Be honest: In this age of content-creation, there’s an overwhelming urge to constantly produce new material. For some, written communication comes easy. These people always seem to know how to speak to their audience and generate traffic. How do people who aren’t natural writers suppose to compete? What if you just have nothing to say?!
Here’s the truth: even the best writers suffer from “writer’s block.” (It happens to me Every. Single. Time.) I’m going to explain the most effective way I know how to break through that wall. It’s called “free writing,” and it may help you next time you’re struggling for content.
Nix an Outline
There’s something intimidating about writing a paragraph that is supposed to tee-up the rest of your blog. This is where “free writing” comes in. For example, say you’re writing a blog on a new product launch. Is there a feature that you’re excited to talk about? Start with that! No one’s looking at your paper and chastising you about not having an outline. Sometimes it’s better to pour everything onto the page and figure out what you want to say later. This is a great exercise if you find yourself judging your writing before you’ve even started. Just start where you are — then shape your content with an outline. I promise not to tell the teacher on you.
Write in Your “Voice”
If you believe you “can’t write,” there could be a disconnect between how you write and how you actually talk. Yes, you must stick with your business’ branding and know your target audience … but you also should sound like a human being on the other side of the keyboard. Your content should strengthen your relationship with your customers. If communicating to a large audience sounds overwhelming, take John Steinbeck’s advice:
“Pretend that you’re writing not to your editor or to an audience or to a readership, but to someone close, like your sister, or your mother, or someone that you like.” — John Steinbeck
So try explaining your services or product in layman’s terms first. You can always add industry jargon and improve word choices during your edit. But first, concentrate on getting your words down.
Give Yourself a Break
I hate to say this but … sometimes it’s not the time to write. Go outside and take a walk or call a friend. If you worry that procrastination will get the best of you, set a timer for 15-30 minutes and stick to it! Whether it’s perfectionism or a fear of looking stupid that’s getting in your way, stepping away from your writing can give you the fresh perspective you need.
So what do the bloggers do when writer’s block hits? They just start writing. That’s it! Free writing is a great tool if you find yourself struggling with what to say. Embrace the creeping feeling of dread that you’ll have nothing to say. Because chances are, you do.