an important fact that beginners often miss: There is no need to reinvent the wheel to be successful in the online world and compete. This means: What has worked before will most likely work again. This is exactly why you should definitely create a swipe file . This is nothing more than a collection of successful articles, headlines, or quotes from other bloggers or authors that you can refer to for writer’s block to find new inspiration. And it doesn’t just have to be sources from your niche. If you find a blog article that has been shared frequently or has generated a large number of links, you should definitely save it in your swipe file.

Preparation Tips

Good preparation is half the battle when it comes to writing. It will definitely be a lot easier for you to create the text if you have already created a rough road map and know in which direction you want to move with your text.

4. Create an editorial plan

Imagine that you already know today which articles or texts you will write in 10 months. This is exactly what an editorial plan can do. Once created, your own editorial plan will tell you exactly which texts you should tackle next. Such a plan has another great advantage: You can prepare your readers and visitors for upcoming content and thus build up an arc of suspense. If you deliver the promised content on time, your trustworthiness will also benefit from it.

5. Use keyword tools

Keyword tools can help you find new posts and structure planned texts. Examples of recommended tools are:

In my overview of the best keyword tools you will find 10+ more tools and my insider tips. You can work with these tools in different ways depending on the range of functions. On the one hand, successful contributions from your competitors can be found and analyzed (e.g. based on generated links or social shares). You could then use these themes to create even richer, better content. On the other hand, they help to structure your texts. For example, Answer The Public is great for getting a high-level overview of a topic and getting a sense of what might interest potential readers. And the best is: You can use numerous functions completely free of charge! Here’s an example of how extensive the results are when you do research with Answer The Public:

 Tip: If you want to learn even more about keyword research, check out my ultimate guide to keyword research . There I explain in detail how to find and rate new keywords and topics.

6. Outline your text in advance

If you create a rough outline of your text before you start writing the first word, it will be much easier for you to write. This applies in particular to long and extensive texts. An outline will help you keep a common thread as you write and will ensure that you write smoother and more structured text. However, an outline is particularly helpful if you are struggling with writer’s block. If you can’t think of anything about a certain sub-item, you can jump straight to the next chapter and continue writing without wasting even a minute.So: If you are preparing a blog article, define all the headlines before you start writing <h2>– ideally even all <h3>the headlines.

7. Create a subtopic checklist

After you have created your outline as described above, you can add bullet points to the individual sections. Write down all the things that come to mind when planning a text and define which topics you definitely want to deal with in a sub-item. An example: Let’s say you want to create a blog post on the topic “How do I make my blog legally secure”.

Then your big outline might look like this:

  1. Imprint / Privacy Policy
  2. Cookie notice
  3. Visitor Analysis

And your subtopic checklist like this:

1. Imprint / Privacy Policy

  • Imprint Generator
  • Privacy Generator
  • GDPR

2. Cookie notice

  • What are cookies?
  • Who needs a hint?
  • legal text
  • ePrivacy
  • The best plugins

3. Visitor Analysis

  • Matomo
  • Google Analytics
  • legal issue

8. Do thorough research

Writer’s block often occurs when you’re writing about a topic that you haven’t fully explored yet. I could write a 10,000-word post on the subject of search engine optimization with WordPress right off the bat. Simply because it hits my core competency and I have acquired a large pool of knowledge over the last 10 years. When it comes to Internet law, things are completely different again. I also have a lot of prior knowledge here, but I lack detailed knowledge (e.g. which paragraphs apply in a specific case), which is why I have to do thorough research before each article. Thorough research on a topic is the be-all and end-all to write more fluently. To describe it with a metaphor: In order to empty the bucket, you must first fill it.

9. Find topics you love

Writing about topics that you can identify with and that inspire you greatly reduces the likelihood of writer’s block. Simply because numerous thoughts about your “heart topics” probably immediately come to mind that you can put down on paper. In addition, you will usually deal with these topics frequently, which will certainly improve your background knowledge on these topics in particular (see also tip 8). What does that mean for you? If you’re looking for topics to write about, then look for topics you love. Topics that accompany you in your everyday life and that give you pleasure. You can divide these topics into many small subcategories and thus receive a well-structured editorial plan full of content ideas. If you e.g. B. you really enjoy gardening and would like to report about it on your mom blog, then possible topics could be:

  • Creating a herb garden for children
  • Integrate water games for children in the garden
  • Build bee and insect hotels
  • Etc.

    10. Define goals for your text

    Every text that you write and publish for your blog has a specific goal. These goals can be of different nature and can be roughly divided into three categories for web texts:

    • Inform
    • Selling by informing (e.g. test reports on articles)
    • Sell

    If the goal of a text is clear to you from the beginning, then writing will be much easier for you. And your text will also be better optimized for the given goal, which increases its quality enormously.

