Not in the mood to write? Terrified by the expanse of white screen staring back at you? Don’t worry, it happens to all of us at some point. If you find yourself in this situation, then read these handy tips for overcoming the dreaded writer’s block.
If your problem is to do with putting pen to paper (or, more likely, fingers to keys) the first step is simply to put something on the page. Add the title and any additional practical information you need to include such as contact details or where to find more info. Doing this is one less thing to do at the end as well as being a great way to breach the expanse of white!
If your problem is more fundamental and all words have deserted you, don’t panic. Focus on the task ahead as if it were an essay question:
Answer the questions who, where, how. It will get you started on the approach you need to take. Once you’ve reminded yourself of these you can…
Brainstorm the what. Write down everything you need to cover, researching each area if you need to, then organise your topics into a sensible order. If you’re writing an article, you might find it helpful to work out how many words you’ve got to cover each point. This will help keep you focused. And if the thought of writing 1,500 words is panicking you, it will also help break it down into manageable chunks you can attack one by one.
If you’re still struggling, starting from the bottom and working backwards sometimes works. I use this trick when I’m halfway through something and, while the end is in sight, it isn’t close enough for my liking.
And finally, although it’s hard, try not to panic! There’s nothing like a rising sense of hysteria to make the block even worse.
And if all else fails, you can try calling your friendly local copywriter…
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