Posted by Navdeep Singh Dhillon
I don't get blogger's block, or blog a blog post, and neither should you. Once you start using the proper word: "write," it will make things a lot easier to find solutions to challenges that are presented. Students of fiction, non-fiction, and blogging all write. What we write and how we write can drastically vary, depending on the form of writing we're doing. My approach to writing a 500 word blog post is going to be very different from a 1000 word blog post, or a 4000 word non-fiction essay. It is similar to the way a short story is different in this regard to writing a novel.
Currently, I am writing what happens to be a short blog post, designed to primarily convey information and help you with your own writing. Later this evening, I will sit down and write fiction, and at some point during the week, I will start writing articles that are classified as journalism.
Now that we've established no matter we are working on, it all comes down to one verb: writing, let's address one of the most petrifying and debilitating affliction to affect a writer: Writer’s Block. We don’t need to get into what this is, except to say that it’s when you are good and stuck, and in such a state some common challenges that anyone using words to convey meaning often goes through:
5 Strategies to Battle Writer’s Block
1. Outline. One of the easiest things to do before you even start writing is to have a plan. Yes, I’m talking about an outline. But before you run away or scoff at the thought of an outline, hear me out. An outline can be as flexible and detailed as you want it to be. For my novel, my outline literally has one sentence for each chapter to convey the general gist of where I’m going. For blog posts, I use bullet points so I’m sure to hit the structural notes. In the past I have hit severe writer’s block for the simple fact that I had no idea where I was going with my writing; essentially that is a freewrite. So, if in doubt, write an outline.
2. Do a little dance. No, I’m not joking. Stop staring at your computer screen or notebook and get up and dance. It can be the worst dancing in the world, but the point is that you are moving, and letting your brain breathe. Don’t feel like dancing? Walk. Move your arms around. Better yet, go for a walk outside. If you have a terrible aversion to any of those things, go for a drive without any purpose – no errands.
3) Freewrite. Take 10 minutes or more before you start writing and set a timer just to have your thoughts spill out. Nobody, but you will see it. Writers whose work you admire would probably be mortified if anyone were to see their first drafts. The magic takes place in the rewrite. Once your thoughts are out, that’s when you can start finessing whatever writing you’re working on: fiction, blog post, memoir, etc.
5) Routine. Choose a specific time and day to write and stick with it. Roald Dahl, author of children’s books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory had a brilliant routine. He would sit down at his computer at exactly 10pm and would write until midnight. Even if he never wrote a word, he would sit there and stare at the screen. And he would never finish a page, and had a rule never to finish a sentence, so he would have something to do the next day! Granted, this is a bit extreme, but you do what works for you.