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Hands-down The Best Way To Overcome Writer's Block
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I've been doing a lot of blogging and writing a lot of articles at the same time. But here's the thing... there are plenty of days when I start to stare at a blank screen and have no idea what to write about. There are also plenty of days when I'll do just about anything to avoid sitting down at my desk to write another couple of articles (including doing dishes and cleaning the bathroom).
Whenever this happens, I use a little strategy to get make myself buckle down and get the work done. That's what I want to share with you today. I'm sure it will work just as well for you as it is working for me.
Don't Start With A Blank Page
I don't like to stare at a blank page... so I don't. I have a folder of article ideas, quick tips and even entire outlines for future articles and blog posts. Whenever I sit down to get some writing done, I pull out one of those documents and work from there. It's amazing how much easier it is to get started when you have something to work with.
Of course that idea folder needs to be restocked regularly. Keep a notebook in your purse, in your car or on your night table. Whenever an idea pops in your head, write it down and add it to your digital idea folder later. I also use my smart-phone quite a bit and email myself article ideas.
Last but not least, set aside a few minutes each week when you just brainstorm and come up with article ideas. I find it helps to browse through my current documents. They often inspire additional related ideas. While I'm there, I also spend a few minutes to jot down some article outlines or determine what I will link to from an article. Every little bit of work you can do at this point will help finish the article later.
Block Out Distractions
Once you sit down to do your writing, it's important to avoid distractions as much as possible. Close your office door, mute the phone and log out of instant messenger and email accounts. Once you get into the grove where the words just flow on the page, you don't want to be interrupted. Trust me on this.
You don't have to sit there for long... spending just 30 minutes a day of uninterrupted writing time can result in a lot of quality content.
Put Yourself Under Pressure
Last but not least, a little pressure doesn't hurt. There are a couple of different things you can do here. The first is to grab the kitchen timer or use a timer app on your smart-phone. Give yourself a short amount of time that pushes you to write quickly. For me, 10 minutes is a good time frame if I already have an idea for an article and ideally a very rough outline. If you're not a fast writer (yet), give yourself a little more time, but don't go past the 30 minute mark. As you get more practice, keep setting the timer for slightly shorter intervals to get the article finished faster. Just make sure your quality doesn't suffer.
Another strategy that's worked well for me is to get together with an online friend or colleague. We challenge each other to get a certain task (writing 2 articles for example or publishing a new blog post) done by a certain time. Once we agreed on the tasks and time frame, we get to work and check in later to see how we've done. That type of peer pressure is working really well for me, so give it a try.
That's it... that's all there's to it and it works like a charm 99% of the time. If it doesn't, it's time to step away from your desk for a bit and try again later.
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