I learned to produce whether I wanted to or not. It would be easy to say oh, I have writer’s block, oh, I have to wait for my muse. I don’t. Chain that muse to your desk and get the job done. –Barbara Kingsolver
Some people call it writer’s block. Others refer to it as a lack of inspiration. Then there are those that say it’s just downright laziness. Whatever it is, the dilemma of not being able to put things into words has plagued even the best writers at some point in their careers. And while not being able to write is normal—maybe even healthy in some cases—if it’s becoming a regular issue for you, then you’ve got a problem. Especially if you’re trying to do it for a living.
You don’t beat writer’s block simply by writing. You beat it by DOING.
I could easily give you a ton of tactics to beat writer’s block. Take a walk. Cook. Eat. Listen to music. Step away from your desk for 5 minutes. Or just sit still and write.
These things may work once or twice, but the real solution to your lack of inspiration lies in one thing: ACTION. If you’re constantly going out in the world trying new things, rising above your plateaus, and putting yourself out there, you won’t have a hard time coming up with content. In fact, if you’re always taking action, you’ll most likely be too inspired, eager, or energetic to even remember what writer’s block is.
Taking action allows you to open up. It paves the way for new experiences, fresh perspectives, and even mistakes that can lead to great material.
Whether you’re producing content for your clients or coming up with posts for your own blog, the following action steps can really help be more inspired:
1. Educate yourself
Surely there are skills that you want to learn. Perhaps there are new developments in your industry that you have to keep up with. Or maybe you just need to brush up on the basics. Whatever your situation is, always strive to educate yourself.
Remember, the word is changing rapidly, and you must keep up if you want to thrive. So attend conferences, sign up for webinars, or at the very least, pick up a good book. Take steps to broaden your knowledge and expand your skill set. Doing so will enable you to perform better at work and in life in general. Not to mention that all those lessons and new skills that you picked up will give you a ton of things to write about.
2. Identify a problem and try to fix it
Chances are your life isn’t perfect. There are probably things about yourself, your home, or your career that you wish to change. Can you relate? If so, here’s an idea: do something about it.
Take one imperfect component in your life, and try to improve it. It could be as simple as trying a web app to organize your cluttered inbox, or as huge as changing the direction of your business. Whatever it is, take action and be sure to document what you did and what the results are.
When you’re done, write about your whole experience. Were you successful? Are things better now than they were before? Why or why not? The answers to these questions can really kick your writing into full gear.
3. Conduct a study
Doing research or conducting surveys are great ways to learn more about your field. They also allow you to produce content that’s interesting, informative, and sharable. This isn’t to say that you should hire some big research firm and have them crunch big data and whatnot. You don’t have to go THAT big (unless you want to).
A “study” could be as simple a conducting a survey among your peers or your subscribers. It could be as easy as A/B testing a particular aspect of your website or product. When you’re done, gather the data, take note of the results and use that as a springboard for content.
What other action steps can you think of? Share them in the comments below!
- 3 Action Steps to Help You Beat Writer’s Block for Good - February 27, 2013