    11. Set yourself a deadline

    Determine for yourself when a text must be completed at the latest. Because we often work much better with a little pressure than without. With a deadline you can set yourself, you can increase your motivation enormously, especially if you are approaching that deadline. Surely you have encountered this phenomenon at one time or another. For example, during school, when the date of an exam was approaching very quickly, or during the tax return, when the deadline was getting closer and closer. It can help to set short deadlines. Because the more time you give yourself for something, the longer you often need for it. The underlying principle is also called Parkinson’s law and is as follows:

    12. Break larger projects into small chunks

    For long texts or large projects such as a non-fiction book or e-book, I would definitely advise you to divide the text creation into many small “chunks”. This works relatively well with a preliminary classification. The reason for this is simple: You can always pick the morsels that you’re craving the most at the moment. In this way, you can effortlessly bypass writer’s block without jeopardizing your productivity.

    13. Have several texts in reserve

    I would recommend that you always work on several texts at the same time. By that I don’t mean to write several texts at the same time, but to have several texts prepared (structure, research, etc.) in stock. If you are caught in a text in a writer’s block, changing the subject often helps to get back into the flow.

    14. Warm up and “enroll”

    What seems completely logical in sports and is not questioned by anyone often seems to be neglected when writing texts: warming up. Before you start writing a longer text, it definitely doesn’t hurt to “warm up” beforehand. Ideally, use texts that do not require a lot of memory. For example, reply to emails. You will see that it will be much easier for you to start writing a blog text afterwards.

    15. Spit on others

    If the writing doesn’t work out at all and the blockade cannot be solved despite numerous attempts, it can’t hurt to peek at other copywriters. By that I don’t mean (!) to copy and copy entire texts or sections of text. But if, for example, you still have no idea how you want to approach a topic, a Google search can help you to gather initial ideas and inspiration. Especially when writing an outline or an introduction to a topic, it can be very helpful to look at how other copywriters or authors have implemented it. The general rule: You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. In some cases it can therefore make sense to use the ideas that have already worked successfully.

    Optimize writing

    Most blockages arise in the middle of the writing process. So when you should actually make the keyboard glow. These writer’s blocks are often the result of missing breaks, because while writing we often forget the time and do not notice how long we have actually been sitting at the computer. And our brains need a break every now and then. Unfortunately, however, it is not always sufficient to solve the writer’s block with a short break. Other measures and steps are often required. Mainly because blockages can also occur right at the beginning of a text. In this section, I’ll give you the best tips to get rid of blockages during the writing process. Because one thing is certain: Even if your preparation is exemplary, such writer’s block can occur.

    16. Always start with the headline

    If you want to write great blog articles or texts, you should always start with the headline. Don’t write them while you’re writing the body of your blog post. Or, even worse, when the text is already finished.

    But why this order?

    Very easily: Your headline is a promise to the reader. It explains the benefit that your blog article or text has for the reader. And there lies the problem: It’s difficult to fulfill a promise you haven’t made yet . Accordingly, it is also difficult to find a title for an article that you have already written. Because then you have to look for the promise first. This can make your article look vague, lack a common thread, or make you have to adjust your article afterwards to find a
    headline.

    17. Make big promises in the headline

    The headline isn’t just a promise to your readers about what to expect in your article or text. It is also a promise to yourself. If you promise a lot in the headline, you will also have more motivation to deliver a lot.

    18. Just start

    We often worry far too much about the problems and questions we might face when creating the text. However, most of these potential problems resolve themselves after a short period of time. Therefore, an important tip is: Just start writing. Don’t worry about potential problems before writing a text, only deal with them when they actually arise.

    19. Write first, correct later

    When writing, it is extremely important to get into the “flow”. However, this flow (writing flow) can only arise if you concentrate fully on writing and do not let yourself be distracted. One of the worst copywriting mistakes you can make is correcting a sentence as soon as you write it down. Spelling mistakes, weak wording or incorrect grammar do n’t matter in the first draft . When you create a text for the first time, you should really concentrate fully on the writing. The optimization and correction follows afterwards.

    Tip: Turn off all autocorrect features, typing assistants, and spelling and grammar checking tools while writing.

    Another practical tip that can help:

    20. Tape off the delete button

    To avoid preventing yourself from correcting while writing, simply deprive yourself of the opportunity to correct. Called: Tape off the Delete key on your keyboard (often labeled Delete, Del, ⌫, or ←) or remove it entirely. The latter is quite easy to do with two screwdrivers, especially with older keyboards. With more modern keyboards or notebook keyboards you should rather leave it with masking.

    21. Keep the environment quiet

    I just mentioned that you shouldn’t be distracted by spelling or grammatical errors. Of course, the same applies to your surroundings! Eliminate all possible distractions when writing. This includes ringing smartphones, e-mail programs or other news services. Ideally, you disconnect the Internet connection on all devices and create an oasis of calm. Each new distraction will cause you to become increasingly inattentive, greatly increasing the risk of writer’s block. After all, you have to rethink your text after every email you answered, after every tweet you read, and after every phone call you made.

    22. Write as you speak

    Have you ever received a letter from the tax office or another authority? There is nothing worse than “authority German”. It must be awful for the staff there to write lyrics like that. As a blogger, you don’t have to bother with this topic. Because you can write as you speak.In fact, you should write the same way you speak! Not only will this significantly reduce your writer’s block, but it will also appear more honest and authentic.

