9 easy ways you can break through Writer’s Block [Video]

9 easy ways to break through writer's block, business writing
6 min |

You want to write own content but every time sit down, the blank page just stares at you, and stares at you and stares at you.

Well, today I want to share lots of tips to help you get over your writer’s block and dive back into the content creation flow.

In the video below, I start with talking about tools to help you build your ideas bank. Up to your ears in notes? Fast forward to 6.55mins to discover more easy ways to break through Writer’s Block or check out the pointers below.

 

 

Video Notes

{Full transcription below}

 

1. Note-taking {AKA filling your ideas bank}

A: Always, always, always carry a pocket notebook – don’t forget your pen or pencil!

B: Device Apps (most of these can also be used on your desktop):

  • Google Keep  (I’m an Android girl!)
    • Visual pinboard style
    • Colour coding
    • Tagging
    • Voice notes
    • Text notes
    • Checklists
    • Image notes
    • Search & share
    • Reminders which automatically sync with your Google Calendar!
  • Apple Notes
    • All of the above, plus
    • Sketching
    • (I don’t use Apple, at time of writing, so please share the wonder below.)
  • Trello
    • My go-to writing ideas bank
    • Project management
    • Visual pinboard style
    • Pin/post anything
    • Colour coding
    • Checklists
    • Attach files
    • Comments
    • Search & share
    • Freemium (I’ve only ever used the free version.)
  • Evernote
    • Everything that Google Keep does, plus…
    • Great for writing long content
    • Clip any web page! (browser add-on)
    • Phone app can scan docs using your camera
    • Freemium (60MB per month allowance, thereafter £30+ per year)
  • OneNote
    • All of the above
    • Drawing
    • Collaborate
    • Upload / attach files
    • Import & sync your Evernote!
    • Can handle large files, including audios
    • Versatile formatting – place anything anywhere
    • Free or paid version comes with Microsoft Office

C: Browser bookmarks

D: Physical ideas library

 

2. Kick perfectionism to the kerb

Why are you blanking out?

If you know it’s perfectionism, then you just need to get down the bones

Write it swift & leave it sloppy Click To Tweet

If your Inner Critic is crippling you, read how I manage to switch my inner viper around & download my {non-opt-in} short work’n’playsheet.

If you don’t know why you’re hitting a blank wall, try…

 

3. A stream of consciousness

It gets you into the habit of writing, without pressure, and is also good for dealing perfectionism.

Type your ACTUAL thoughts:

  • “I’m sitting here typing nonsense right now, but I’m going to try & write about XYZ…”
  • include what you were doing just before you sat down,
  • backtrack to your surroundings/activities when you initially made the notes.

It’s this stream of consciousness approach which gets you into the habit of writing, without pressure, or figure out what’s holding you back and end up producing the content.

 

 

4. Get organised

Is your filing system is a mess?

Set aside an hour or two {or a whole day} to go through your apps and notebooks. Sort them out, decide on categories and get down a final list of what content you’re going to create for next 3 months.

If you’re constantly taking short notes but struggling to develop them into content, watch out! You’re on high-idea alert – you’re in the habit of enjoying the high of constantly having & generating new ideas. Our body & mind tries to resist the less-exciting graft required for following through, especially when it come to writing – unless you’re a natural writer of course!

 

5. Vice versa

We spend so much time on screens – going old school with paper & pen/cil works really well. Sticking with loose leaf, rather than notebooks, means you can brain-dump, mind-map, move things around and get the highlighters out, helping you figure out order of content.

 

6. Use your voice

You can record audios and then transcribe them. Transcribing can be very time-consuming. So sometimes it’s a good idea to actually hire a transcriber from somewhere like Upwork or Fiverr , or use a transcription service – I’ve heard good things about Rev.com (and my first experience of using them with this post has been great).

You could try a dictation app. Now I haven’t tried these myself, but I’ve found SpeechTexter.com  and  SpeechNotes.co  that look really good. And they use Google’s speech recognition software which has about a 90% accuracy.

 

7. Film it

Writing is my most natural way to communicate. Video ain’t! Although I’m warming up to getting in front of the webcam, writing is where my heart lies. But what if video lights you up? If you’re more of a talker, try film {you can always get your videos transcribed and hire an editor to make full use of your content}.

 

8. Reverse engineer content

This is a more strategic approach. You can structure regular social media content themes around your offerings or design a content campaign with certain goals, or both.

In addition to launch-specific topics, I have hashtags. I do have my #StorytellingSirens hashtag that’s unique to me, however, I use things like #MondayMotivation, #TuesdayQ, #WriteItWednesday.

