Writers Block
27 Oct, 2018

25 Proven Ways for Content Creators to Bust Through Writer’s Block

It happens to every content creator at some point in their career – the dreaded writer’s block.

You’re going along, creating engaging content like a well-oiled machine, and then BAM! You hit the wall and getting back on track feels next to impossible, especially when every attempt just seems to land you further into the abyss.

Instead of wallowing in your writer’s block, take some steps to beat it.

Here are 25 quick, painless and proven cures for breaking out of the writer’s block cycle.

1). Free Write

Sometimes it isn’t that your creative juices have dried up, but rather you’ve hit a wall with a certain topic.

If a topic has you stumped, set it aside for a few minutes and write about absolutely anything else. Write about a topic that’s been on your mind or even describe the sandwich you had for lunch in detail.

Just getting a few words out can instantly help you feel less stuck.

2). Start with a Title

Many content creators wait until the masterpiece is finished before they attach a title to it, and this works perfectly well a lot of the time.

But, if you’re feeling stuck, it could be that you just need a little direction – something that a title can help provide, even if you end up changing it later.

Here are a few of my favorite title generator tools/research that might help:

Title Generation Tools

3). Go Out of Order

How many times have you sat in front of a blank screen because you just didn’t know where to start?

Introductions are often the hardest part, and if crafting the perfect first paragraph has got you on hold, set it aside and dig into a different area of the article instead.

Starting at the middle, end or any other point can set the process in motion.

4). Schedule Content on a Calendar

If you’re free-falling through the content creation universe, try structuring your process by scheduling content ahead of time. This way you know what your topic is, and you can plan ahead.

5). Try the Flip Side of the Coin

Some content creators are meticulous in creating an outline and taking care of all the details before they even get the first word down.

Other content creators are a little more free-form and let their natural instincts lead the way.

Whichever you are, take a break and try your hand at content creation using the opposite approach.

6). Look at the Audience

Sometimes it’s helpful to step away from the content and take a closer look at the audience you’re creating it for.

What is driving their interests right now?

Reconsider your approach, refocus on the goal and see what happens.

7). Have a Stockpile

The next time you’re feeling extra creative and have a few minutes to spare, make some notes about new content topic ideas or different ways to approach old topics.

This way, you won’t be empty-handed the next time you need a great content idea.

8). Use the Tools

If it’s coming up with ideas for fresh new content that is behind your temporary creative roadblock, you can rest easy knowing that there are plenty of great tools out there to lift the weight off your shoulders.

For example, AnswerThePublic and StoryBase help you find relevant content ideas based on social listening and search engine analytics.

Other research tools, like Ahrefs, allow you to tap into competitor research to see what type of content is moving the industry.

9). Scour Statistics and Trending News

If you’re stuck for content ideas or are looking for a fresh perspective for the content you’re creating, take a few minutes and look over some recent statistics or trending news that’s relevant to your topic area.

This is especially helpful when you want a new spin on a topic that’s timely but feels like it’s already been covered to death.

Not sure how to start? Give this Google Trends tutorial a try.

10). Stop Writing and Read Instead

Step away from the screen and read something for the pure enjoyment of it.

If you only have a few minutes to spare, visit your favorite blog or read a few pages of a new book. This is great for getting out of your own head and getting some creative inspiration at the same time.

11). Stop Being So Hard on Yourself

You obviously don’t want sloppy content but being too harsh of a critic for your content creation talents is a sure way to put a damper on a creative streak.

Try just creating the content, errors and all, and set it aside.

At least you have something down, and then you can go back later and make it shine.

12). Know Your Physical Limits

Every content creator has physical conditions that they just can’t produce under.

Maybe you need at least 7 hours of sleep, can’t go more than 2 hours without a snack or can only write so many words a day.

Whatever it is, know your limits and make accommodations for them before they present a problem.

13). Tap into Other Creative Outlets

If the words aren’t coming easy, maybe another creative outlet will.

Even if you’re in a cubicle and can’t break out your art supplies or guitar, something as simple as doodling can awaken the creative part of your brain and help you refocus.

14). Fresh Air

Think you don’t have time to take a 10-minute walk around the block?

If you don’t, you could easily lose more than that just sitting at your screen.

Go out and get some fresh air to invigorate yourself.

15). Take a Sneak Peek at Your Competitors

Go ahead and take a look at what your competitors are doing.

This isn’t to say you should copy them, but rather see where they’re getting engagement and how you want to set yourself apart from them with your content strategy.

16). Breakout of Your Hermit Shell

If you’re a content creator that spends most of the day with minimal contact with the outside world, take a break and go interact.

Go out to lunch, hang out at a coffee shop, go visit a friend, etc.

Just talking to another person is sometimes enough to break past your writer’s block.

Can’t get out of the house? Replicate the sounds of being in a coffee shop with Coffitivity.

17). Block the (Blue) Light

Eye strain from looking at the screen all day is a real thing, and it can leave you feeling fatigued and drained.

If any of those symptoms is an ongoing issue, consider investing in a pair of special glasses like these (the best purchase I’ve ever made) or a screen shield that blocks the blue light that’s making your eyes feel tired.

18). Reinvent Your Workspace

If possible, change your work surroundings.

Get some new desk accessories, add some art to your work area, or if you work remotely, try packing up and heading somewhere new to break the monotony and your writer’s block.

19). Prioritize Before You Get Started

Stress interferes with the creative process.

If you’ve got so much on your plate that the stress from it all has you frozen, sit back and re-prioritize.

Having a focus and getting the most important work out of the way will lift the weight off your shoulders.

20). Adjust Your Schedule

While not everyone has this luxury, you can get more accomplished if you work in tune with your natural rhythm.

Your creative surge might be strongest in the morning, or maybe you’re the type that feels inspired while burning the midnight oil.

If your schedule is flexible, resist fighting your natural schedule and see what happens.

21). Revisit Your Past Work

You’ve already created some great content, so why not revisit some of it to show yourself what you’re capable of and maybe even get some creative inspiration for moving forward.

22). Ambiance Matters

Lack of stimulation can be just as damaging to the creative process as too much.

Put on some music, open the windows or infuse the air with an invigorating scent – like anything citrusy.

23). Ask for Opinions

If there’s someone nearby whose opinion you value, ask them for advice on the content you’re working on.

Maybe they can suggest a direction to take it, but just talking about it can often clear the cobwebs from your head.

Better yet, create a simple survey to help guide your content and speak more directly to your audience.

24). Sharpen Your Pencil

It’s reasonable to assume that you’re creating content with the help of a keyboard and a screen.

Try mixing it up by grabbing a pen and actual paper to put some ideas down.

This will force your brain to work differently and open up new creative pathways.

25). Research

Your writer’s block could be caused by the fact that you just don’t know enough about the topic at hand.

Take a look at your own internal site search data or search the topic in Reddit or Quora.

Try going deeper with your research and see if some new insights help to spark the creative flow.

Writer’s blocks are almost always temporary, but they can damper your creative spirit and compromise the integrity of your content strategy if they go on too long.

Sometimes, the best approach is to hand the reins over to another professional and let them jumpstart the content creation process for you.

Even a short-term cooperation can give you new ideas and help you see an entirely new direction for your content strategy.

Your audience is depending on you to produce great content, these strategies will help to ensure that you never let them down.


Also published on Medium.