It’s inevitable. At some point every one of us sits down to write content, from a social media post to a full-length book, and it happens…We sit and stare at the blank page… sometimes for minutes, other times for hours, and occasionally for days.
So then, how do we overcome ‘blank page syndrome’ to fulfill timelines, obligations, or merely to finish a piece of content.
Rather than pull out our hair (maybe this is why my editor has none…lol) let’s take another angle and break down four ways to (hopefully) never allow this to happen again.
By no means is this an exhaustive list, however having created content, writing books, publishing articles, and simply even my own blog, there are many tips and tricks to avoid writer’s block, blank page syndrome, the abyss of the white screen… or whatever else you want to call it, there are four tips that stick out the most.
Here they are.
1. Location Location Location
It is nice to find that comfy place to sit and write. We spend time creating our own office space, so why not use it. Truth. Yes, we should have a comfortable office space to gather thoughts, forge our ideas into tangible products or services, yet even the best of offices can feel cramped from time to time.
When you experience this, a simple solution is to change where you write. Perhaps you will only need to do this once. Maybe more.
I will change my location at least once a week. This is enough to reset my brain. Then, when I sit back down in my big comfy chair, I feel invigorated.
2. Reframe Your Audience
This can be a tricky one. At least at first. When we sit down and write content, sure, we may be writing them to our specific client base, however when we are writing books, articles, and oftentimes blogs, we tend to write to a more general audience.
Nothing wrong with this. Such is the case for one of my books, Media Secrets Revealed. It was written with my ideal client in mind, yet general enough that it can be universally used across business.
Rather than write to a general audience, or even when writing to our ideal clients, sometimes we still feel like we cannot get anything down on the page.
Pick one person you know who would benefit from your writing and write to them. This will make your writing feel more personal and authentic to whoever is reading it. This tip is one of the best ways I know to cultivate the know-like-trust factor quickly.
“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.” – Leo Burnett
Have you ever thought about the two-way radio? Most of us have used them at some point. They used to be almost exclusively called walkie-talkies. I never thought of the name until a few years ago when it clicked… they are called walkie-talkies because as we walk, we talk.
Put into the writing realm, there are a myriad of programs and apps that we can dictate into a device that we are not strapped down to a chair and a desk.
Download one. Get out. Go for a walk and talk your content out. Then when you get it to paper there will be a few results from this.
- You will not have to write but edit.
- You can see how you speak.
- You will learn to hone your skills.
The biggest benefit is having the ability to read how we speak. Are there a lot of “ums” in the text? If so, it’s time to look at how we speak publicly.
For actual writing, the biggest benefit would be to see how you think when you write.
4. Go Old-School
By old school, I mean pencil and paper. Now, you don’t necessarily have to write the entire article out on paper, although you could (then add in tip number three).
At the very least create an outline. Make some bullet points. The simple act of engaging our brains to the physical activity of writing is enough to get creative juices flowing.
I end up writing notes on the side, making arrows across the page. When I do this, it ignites a different part of my mind and I am open to more possibilities for writing than I do when I simply start with typing.
Change It Up
There are over 20 tips for not writing from a blank page, however these four will level up your content production and reduce your staring mindlessly into the write screen time more than the others.
The key here is to change it up. Simply because something is not working does not necessarily mean it won’t. Sometimes we need a break, an adjustment, a little tweak here or there to shift our perspective.
The more curious we are to our writing process, the better writers we become. If something doesn’t work. Change it up. Leave it. Then come back and try it again. Perspective is why we write. Time to implement more perspective into our practice. When you do… watch what happens.