The creative process is unpredictable, mysterious, and serendipitous Malcolm Gladwell. Fuel your creativity by reading outside your niche. Stephen King has a fixed schedule. So does Haruki Murakami. But what if your writing practice gets associated with lack of inspiration, procrastination, and despair? Leaving your desk is a proven cure for creative blocks. If you can, take a break and go travelling.
Go to a park. Try your local Starbucks or go to the library. So, make yourself comfortable, find the shelf with books about your niche, and open up your notepad. Look through the table of contents of each book to find blog post ideas. Write them down in your notepad. You should write the content of your blog post yourself of course.
Your brain needs to relax before coming up with an insight. Staring at your computer screen might work counterproductive. Trying to force an insight might actually prevent the insight from appearing. Or wash the dishes. The analogue desk is where his work is born. The digital desk is for editing and publishing. Shut down your computer. Get a pen and paper. Or pencils, markers, and index cards. It will inspire you. Browse your photo album to find anecdotes to share; and link these stories to your topic.
Remind yourself of who you are. Who has inspired your career? How have your travels influenced your thinking? Give yourself half an hour. Interact and ask some questions. Above all, absorb what others are talking about. Just be sure to set a timer. You know you need to draw a reader into your post with a fantastic introduction.
But trying to write the perfect opening can obstruct your writing process. It happens to all bloggers at some stage. But a cigarette break takes about five minutes. It helps you to get started again after your break. Spend five minutes staring out of the window. Stand outside on your porch or balcony and listen to the traffic.
Or watch the clouds float by. You have to stand out on the web. You have to be YOU. Learn how to steal ideas and make them your own. Or check out the health section on Amazon. Find one you can rewrite. Add power words , glean new insights, develop new arguments, and new examples. The difference between good and great bloggers is your inner critic. As Mike Monday says:. But a great producer will know the difference. Your inner critic can help you become a better blogger.
So how do you get him on your side? Start writing a few practice paragraphs. Listen to your inner critic to see how you can improve. Write and edit as you go. Make him your friend. Find out what works for you.
Write where and when you like. Be as crazy as you like to be. Shelly Apr 16, Interesting how you always come up with some curious yet effective ways to get over obstacles. Jon Apr 16, Yari Lendy Jun 13, Trouble is I have a lot of ideas that I want to run with at the moment. The chore for me is to narrow it down and then do what this post says to do.
Narrowing it down to only one is the problem as I like all my ideas! Esther Jul 05, So many great ideas. What I do is I turn the music up and do a dance break: Sarthak Kumar Jul 30, Coach Comeback Apr 16, Using mindmaps and Scrivener religiously… I most always write my long posts in different, usually unrelated, sections.
Henneke Enchanting Marketing Apr 16, Do you use mindmap software or the paper variant? I find it hard to be creative while working on a computer. I prefer sketching out some initial ideas on a sheet of paper. Jeffree Green Span Apr 17, A lot of guys, when they get to prison and start doing their time, take to writing as a way to pass the time.
Some of the stuff they come up with is amazing and their stories get passed around for the other cons to read — another way to pass the time. It would be perfect for some. Coco Apr 16, I like to cook, yet still, I often cook a lot of something at once because, as my sister once told me: And I do the same thing with writing.
I like your list, Henneke, and will share it with my writer friends because these are great idea boosters and things to get the heart racing. I simply have to start far more often so that I write far more. Sometimes I tell myself I only have to start writing and write a few minutes. If only I write one sentence… and then somehow the rest usually follows. Travis Noble Apr 16, Had the same issue. Just click the little minus sign on the top of the box and it will go away. Kirsty Apr 16, Terence Apr 16, Its message never left me.
No, instead, just write. Yep, David Ogilvy said something similar: So I go to work editing my own draft. Tina Apr 16, Just imagine writing a regular post. DNN Jul 13, Rachelle Strauss Apr 16, Thanks for a great post, sharing one of those scenarios we all dread experiencing as busy bloggers! I particularly loved the idea of hopping on a bus or train — I would use the journey itself as the catalyst for writing; perhaps through people watching or noticing the first billboard I see and focusing on the inspiration it provides.