The 20 topic categories, which my social media posts must fall under, come in handy when needing a starting point for other content.

Remember you’re the expert! So how can you make it simpler and easier for your ideal client to understand? Think about how you reduce a topic down to bite sized chunks and break it down further so that you can discuss each subtopic individually?

 

9. Have a change of scene

You can take a working break, so work on other tasks for your business. You could do something which involves a bit less brain power like washing up or ironing, hoovering, that type of thing.

As I mentioned earlier use paper instead of a keyboard, or vice versa. You could go for a walk, take a light notebook with you. Or you could take your laptop to a cafe.

 

{Bonus} 10. What is your community asking for?

It IS important to have your content linked to your launches and campaigns. However, it’s also absolutely fine to throw in other content now and again that’s inspired by your community networks, like I’ve done here.

I was inspired by somebody in one of my business networks asking about this very issue and I didn’t want to write big, massive 2000-word Facebook post. So I gave her some tips, but it nagged on my mind that there are so many people that are dealing with this issue, I had to share how we can breakthrough!

What topics are people in your audience struggling with, where you can help?

 

 

 

You may need to try different methods and work out what really works for you.

You might be the kind of person that prefers one hour a day. So maybe an hour of peace once the kids are in bed, or getting up an hour earlier to work on it.

Or you might find you actually need one day a week to dig into your content, switch off all distractions and immerse yourself to get into the habit of writing.

This is crucial:

The more you write, the more ideas you have, and the better you'll get at writing about them. Click To Tweet

Don’t forget to: Write it swift & leave it sloppy!

When you edit, you’ll find this method will preserves your natural Tone of Voice.

 

Full Transcript - 2800 words

How can you deal writer’s block when you just don’t know where to start?

You want to write own content but every time sit down, the blank page just stares at you, and stares at you, and stares at you.

Well today I want to share lots of tips to help you get over your writer’s block, to break through it and get back into the content creation flow.

Hi, I’m Jeda Pearl, and I’m a copywriter and communication strategist. I’m also the creator of the Storytelling Sirens and I help incredible entrepreneurs forge deeper relationships with more of their ideal clients so they can grow their business and create change want to see.

First I want to talk about notes.

Now if you’re up to your ears in notes, then stick around and keep watching because I will be sharing tips on dealing with hitting that blank wall and how to tap back into that natural flow and rhythm of writing.

 

Note-taking

So back to note taking. Always, always, always carry a pocket notebook with you at all times. And don’t forget your pen or pencil! And have at least one note taking app on your phone.

Now we’ve always got our phones with us and it’s very likely your phone has got a note taking app on it already and it came with one. So make sure you’re using it.

I use Asana for all my project management, my client projects, running my whole business really. But I rely a lot on other apps for noting down ideas.

If you’re anything like me you’re brain’s gonna be firing all the time with different ideas.

Being able to take those down the second you get them, so you don’t forget later on is really important as a business owner.

The following apps I’m gonna mention, they can be accessed across all your devices. I’m an Android girl which means I have Google Keep on my phone – which is fantastic. Now if you use Apple then you’ll likely have Apple Notes you can use on your iPad or your iPhone.

Google Keep is perfect for simple on the fly note taking. And I like it because it’s quite visual. It’s like a little pin board. You can colour code your notes, you can add tags to them and you can make voice memos, plus standard text. You can make checklists too. I use it for like my food shopping – my grocery lists and you can put photo notes on there as well, images. And another great thing I love about Google Keep is you can add reminders and they automatically sync with your Google Calendar, which is brilliant.

 

Trello

Trello is another app that I’ve actually been using for years and it’s fantastic. It’s my go to for my writing ideas bank. And Trello is actually a virtual list pin board. Again it’s quite visual and you can pin just all sorts of things again text notes, images, links, checklists that you can check off. And you can create endless boards. It’s free – I’ve only ever used the free version – and it’s great for all sorts of project plans, from house renovations to your next launch.

I have a content ideas board and I have different categories on there, so each list has its own category. You can add cards to each list and within the cards then you can add comments and the checklists and everything else.

So this content ideas board and that’s where I put all my ideas for my blog posts, email newsletters, auto-responders, social media, all those types of things.

 

Evernote

Now Evernote is a app that I’ve only been using for a few months. I’ve heard lots of great things about it and I do really like it so far. It can do everything that Google Keep does but it’s great for writing longer content.

You can also create notebooks to collect your notes. So that helps to categorise with your filing and things like that.

You can tag them as well and Evernote is really easily searchable. But my favourite tool with Evernote is that you can clip any web page. It’s free to a certain amount of content you can store, and you know it’s pretty generous.

