how to overcome writer's block

If you are a writer who has been into the professional grind for a while, you must have found yourself in a writer’s block. A sense of frustration and felling stuck. A point where ideas stop coming to your mind and maybe a feeling of impending doom, crashing deadlines, or even losing your job can surface.

Writer’s block is a real thing, and can be paralytic for writers – especially good ones.

As a copywriter and content strategist, I have been through the writer’s block for more times than I can count. While it hurt and broke me in the initial days, it taught me a lot about resilience and focus in the mid-term, and now, it is not my weakness or respite but my strength and motivation.

Read along to find out how I tackled the writer’s block and how you can do it too.

What is a Writer’s Block?

A writer’s block refers to the situation when a writer cannot think about what to write. It feels like your head has bogged down and you cannot come up with ideas. The term ‘block’ comes from the word blockade which is a synonym for the situation.

Writer’s block is totally normal and almost every writer who has been writing for more than one year has experienced it at some point or other in their life.

But why did I say more than one year?

That’s because for the first year of your dedicated content writing career, you are fresh with ideas and only write to learn and for the joy of it. You still haven’t dealt with critics and strict editors who can go the length and breath of an entire football field to find flaws in your work and disregard your angle.

As you become a pro copywriter, you have to think about a lot of things. If you are working with multiple clients, each of their brands will have a specific tone, style, and other requirements. If you have to work with multiple editors, you may find yourself constantly changing the style and output of your work.

All of it eventually takes a toll on your thinking capacity, and you may feel bogged down. That’s writer’s block.

However, the reasons are not just limited to this and there are a few other ones to look upon. I’ll cover them in the upcoming section.


What causes writer’s block?

A writer’s block can result from several different factors. Here are a few of them:

Overworking

One of the biggest contributors towards the writer’s block is overworking. Like most professionals, a writer too has to constantly work and create amazing pieces of content. It can be blog posts, articles, descriptions, and what not.

Additionally, content writing may not be a very rewarding job for newbie content writers because of those cheap-paying clients, content mills, and the latest threat – AI-generated content.

On the contrary, some writers are sometimes too passionate about learning and churning out high-quality pieces of content and literally work till their eyes bleed and fingers get sore.

Whether you are a freelancer juggling multiple clients, or an agency writer constantly piled up deadlines. Work pressure is also a significant contributor to creating the writers block.

Spending too much time on the work board drains out your creativity.

Ah, yes! CREATIVITY.

That’s what we writers are known for.

To have optimum creativity, you must have a clear and relaxed mind. So, overworking yourself to the state of getting a writer’s block is not a very good idea.

Fear of Failure

The fear of failure is a major contributor to the writer’s block. It can be related to career, finances, illness, family problems, or something else, but either way, it cripples your ability to think.

Another aspect of this fear is the desire for perfectionism. Sometimes, you want to craft such an impressive piece of content that you are afraid of beginning in the first place.

Fear brings in negative thoughts, such thoughts bring anxiety, anxiety cripples your ability to think, and all of that results in the writer’s block.

Lack of Interest

Writing good content requires immaculate attention to details and a strong interest.

Sometimes, you just lose that desire and interest to work and creative ideas stop coming to your mind. The lack of interest can arise from a variety of factors, but it is eventually a crippling factor for your ability to write, and a major contributor to the writer’s block.

While taking a break when writing long pieces of content (2,500 words or more) is not a bad thing, but it is a hindrance if you lack the desire to continue working.

What Are the Signs of Writer’s Block

Recognizing a writer’s block is fairly simple. If any of the symptoms below check out for you, it is almost 100% true that you are suffering from writer’s block.

Difficulty Starting or Finishing

The biggest symptom of the writer’s block is your inability to start or continue.

Ask these three questions to yourself:

  • Are you almost always out of ideas and inspiration when starting?
  • Do you lack interest and focus when writing?
  • Does self-doubt or fear about writing linger in your mind?

If at least two out of these three questions tick a yes for you, it is very likely that you are suffering from writer’s block.

Procrastination

An important symptom of writer’s block is the feeling of procrastination.

It is the king of setbacks and a crucial contributor not only for the writer’s block but also your overall mental health.

Procrastination can stem from a variety of different reasons, but as far as writing is concerned, it signifies that you are no longer true to your trade of writing.

It is a clear indicator that you have lost interest in your work, because you should not shy away from writing if you really love it.


How To Get Out of Writer’s Block – Strategies and Techniques

Writer’s block can be detrimental for a writer. Whether you are a research writer creating blogs and articles or a copywriter creating direct response copy, it can seriously hamper your output and eventually, your finances.

Here are a few tips about what to do when you have the writer’s block.

Take a Break

Taking a break from writing can be a long-term or short-term respite. It can vary from a ten-minutes walking break to a two-week international vacation.

Letting go of your current state and taking a break can be a powerful remedy for overcoming writer’s block. Moreover, it can also prove helpful in tackling anxiety and delusion.

It is one of the most useful techniques that has helped me tackle and overcome writer’s block over the past ten years.

Some copywriters may argue that you should finish a piece of content once you start writing and take no breaks since it can break the flow of thoughts. However, that is not always true. At least not in my case.

If writer’s block is not too common for you yet, you can use these short-breaks to rest your eyes, clear your mind, and maintain energy and clarity throughout your writing session.