Deb Dutilh Apr 16, Henneke, thanks for an encouraging post filled with great ideas. Karen Cioffi Apr 16, Sherice Jacob Apr 16, Some of my best ideas come from actually writing something down. Mysia Lee Haight Apr 16, I work and write from home—in an upstairs bedroom converted into a cozy little office. My trick for getting unstuck: Henneke Enchanting Marketing Apr 17, Jen Apr 16, I love 10 write at a different place. I know this works for me, but I always forget to do it.
Though that could also be related to the fact that I usually find my creative streak late at night when nothing is open and the park is super creepy haha. I love going to bookstores just to relax but I never think to look for ideas there. I read somewhere wish I could remember where that caffeine actually stimulates creativity in the brain. Claire Dyard Apr 16, I switch off the PC and use… the iPhone. Then, I can write a lot! Roberta Budvietas Apr 16, Now if I could just do that for guest blogging topics I would be really happy.
I laughed at some of your suggestions especially the curse like a sailor — today they may no longer be the greatest cursors around. Mercedes Apr 16, I am in the process of writing my first book, and I was haunted by the enormous task.
So I was not writing at all. I finally got to a point where I felt that my book was aching within me and I needed to let it out! So I am writing one hour a day, come hell or high water. I just type along, as crazy, until the book starts showing up. Thank you for your awesome resources. I read that book lately and it was the best read of the year so far for me. Apr 16, I like to stretch or do something physical for a few mins.
Dave Young Apr 16, I love these suggestions. We get great comments about our free topic generation exercise. It uses a sneaky time-based technique to silence the inner critique long enough to allow the creativity to flow. You can get 64 topics onto paper in 37 minutes. Patricia Lotich Apr 16, Laura Bacci Apr 16, Hi Henneke, Thanks for this post! Karen Zeigler Apr 16, I currently have a list of 25 post ideas and growing. In fact, twieet me any day of the week if you want to brainstorm ideas!!
Thanks for fighting thru the writers block and making another great post! Leah McClellan Apr 16, Some great ideas Henneke!
Taking a break in one way or another like you say, taking a walk, whatever is the best thing for me. Sometimes getting some chores or must-do items off my list helps too because it gets clutter or worry out of my brain.
But the best thing when I need ideas is taking some kind of a break, even for just 5 minutes—absolutely. Giving myself permission to take breaks, has made a huge difference to my productivity. Thank you for your comment, Leah. Harleena Singh Apr 16, I liked the ways you shared here, and while I do follow most of them when I get blank sometimes, I really believe that if you enjoy blogging and it becomes your passion with time, you have less of these blocks. I guess those who put up daily posts or every alternate days might be facing this problem.
The key according to me lies in the fact that you should write when you are focused in your work. But I guess it differs from person to person too.
Speaking of myself, I guess being a professional freelance writer and blogger — my work is to write! I never really get into such blocks, or perhaps my mind is always floating around with creative ideas that are just waiting to be penned down. However, when these is work pressure and pending projects etc. Jamie Wyatt Apr 16, Debbie Apr 17, I like the Friend idea. I can do this. Bring the me out in my writing. Great post and always love hearing your wisdom. Margaret Webster Apr 17, Love this post, Henneke.
I listen to opera. And the sublime music helps too. But it still works. Alanna Parke Kvale Apr 17, Tom Southern Apr 19, My problem is reining them in. The second, running along similar lines to talking to your imaginary friend, is to talk to one of the characters in your novel.
Or talking to your ideal reader. Henneke Enchanting Marketing Apr 20, Actually, I could see that happening. Mine keeps shaking his head. Mark Hermann Apr 19, As a songwriter, I write on the guitar.
Been doing it for decades. Then I discovered alternate tunings. That means you tune the strings differently. Now all the relationships between the strings have changed and all the chords you know just evaporated. So you end up relearning the instrument and every new chord you find has a totally different feel and color.
Everything feels fresh again. Suddenly, new songs get written. I went for a couple of years before tuning my guitar to standard again. Fresh air and dogs is a wonderful way to free the brain. Just tricky sometimes to remember and write it quickly down when I get home. Anthony Apr 21, Mix ideas from scientists and artists. Henneke Enchanting Marketing Apr 22, Nikki Apr 22, I suffer from writers block often.
Then I use speech recognition software as I just talk out whatever I know and feel about the topic. Table Tennis Blog Apr 22, Thanks for the post!
