Picture this: You’ve been on a roll lately! Your content calendar was full for a whole month and all you had to do was hit publish to get that out of the way.
Now, a new month is coming up and you’re lost, just no thoughts, head empty as you scramble to figure out: what’s next?
If this has happened to you, congratulations, you’ve experienced writer’s block.
Writer’s block is an experience I’m intimately familiar with.
As a freelance writer, a lot of the content ideas are predetermined by clients. That makes it easier for me since I just have to do research and come up with the actual meat of the posts.
But there are just those days when you can’t think of anything to write, especially for personal content or guest posts like this one. The blank page just seems extra daunting on these types of days.
It becomes worse when you’re in content marketing and struggling to figure out what your next big post will be!
How do creative people find great ways to come up with interesting, new ideas, and write high-quality new posts consistently?
Short answer: they’ve created systems that foster inspiration.
Here are four foolproof ways to overcome writer’s block.
Attend a webinar/conference and document your experience
Experiences, especially when documented, are a great way to develop content. Depending on what happens at one of these, they could be a great way to share the pros and cons and lessons learned.
With everything now happening virtually, you can even write on whether it’s worth it to attend in the first place.
Think of a huge event like Comic-Con and all the think pieces that come out when one happens. While vlogging may be the new way of documenting experiences, nothing beats a quick Google search for “should I attend x event”.
This type of content is great, especially for bloggers in niche industries that host events constantly and consistently. For example, all the fashion shows that are now online due to the pandemic.
Visit an online forum or two
While some may consider Reddit a hellscape where only incels dare to tread, platforms like it are great places to get your creative juices flowing.
Also, try Quora. Do a search for the questions in your field of interest that people are asking and share your thoughts.
Find the popular subreddits in your niche that have tons of engagement and participate. Do a mini-survey to find out what content interests them (think of it as a free brainstorming session).
Revamp your workspace
You may never be one of those people in Architectural Digest with thousands of dollars to spend on their home office, but there are little things you can do to improve your workspace and the effect it has on your writing.
If your curtains are closed or your room is dark, consider pulling open your blinds and letting in some sun. Sometimes all I need is a little reminder that there’s a world out there beyond the blank page to get me out of my writing rut.
Add little plants, knick-knacks, and affirmations that brighten up your space and make you happy to look at. It’s the little kicks of serotonin from the little additions to my workspace that sometimes inspire me and get my content creation back in gear.
With a mask on of course.
Seriously though, there’s nothing like stepping away An hour or two on break definitely won’t be more unproductive than
So take a walk, see some trees and soak up some Vitamin D. Better yet, plan a day away from your work entirely. No one is going to benefit from you hunching over your computer all day, waiting for inspiration to hit like a ton of bricks.
If your city is out of lockdown, try a well social-distanced coffee shop. I find that ambient noise helps me concentrate. If nothing else, people-watching is always fun and a great way to step out of your head.
If you can’t go out just yet or aren’t comfortable with that, try bringing the outside in. You can do this with a variety of Youtube playlists of coffee shop or rainy day white noise.
It’s easy to indulge in self-pity or to give up entirely but unless you’re burnt out, you’re wasting valuable time that could be dedicated to content creation.
Don’t fall for that trap.
Creativity is only part of the equation for creating awesome content. The amount of time spent on self-pity could be channeled into something far more productive.
Some of the best content comes from stepping out of your comfort zone and developing techniques for fostering inspiration and getting in the “zone”.
And remember, as Yoda says, “Do or do not, there is no try.”
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Tamilore Oladipo is a strategist and freelance content marketer with an eye for what great content should look like. You can reach out to her for guest contributions or just to talk about strategy and content.