Take it from someone who spends most of the days creating content: writing is hard. You’ve got to be creative, focused, coherent, meticulous, and organized – all at once. Gosh, just thinking about all that, I can feel a writer blockage sneaking up on me.
All freelance writers are familiar with the pressure of creating quality content regularly. Most of the time, you can juggle different projects at once, but there are moments when you feel as if you can’t string two words together. You wait for the light bulb to turn on with an idea for a story, but it feels like it has shut off completely. It’s a dreadful feeling, especially if you are expected to deliver superior content constantly.
If your job is providing content writing services, then you need to have some tricks up your sleeves to defend yourself from writer’s block. Out of solutions? Here are seven unconventional ways that will get you back in the creative saddle in no time.
Dictate Your Articles Instead of Writing Them
Most people tend to sound like a pretentious 7th grade English teacher when writing:
“Dear Sirs or Madams,
To whom it may concern we are a premier supplier of wooden window frames. We have a full line of window frames at affordable prices that are cost effective for our clients…”
Excuse me while I yawn.
But, writing in a casual tone is hard, and it can quickly turn into a frustration that blocks your creativity. How can you overcome this anxiety?
That’s easy; you dictate your articles instead of writing them on your computer. Take your phone out, press record, and imagine what would you say to a prospect or reader if they were in front of you?
Use a Headline Formula
You only have a few seconds to capture someone’s attention. No matter how hard you’ve worked to create relevant content for your blog or how fresh and unique your ideas might be, without a good headline, no one will read your article. Talk about pressure, right?
So, how can you create kick ass headlines, every time, even when you don’t feel inspired?
Headline formulas are an excellent way to jump start and article idea or angle. Here are two quick examples to get you started:
- Who Else Wants + [Desired Outcome]
E.g.: “Who Else Wants to Increase Website Traffic?”
[X Little Known Ways] to [Get Amazing Results] without [Negative Side Effect
E.g.: 5 Little Known Ways to Get More Shares on Facebook without Annoying Your Fans
Create a Distraction Free Environment
In the few minutes it takes to read this page, chances are your phone will buzz; you’ll stop to check an email from your manager, or you will glance at the Facebook message popping up in the corner of your screen.
Distractions are everywhere, but if you need to overcome your creative blockage, you need to eliminate them from your environment. For example, if you work from home, avoid working in bed. Your brain associates the bedroom with sleep, and it will be harder to concentrate. If you are at the office, disturbing noises by listening to relaxing music or by installing a white noise app.
Alter Your State of Mind
If you can’t focus, something as a simple change in the environment can alter your state of mind dramatically. For instance, you can change the location you’re in and go to a cozy coffee shop to finish your blog post. Or, you can do some exercises to get the blood flowing in your body.
If none of these things work, you can try to alter your brain chemically. Drink coffee or black tea to give your mind a boost or poor yourself a glass of wine to get your creative juice flowing.
Accept That You Are Going to Write Some Pretty Terrible Things
Here’s the truth: you can’t write great content every time. But, that’s Ok because even the greatest authors have created some pretty awful books (take Ernest Hemingway’s “Men without Women as an example.)
Most content writers think that constraints are a creativity killer. I beg to differ. What restrictions do is taking away of the choices available to us and then forcing us to use to think outside the box. Just think about: some of the best advertising campaigns were created with limited budgets.
Pretend there’s someone with a gun to your head, or you’re on a quest to save the world and you need to finish an article in a limited amount of time.
Be a Copycat
The best way to overcome writer’s block is to look for inspiration in others people’s work. Let’s suppose you are trying to write a copy of dining table, search for the key phrase “Dinning Table” in Google, open the first five results and start reading. Then ask yourself, how can you improve the copy, what are people asking in the comment section, is this copy missing something, and so on?
Writer’s block can hit anyone, even experienced content writers. When your muse has gone missing, try some of the tips above to put an end to your creative blockage.
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