I’ve often found that a quick five-minute trip to the kitchen or the garden gives me energy and I write better when I return.

On the other hand, if confrontations with writer’s block are a repetitive occurrence for you, consider taking a long vacation to obtain clarity of thoughts.

Journaling To Overcome Writer’s Block

It may sound weird, but journaling your thoughts can be an incredible way to get out of the writer’s block.

Maintain a daily journal and write your thoughts in it. Write whatever crosses your mind. Your fears, your thoughts, your plans, everything that you believe or want to believe.

A lot of studies suggest that the human mind generates about 50,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. That’s a huge number of thoughts which will cross your mind whether you want it or not.

Better write a bunch of such thoughts in your journal rather than stressing over staring a blank screen. It will help you start and also build your confidence.

Find Pride and Purpose in Your Work

Writer’s block and procrastination can occur when you start feeling worthless about your work. You may question the whole point of writing and continuing because you are no longer interested in it.

However, that is absolutely not the case.

We writers are the most important cog in the online world.

We create content that connects businesses and their ideas to the end user. We create content upon which the entire marketing industry rests and thrives.

The entire history of mankind has been shaped by words and books – whether it is the Holy Bible or The Bhagvat Gita.

Take pride in your work and believe that you are an integral part of something important. It will rejuvenate your interest in writing and bring back your original writing form. Helping you overcome the writer’s block.


Create a conducive writing environment

Change your writing desk, your room, the ambience, or the time of the day when you write.

A monotonous routine can be a bad thing, especially for us writers who rely upon a clear mind and creativity to do their job.

Make changes to your routine, and do activities that promote creativity. It is a small but incredible cure for the writer’s block.

Tip: I usually write in the afternoon, late at night, or very early in the morning. These are the quietest and most productive times for me.


Use mindfulness and relaxation techniques to combat writer’s block

Practice yoga and meditation techniques to overcome writer’s block. These have been a game-changer for me in the long run. Especially when I am burdened with work (it happens sometimes).

Include exercise in your daily routine to keep the mind clear. Plus, doing a few stretches when facing the writer’s block can be a very helpful remedy (it works for me).

Connect With Other Writers and Seek Support

Writer’s block isn’t always a bad thing. It is an inevitable part of the writing profession, and I’m yet to find a writer who has never experienced it.

A great way to overcome it is to talk to other fellow writers and seek their support. Believe me, this technique works wonders and the level of consolation you receive is beyond any therapy.

Connect with other writers and editors (join writing communities on social media platforms like Linkedin or Facebook) and express your thoughts about your problems. Seek advice and you’ll be amazed at what remedies other people have to offer.

Feel free to Talk to me if you need help with overcoming the writer’s block or any other matter related to copywriting.

Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

This good ‘ol saying is as true as steel in the writing industry. I’ve seen quite a few writers hoard projects like crazy. It give them a sense of financial security because freelance writing can be a feast-or-famine situation for most writers.

However, doing so can trap you into a toxic loop where you have a lot of clients, lot of work, too much feedback, and very little time to handle all of that.

It can overburden you with responsibilities that will eventually induce fear and anxiety. All of that will further culminate into the writer’s block.

Limit Content Consumption – Smartphone & Social Media

While it may sound a bit vague, but the social media and content platforms around today bombard us with too much information. Whether you are scrolling through your Instagram feed or watching videos, consuming too much content online hampers the ability of your brain to think and be creative.

Writer’s a creative beings, and we have to keep our mind clear think accurately.

Although it’s not entirely a bad thing, but limiting your digital content consumption (or retreating from it for a while) can be a game-changer.

Use AI in Moderation

AI content creation tools have been popping up like wild mushrooms in recent year. There are literally tons of AI writing tools that can generate 5000 word articles for you in a matter of seconds.

A lot of SaaS companies are joining this gold rush, and sadly, a lot of writers want a piece of pie too. Some want it to create content faster, some want it to find new clients, and some want it to slash budgets.

While I’m not a big fan of using AI for writing content ( I only use it for creating keyword-rich outlines and for brainstorming sometimes), it can be helpful in some scenarios. Plus, I understand every writer will use it at some point in their career.

AI can be a great tool in overcoming the writer’s block, because you can put in relevant prompts and it will open up a rive of ideas and possibilities for writing content.

However, it is okay if you are using it in a limited capacity and only to enhance your current workflow.

DO NOT RELY UPON AI COMPLETELY FOR GENERATING CONTENT.

Since using AI too much will hamper your ability to think creatively. Plus, it is still not good at crafting long pieces of content.

It’s like sitting on a couch for days. It can feel relaxing, but you’ll eventually become sluggish and unhealthy.

Use it in moderation, and not as some robotic-slave to cheat your craft and deliver mediocre work to your clients.


Conclusion

Writer’s block is a real and often recurring problem for most writers. It is an inevitable challenge of the writing process, but something that teaches us writers to be resilient and find better ways to work. Take a break, connect with other writers, journal, and take the help of AI tools when needed. But most of all, see it as an opportunity to improve rather than a setback.

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About the author: Ankit Kumar

Ankit Kumar is a copywriter and content strategist with more than nine years of experience. He has helped companies ranging from small startups to large corporations, improve their content and gear up their business. When he is not writing, he is either traversing through the hikes of nature or hanging out with friends.

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