David Cunningham Apr 22, What a great and thought provoking list. When notice of it came in I was practicing several of the suggestions I was off on a short break with my most insightful critic — my wife. The computer was off and remained off. We were on the Wind River Indian Reservation and among other things enjoying conversations with a resident Lakota friend whose perspective is refreshing and direct.
Survival there is tenuous at best with abject poverty everywhere. Justin Apr 25, Some really good pointers there, i live in the city so it can be quite noisy where i live so i like to take a break and have lunch at a hotel or take a trip, that way it gives me some time to write and definitely gets me in the mood. Jeannette Paladino Apr 28, We all self-edit too much. I also subscribe to another of your pointers: I had fun with that post!
Matt Brennan May 07, These are some good suggestions. Henneke Enchanting Marketing May 07, LeadGenix May 14, What a fun article! Henneke Enchanting Marketing May 18, Sherry Andrus May 17, I was totally cracking up. What a great post. I am totally sharing this with my team. Mike May 24, Taking a short walk to the park and getting on the swings yes, swings!
Henneke Enchanting Marketing May 25, Hannes Uys May 26, Have a note book handy most of the time and jot down ideas that pop into your mind at times that you least expect it. I agree with you Henneke; forcing to write a post will make the situation worse.
Great post by the way! Justin Westbrooks May 30, For me, I definitely find that turning off my computer and traveling somewhere new is the key. Nick Alexander, 8th Grade Oct 27, Enter the world of the stressed year-old 8th Grader.
He feels lost, mindless. He tries to write something. Arggh, I never have any good ideas when I need them! Ooh, I have and idea. He types on his computer: MCS Gal Nov 15, The quickest ways to cure my writers block is 1 Shut down my computer — the minute it shuts down I think of something great to write and by the time it boots up I have forgotten what it was. John Scherber Feb 15, This is one experience that led to my book of writing tips, A Writers Notebook: Writing it, I imagined the self I am today, after 19 books, standing next to my younger self, ready to answer any question.
Ashley John Jun 16, I just put my head down and write until I stop thinking about it and the words just flow naturally! David S Sep 10, It works for me every time: Arnolds Muziekschool Oct 31, Riley Dec 11, I think your advice was very creative and it would take very talented people to come up with that! Thank you so much! Sreekanth Feb 20, I just Go through your article. Recently i also wrote an article about writers block.
If time allows check this http: Olga "Allowing Life" Mar 09, These are great ways, thank you very much! Finding a relieving thought, then one more, one more and one more. What I love in this method, is that writing is then much easier and much more fun. Then the next step is taking each word and elaborating a bit.
May be kind of free writing. By the way, free writing by itself is a great tool, too. A stack of Taro cards or some other inspirational cards, you know? I just pull one randomly, and it gives me an idea.
Henneke Duistermaat Jul 08, Nisha Pandey Jul 08, Hi Olga Nice to read such creative tips to improve on your writings and get a new post formed.. Patt Jul 08, Whatever-the-hell should be the name of it. If someone reads it and enjoys it, all the better but it is for me and for this purpose! Also, I find a soak in the tub with a who-done-it mystery clears the cobwebs from my brain! But thanks for the list! Simon Denvers Jul 08, The difference between professional writers and amateurs is this: Both encounter blocks, but one pushes through while the other gets paralyzed.
If you need some help getting started with a daily writing habit, I encourage you to join my day writing challenge. Click here to get started. Share in the comments. Bestselling author and creativity expert Jeff Goins dismantles the myth that being creative is a hindrance to success by revealing how an artistic temperament is, in fact, a competitive advantage in the marketplace. For centuries, the myth of the starving artist has dominated our culture, seeping into the minds of creative people and stifling their pursuits.
In fact, they capitalized on the power of their creative strength. Your ideas may need to stew a little longer before writing them down.
Many writers struggle with being afraid, with putting their ideas and themselves out there for everyone to see and critique. Fear is a major reason some writers never become writers. You want everything to be just right before you ever put pen to paper or touch a keyboard. You try to get it perfect in your head and never do, so you never begin. So how do we vanquish this enemy? Go for a walk. Eliminate distractions I use Ommwriter to focus on just writing.
Do something to get your blood flowing. Listen to music try classical or jazz to mix it up. Brew some coffee my personal favorite. Many famous writers have daily routines to summon the Muse. Spend time with someone who makes you feel good. Call an old friend. Brainstorm ideas in bullet points.
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