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Overcoming the Pitfalls of Writer’s Block

Writers, like everyone else, don’t like to feel stupid. Unfortunately for writers, their first raw, unedited drafts usually do sound stupid, incoherent or maybe just inarticulate. These unflattering first attempts preempt students, authors and speech writers from getting beyond a blank computer screen. A few words are written, then quickly deleted. Why does this happen? How can you overcome it?

Every Word is Golden

Imagine a friend introduces you at a party as a “really funny person” and asks for an immediate demonstration. Unless you’ve been practicing a stand-up routine, you’d be mortified. Writers torture themselves with the same unrealistic expectations of immediate results. Good works take time. Don’t expect every word to be a golden nugget. Fear of less than stellar work paralyzes the would-be writer. No matter their writing skills, no one writes flawlessly. The best professional blog writers are assiduous editors; they get on with the business of writing and clean it up later. How do you beat the fear trap?

  1. Give yourself permission to write garbage. Try tackling your subject as if you were completely ignorant about it or you were someone who you have no respect for. Adding levity to the process may improve your writing. A deadly serious approach is certain to escalate fear and hinder progress.
  2. Read some bad writing. Something someone else should be embarrassed about. Don’t run away from your project, but if you see someone else’s mistakes, it might clarify your own goals.
  3. Write first, edit second. If you put the editing cart before the horse, you’ll exclude material before it makes it on the page.

The Evaporation of Ideas

Where did all your good ideas go? How could so many good ideas that held so much promise disappear completely from your mind? Next to the fear of writing badly, everyone seems to experience the tabla rasa problem once in a while. How many of the world’s problems might be resolved if only someone wouldn’t have distracted the great thinkers? Instead of combing every corner of your cranium for a vestige of those lost treasures, a less direct approach to idea rescue may be more productive. Try one of these:

  1. Move on. When you’re trying to hash out an idea that won’t come and start fantasizing about how a medical emergency could set you free, STOP! Don’t beat yourself up. Move onto some other part of your composition, e.g. clarify the previous paragraph, the conclusion or introduction. Get something else on paper; it might trigger a thought or memory that helps you with your original conundrum.
  2. Move. Physically, that is. If you’re in a rut, take five or 15. Don’t let it get out of hand, but even a walk around the block or the library may cut the tension and help you sort out your ideas.
  3. Pick up an article, journal or book related to your topic. Limit your exposure, but see if it knocks anything loose.

Turn the Problem into Questions

If you’re drawing a blank, the problem may be fuzzy thinking. Instead of a head swimming in vague ideas, pin down what it is you want to accomplish. If you’re writing a speech, what should the audience know at the end? If you’re describing a problem, why is the problem important? Writing without a purpose is bound to be foggy and lifeless. Here are some ways you can clarify your purpose:

  1. Ask the “who, what, why, where and how’s” about the project, i.e. what problems do I want to solve? Why should anyone care? Who are the people most interested in this?
  2. Am I defining this issue too broadly? Too narrowly?
  3. Have other people looked at this? What did they find?

Everyone can get distracted, impatient or irritable when writing. The drive to do well for a class, impress an audience or the general public increases those pressures, but writers need not panic when the words don’t immediately flow out beautifully and effortlessly. To produce good writing, the writer needs to relax and allow the words to flow first. When ideas make themselves scarce, he or she needs to know how to tease them back, and before getting lost, the writer has to sharpen his or her focus on the goal.

If you’d rather not deal with the struggle of writers block at all, remember, LeapGo offers professional blog writing services at affordable prices. We can help take the load off, or takeover updating and managing your blog altogether.