Like many writers, I also continuously struggle with writer’s block. All my creativity is gone, and no matter how hard I work, I can’t seem to write a good sentence. The longer the writer’s block lasts, the harder it becomes to write.
But a successful blog needs regular posts. So what am I to do?
Andrea Badgley (@andreabadgley, #wceu), Happiness Engineer at Automattic, introduces a simple strategy to overcome writer’s block in her WordCamp Europe talk.
The trick is to jettison your perfectionism and get back to writing daily in small chunks. Here’s how you do it:
- Take a sheet of paper and tear it into 30 pieces. On each piece, write a word or a short sentence about a topic that interests you. Put the pieces into your idea box. An old cookie tin, a shoe box—the type of box doesn’t matter. The important thing is to use a real box and real paper so that you can physically touch your topic before every session.
- Find a moment in which you can write every day for 5, 10 or 15 minutes. This can be first thing in the morning, after jogging or in the evening at a cocktail bar. Make sure that you can write without any distractions and that you can put off all other tasks during this time. Create a reminder and block off this time on your calendar.
- Create a simple reward system. Associate this time with a fixed ritual. A fresh cup of coffee, a cookie, good music, etc.
- Pull a topic from the idea box.
- Set a timer and write about this topic for the set amount of time. Write continuously without setting down your pen.
Once the time is up, briefly check your spelling and grammar and set the post to be published the following day. This will give you the opportunity to check the content later and make changes if necessary.
Always remember: Perfect is the enemy of done.
If you hang on to your perfectionism, you will probably never get past your writer’s block. The goal is not to write a perfect post for your website every day in 10 minutes. The goal is to write relevant and interesting posts regularly.
Andrea Badgley sums it up like this: If I write every day, at the end of the month I will have 25 posts that could probably use some polishing, but the important thing is that I will have 5 exciting, creative posts for my readers. Writing is like photography in this way: Sometimes we need 30 attempts to capture the right moment in the right place and with just the right settings.
Andrea Badgley: Publish in 10 Minutes Per Day – Presented at WordCamp Europe. Follow Andrea Badgley: Andrea Reads America, @andreabadgley