    23. Write for a good friend

    Writing will be easier for you if you write a text that is addressed directly to a person. Called: Not “you can”, but “you can”. Don’t write a blog article for your “target audience,” but imagine telling a good friend about the topic you’re writing about.

    24. Visualize what you want to write about

    Ideally, your texts should not only create images in the minds of their readers, but also in you. Linking posts to images will definitely make the writing feel more real and will make it easier for you. Such images can be created excellently through storytelling. Write and report about your personal experiences. In this way, you not only ensure a constant flow of writing, but also make your texts more personal.

    25. Be sure to take breaks

    Regular breaks are part of any creative work. Also when creating texts. If your text allows it, for example when a new section or chapter begins, pauses are worth their weight in gold to get back to work with renewed vigour. Many copywriters and creative people swear by e.g. Consider the Pomodoro technique , for example , where you work 25 minutes and take a 5-minute break.

    26. Change location

    The environment plays an important role in creative tasks. In a tidy office, you will probably find it much more difficult to write emotionally and in a good mood than on a lounge chair in the sun. Of course it is a utopian idea to work continuously with a laptop in the countryside (even if it is often suggested on the Internet today). However, it can make sense to escape the office from time to time and react to writer’s block by changing locations.

    27. Write about writer’s block

    This tip may sound a bit strange at first, but when you try it for yourself for the first time, you will quickly see how effective it is… If you suffer from writer’s block, then just write about this writer’s block. Let me explain: The characteristic of writer’s block is that you have a hard time writing a meaningful text. You can’t seem to think of any sensible sentences. So what do you have to do to clear this blockage? Write correctly. It can be helpful to write a few sentences to untie the knot in your head and continue writing with new ideas. In practice it could look like this: Be sure to try it the next time you block!

    28. Go on to another section

    If you’ve created a proper outline for your text or blog article, you can easily move on to another section or chapter in case of writer’s block. Once you’re in the flow of writing, you’ll find it easier to cover those sections that you were previously stuck on.

    29. Use the dictation function

    If a writer’s block occurs, then simply speak your text! Most modern computers and laptops today have dictation apps or features that make it easy for you to put this into action. Admittedly, this is a matter of habit. With the first dictations you are guaranteed to have one or the other problem. However, as you practice, you will find it easier and easier. And who knows: Maybe you’ll even switch to dictation permanently soon.

    30. Gain distance

    Sometimes writer’s block is insurmountable. There are cases where nothing works anymore. No matter how good the tips and advice can be. The only thing that helps here: gain distance. Shut down your computer and get some fresh air. Play with your kids or do sports. Find an activity that takes your mind off things or sleep on it for the night.

    31. Write emotionally

    Writing is a living process that lives from feelings and sensations. This means: Try to be as emotional as possible when writing. Of course, you won’t be able to do that with every topic, because in the post “How does a combustion engine work” or ” The 5 best cookie plugins for WordPress ” there is simply hardly any emotional side. However, if possible, you should definitely make use of this tip, because emotions always help when writing.

    32. Seek advice from others

    A second opinion can be worth its weight in gold. So if you’re stuck and stuck on a topic, ask others for advice or inspiration. A differentiated perspective is often the key to good texts.

    33. Turn off your inner critic

    Your biggest enemy when it comes to copywriting is yourself. So if you want to nip writer’s block in the bud in the future, then you should quiet the critical voice in yourself or at least learn to deal with it. Unfortunately, self-doubt often means that many good text ideas are shelved at an early stage. I don’t even want to know how many brilliant blog posts, books or texts in the world have never been published or even written for this reason. One does not say in vain.

    34. Discipline yourself

    Writing a text will not always be easy for you. This is completely normal and is guaranteed to happen to every blogger and writer. Just because you don’t feel 100 percent motivated doesn’t mean you have writer’s block. So you shouldn’t throw in the towel at the first hint of a lack of motivation or creativity, but try to keep at it. With discipline and ambition, many a blockage can be successfully resolved. It can help to negotiate with your weaker self and start with the minimum. Don’t tell yourself, “I’ll write 1,000 words today.” Instead, say, “I’ll write 100 words.” Or, even smaller, “I’ll open the writing program now.” Because it is important that you start at all. To put it in the words of Woody Allen:

    FAQ

    Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions about writer’s block:

    How does writer’s block manifest itself?

    When writer’s block occurs, you find it extremely difficult to focus on writing. Every single sentence is torture. It is also very typical that you give in to external influences very easily. Everything else seems to be more important than writing the text. So we almost gratefully reach for the cell phone that is ringing just so we don’t have to deal with the text creation any further.

    Which books deal with writer’s block?

    If you want to delve deeper into the topic of writer’s block, I can recommend these books:

    • Author’s Mindset: Coping with Writer’s Block, Anxiety, and Self-Doubt by Joanna Pen (New York Times Bestselling Author)
    • Don’t be afraid of a blank sheet: without writer’s block by studying Otto Kruse

    Which films address writer’s block?

    Yes, there are even movies about writer’s block. Some of them are even very well known:

    • The Shining starring Jack Nicholson (Stephen King film adaptation)
    • Shakespeare in Love
    • The Secret Window starring Jonny Depp
    • Stranger than fiction (must see!
  •  process

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