 

OneNote

So finally, I can’t not mention OneNote. I use Windows and OneNote is a Microsoft app that comes with Microsoft Office. It looks amazing, but I haven’t really used it that much, only for recording audios, but it looks really extensive.

It looks like it does all the above, including notebooks, and adding documents and files. And you can add larger content to it then some of those other apps I mentioned.

 

Browser bookmarks

Now of course you have your standard bookmarks in your browser, so that really covers all the main apps I can think of. If you’re anything like me, your browsers might be a little bit of a mess. So I find that those other apps have enabled me to get more of a system in place, which has been great.

 

Physical ideas library

Separate from all that digital stuff you might prefer paper.

You can create your own physical ideas library, so that’s more than just notebooks. That can be an array of ring binders, folders, notebooks, you name it. And you can go crazy with your post-it note tabs, gel pens, stamps, Washi tape. But you can get quite distracted with that side of it – the stationary world can be quite a-whole-other realm!

So those are all different ways you can make sure you’ve got notes that are on tap that you can access to get you started with writing content. Now that you’ve got all those ways so you don’t lose your ideas when you’re out and about and on the go.

 

 

More ways to deal with Writer’s Block

What about writer’s block when you already have those starting points?

So you’ve maybe got a tonne of ideas already stored, loads of notes, but you’re hitting a blank wall when it comes to getting on with the writing.

Maybe you’re writing’s not flowing very well. How are you going to break through it?

 

Why are you blanking out?

Well, first of all you need to figure out why you’re blanking out.

If you know it’s perfectionism, then you just really need to get down the bones. That means I have a little motto for this first draft that really helps me and it’s:

Write it swift and leave it sloppy.

So if your inner critic is really crippling you and that little motto isn’t really cutting it then I do have post and a short work’n’play sheet to help you get over that inner critic that’s sort of strangling your creativity. So I’m going to put this video on my blog, and they’ll a full post below it with all the links to all the content and the apps and everything that I’m talking about.

Maybe it’s not perfectionism and maybe you don’t really know why you’re hitting that blank wall.

 

Stream of consciousness

Something that can work in this case is taking a stream of consciousness approach.

Now this can also work for perfectionism, but basically you need to set a little bit of time aside for when you’re going to start your writing. Just try and get over the fear of the blank page and just start typing your actual thoughts as they’re popping into your head.

You could be, you know… “I’m sitting here typing utter nonsense right now. I’m going to try and write about XYZ, but you know it’s not really happening.” And you might end up talking about why it’s not happening. So ask yourself why and start typing away. It might take you down that perfectionism route which you can workshop in your writing.

Or another thing you can do is you can talk about what you were just doing before you sat down to write. Or you can backtrack to where you were, your surroundings when you had that inspiration for that particular note that topic that you’re trying to write about but you’re now struggling with.

Those are some ideas to help you get into the stream of consciousness. And really this approach is about getting you into the habit of writing, even if it’s utter nonsense, because what can happen is the pressure’s taken off, and you’re figuring out what’s holding you back, and before you know it you’ve actually gotten past that point and you’ve ended up producing the content that you wanted to in the first place.

You can then cut all that stream of consciousness stuff out. And you may even well get more ideas as well. Stream of consciousness is really helpful!

So what else could be going on?

 

Filing

Maybe you’re filing system is an utter mess?!

Sure, you can easily search all your different apps. But sometimes it would just be amazing if everything was just in like the one place wouldn’t it?

You might need to set aside an hour or two, maybe a whole day if it’s really bad, and go through your apps, sort them out. Get things into different categories and get down a final list of the content you’re gonna concentrate on the next one to three months.

You might need to pop a little reminder on your phone to get you to do this maybe every quarter or so.

It so easy for us business owners to be on high idea alert.

We’re so in the habit of enjoying that high of constantly having and generating amazing ideas that our mind and body sometimes resist the graft required to sort of follow through on those sparks and get that content of value that we know we can deliver.

Sometimes you just need to sort out those ideas and push through, push past that initial resistance.

 

Vice versa

Another thing can be really helpful is switch up.

Most of us will be writing out a content on screens. So let’s just go old school. Pencil and paper works really well. Maybe if you’ve been using notebooks forget about those and move over on to loose leaf.

What’s quite good about using loose leaf paper is that you can brain dump, you can mind map, and you can get the highlighters out.

And you can figure out the order that you want your content to go in over the next few months.

So what else do we have? So many things you can do!

