Getting over writer’s block

2014 has brought with it a new advent of productivity for me.

Having set up this blog back in 2012 I have suffered 2 false starts and a long period out in the wilderness, avoiding typing in the URL as much as possible. I didn’t want to see the site, I wanted to forget it was there completely. From time to time I’d come back and have a quick spurt of enthusiasm, I might change the categories or reword the about page. Every 6 months I’d change the theme entirely, searching for a new one which I was convinced would lead to more creativity and enthusiasm on my part to write.*

*(sound familiar to anyone? Or is that just me?)

But in total honesty this was procrastination and avoidance of the real issue:

blogging is bloody hard!

I know that this comes as little surprise to many of you out there, I am hardly the first person to bemoan the difficulty of constantly thinking of topics that are relevant and interesting. Of finding time to research (or soul search) and plan a post on a regular basis. I am also well aware of posts like this, and graphs like this:

blogging over time

But knowing all of this doesn’t make it any bloody easier to actually write something.

However this time I am convinced it’s different!

This time I’m putting two fingers up to writer’s block and am going to persevere. With the launch of my new business, I have a new enthusiasm for digital marketing and desire to push forward again. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get back in the start-up saddle after my last attempt. It’s taken a while to really think seriously about it, but once again I find myself with the buzz of excitement and slightly nervous energy running though me as I put plans and thoughts into action. Testing assumptions (and hopes) against the real world – it’s scary as hell and I can’t wait to see where this takes me. Not only does the business give me an impetus to push forward in my digital marketing, it will also feed some insights and experiences to put up here as well.

2014 is going to be a good year!

Aside from the above “kick up the arse” that has given me, there are one or two other things that I have found recently that have helped me get back in the saddle (or chair as is actually the case) and overcome my writer’s block:

      1. Don’t think, just write - It took me countless hours and 3 complete re-writes for my first blog post for The final product may not be winning a Pulitzer Prize but it was a damn site better than the first attempt. You can’t get to the end product without going through that process, so just write.
      2. Give yourself time –  Rarely do I put pen to paper and create anything worthy in 1 single go, it just doesn’t happen. Give yourself time to create and then edit. Do a first draft and then leave it for a few hours, a day or even longer. I usually have 3 or 4 posts on the go at any one time. Usually, I find the best angles come to me when I am driving to and from work, or out grabbing a sandwich – never when I am actually doing the writing.
      3. Don’t try to be too deep – Hat-tip to the Everywhereist and point 67 on this post for some help here. I used to try and always have a deep theme or thought running through my posts, and truth be told I felt like an imposter. All I could hear at the back of my mind was a voice telling me I was being a massive douche, that this was pretentious and everyone would see straight through me. Well I’ve cast that effort off, I just write what I am thinking and it can be as deep or as shallow as my thoughts at that point. It’s actually pretty refreshing!

Lastly I quite enjoy having a play around with the layout when I’m writing …

… makes it much more interesting for the reader, breaks up the text and flow of the content and gives them a little rest …..

… and it helps you draw out key themes and takeaways too!

I have found writer’s block to be a massive issue over the past few years, but most of it comes from putting too much pressure on myself and thinking too deeply about everything. As the image at the top highlights, this is a blog so throw out the old rule book and embrace the freedom it affords you.

Thanks for reading, would love to hear your thoughts and experiences below in the comments.

Feature photo credit: Will Lion via photopin cc