 

Voice

You can record audios and then transcribe them. Transcribing can be very time consuming. So sometimes it’s a good idea to actually hire a transcriber from somewhere like Upwork or Fiverr , or use a transcription service – I’ve heard good things about Rev.com (and my first experience of using them with this post has been great). I’ll pop the links on my blog post. Don’t worry I’ll come back and pop in the post – I’ll put the link for the blog post below this video.

Another thing you can do is use dictation apps. Now I haven’t tried these myself, but I found a couple that look really good. One’s called SpeechTexter.com , and the other one is SpeechNotes.co . And they use Googles speech recognition software which has about a 90% accuracy, so those sound like really good options. [But bear in mind that you’ll have more editing work to do.]

If you find that you’ve tried all these methods I’ve talked about already and it’s still not working, try talking. You might actually find you’re a natural on video and all you really need are a few notes.

 

Reverse-engineer your content

My final tip for you is to reverse-engineer your content.

Now this is taking a more strategic approach. That can be talking about regular social media themes, or designing a content campaign with certain goals, or both. That content campaign could be a launch, or it could be putting together an editorial calendar.

For example, one of my clients is a dance school and college. We have structured regular social media content themes around their offerings, for example their weekly classes. And, instead of a Fun Friday, we have a High Kick Friday because they’ve got some amazing photos of their students doing kicks that are up here type of kicks. So we have a High Kick Friday theme where we share those photos.

And we also of course build specific campaigns that promote their events, their shows, things like that.

So for myself, in addition to launch-specific topics, I have hashtags. Other people may well use these same hashtags, they don’t have to be unique to you. I do have my Storytelling Sirens hashtag that is unique to me, however, I use things like #MondayMotivation, #TuesdayQ, #WriteItWednesday, and I also have 20 topic categories that any of my social media posts must fall under. So I’ve got your typical things like business, entrepreneurship, inspiration, success, writing prompts, you know those sorts of things; but I also have other things that are important to me like art, courage, identity, philosophy, those types of things are really important to what I want to deliver. Even those topic categories can actually give you inspiration for content as well, give you structure for your content.

Now with product or service launches, it’s easier to reverse engineer the content you want and need to create. But remember you’re the expert! So how can you make it simpler and easier for your ideal client to understand? Think about how you reduce a topic down to bite sized chunks and break it down further so that you can discuss each subtopic individually, like I’m doing here.

 

So those are all my tips for dealing with writer’s block.

I hope one of them really helps you out.

You may need to try different methods and work out what really works for you. It depends how you work best.

 

Time-management

You might be the kind of person that prefers one hour a day. So maybe an hour of peace once the kids are in bed, or getting up an hour earlier to work on it.

Or you might find you actually need one day a week to dig into your content, switch off all distractions and immerse yourself to get into the habit of writing.

 

Once you’ve pushed through initially, and once you’ve got that initial breakthrough, you’ll find that creating content has a funny way of blossoming more content.

The more you write, the more ideas you have, and the better you’ll get at writing about them.

If you’re one of the people that has the notes, just choose one and start writing. Give yourself no pressure whatsoever. Try the stream of consciousness if you’re feeling a little bit antsy about it. And just forget about how silly or rubbish you think you might sound.

Remember the first draft is always pretty crap anyway. But just you must get it out, get it out of you. So write it swift and leave it sloppy. A

nd when you edit your work later, after you’ve left it to rest for a little bit, you’ll find this method preserves your natural tone of voice.

Finally if you’ve managed to start writing, fantastic!!

 

Started but hit a road block

But if you’ve got half way and you can’t progress, you could try having a change of scene. You can take a working break, so work on other tasks for your business. You could do something which involves a bit less brain power like washing up or ironing, hoovering, that type of thing.

As I mentioned earlier use paper instead of a keyboard, or vice versa. You could go for a walk, take a light notebook with you. Or you could take your laptop to a cafe.

So those are things you can do once you’ve started writing but you, kind of, hit a little piece of rubble in the road, those are things you can do to move past that.

Now it is important to have your content linked to your product and service launches, and those campaigns. However, it’s also absolutely fine to throw in other content now and again that’s inspired by your community networks, like I’ve done here.

I was inspired by somebody in one of my business networks asking about this very issue and I didn’t want to write big, massive 2000-word Facebook post. So I gave her some tips. And I was, like, there are so many people that are dealing with this, I’ve got to share how they can breakthrough!

That’s it for today.

Again, you’ll find all the links over on my blog. You’ll find the link to this post below this video.

Thanks so much for watching and I’ll see you again soon.

 

 

What tip are you going to try first? What have you done to break through your Writer’s Block? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

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