Jumpstart Your Writing Process

JumpstartSometimes you have to take drastic measures to get yourself writing!

It’s early morning. Or perhaps it’s late at night. Heck maybe it’s even in the middle of the day. Whatever time it is in your part of the world, it’s your time to write. You’ve made a pot of coffee, cleared up your emails, tweeted about your latest article and now you are ready to write. So you sit in your chair, look at your computer, open up a blank text page and then … nothing.

So you readjust your chair, take a sip of coffee, tell the kids to turn the TV down, look at your monitor and again … nothing. Nothing’s coming. No great ideas. No words. Nothing. Now what?

Writers’ Block, or just a plain old lack of mental motivation, is one of the most frustrating conditions to overcome for an Expert Author. If not treated immediately, this “condition” can quickly degenerate into a general lack of motivation and focus that could torpedo your article production capability for the rest of the day – or longer – and that’s dangerous, especially when you make all or part of your living as a writer!

5 Ways to Jump Start Yourself into Writing

  1. Get up. Go take a walk – even if it’s just around the yard. Go inspect your flower beds. Take a shower. Sit on the porch for a few minutes. Anything to clear your mind and get you away from the “pressure” of typing something out.
     
  2. Do something else. Do you have another article or essay that needs editing? Work on that. Write something quick – even if it’s just a quick email. Sometimes just the act of writing will inspire more writing.
     
  3. Unplug. If you’re email is constantly binging, your Twitter account is constantly bonging, your friend is text messaging and your mother is calling … it’s no wonder you can’t write! Close your laptop, grab a notebook and a good pen, get your cup of coffee and go sit down somewhere comfy. You’ll be surprised how quickly an idea will come to you!
     
  4. Just write something. Even if it’s a little rant about the run-in that you had with your kid’s soccer coach. Write it down. Get the blood flowing. Sometimes, if you write what’s really on your mind, that catharsis will free up your mind to other things. You could even write something silly and non-sensical. Or write a string of words. Or something that rhymes!
     
  5. Don’t write. Give yourself permission to not write for an hour – or maybe even a day. Sometimes, you just need a break. Use your time instead to work on other marketing techniques – or even clean out a closet.

When faced with writers’ block, the key is to not get too discouraged. Beating yourself up over it will only perpetuate the problem. Don’t worry about being a perfectionist. Go ahead and just write a draft of something that’s on your mind. If it’s terrible, don’t worry about it – you can clean it up and edit it later. But at least you’ll have something down on paper (so to speak).

There are probably a thousand ways to overcome writers’ block and we each have our own little tricks. Leave a comment and share yours with other members who suffer from this “condition.”

23 Comments »


1
Angela Booth writes:

My favorite jump-starting tool: lists.

If I’m not sure what I want to write (or think I can’t write), I write lists.

I might start a sentence with: “I have nothing to write about. I can’t write about______(list of topics I can’t write about).”

Or with: “I’m not in the mood to write, because ______ (a list of whatever is on my mind).”

Or with: “If I were enthusiastic about writing today, I could write ______ (a list of whatever normally enthuses me)”.

The point of the lists is that they get me writing, that’s all. :-)

Comment provided June 14, 2010 at 5:43 PM

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2
Susan Greene writes:

I start by writing the easy parts, the sections for which I already know what I want to say. Once I no longer have a blank screen, the rest isn’t so intimidating. I build the copy from there, even though it’s not necessarily in order.

Comment provided June 14, 2010 at 6:51 PM

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3
shreekumar writes:

All that you said is true. But writing should be spontaneous. All you can do is to set right environment and keep mind free. Ideas will automatically arise when the mind is undisturbed and the writings to flow if you have command over the language.

Comment provided June 14, 2010 at 7:25 PM

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4
Fran Aslam writes:

Hello Angela Booth and EzineArticle and everyone:

Thanks for the blog post. Step by step few situations came up that made me think if I have to write? I did get hurt a lot. All that ended up with the writers block. Any topic I choose, when I start writing it feels like I will not be able to write on this one.

Well Angela Booth is one of mentors and seeing her comments I am energized, I want to push & start and never to stop.

Thanks Ezine Article

Comment provided June 14, 2010 at 9:23 PM

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5

These are some great tips! One strategy I have started using is creating a list of topics and ideas. I can add to the list whenever a spontaneous idea arrives or use the list for motivation when it is needed.

Comment provided June 14, 2010 at 9:27 PM

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6
Ganesan writes:

Marc’s words- “Don’t worry about being a perfectionist” is absolutely right. The suggestion of closing the laptop is very much true. Writing on a notebook is quite easy and helps in free flow of thoughts and concentration on the topic, rather than getting diverted on the keyboard operations or navigations.

Comment provided June 15, 2010 at 12:15 AM

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7
Richard writes:

Thanks for the great tips on clearing writers block. I find sitting in the garden with a notebook and pen and just letting my mind drift freely is very helpful, then the article ideas tend to come flooding into my mind.

Comment provided June 15, 2010 at 5:00 AM

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8
John Soares writes:

I think the greatest stumbling block to getting writing done is not having a detailed outline.

Develop the outline and then start writing. You needn’t start at the beginning if you don’t want; just jump down to one of your headers and get going

Comment provided June 15, 2010 at 8:16 AM

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9

I agree with your ending point about not being a perfectionist and just getting something down. Everything can be edited. The blank screen issue is usually true as well – once you dont have a blank screen it isnt as overwhelming and words usually come.
Thanks

Comment provided June 15, 2010 at 8:31 AM

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10
Les Auger writes:

After weeks of writers block this little ditty broke it for me

An ode to writers block
By Les Auger

Project after project

Begun but not finished

My hearts passion

On electronic page

Fingers leaded

Mind fogged

The pressure to write

Anything, the coach says

The inner voice that knows you so well

“Write man, Write!” it says

But all you do is play solitaire

Day after day

Night after night

Soon the money will be gone

The snow on the roof already dusted

Winter is in the air

As is the scent of dust

And a box prepared

And still, that small voice calls

“Write man, write”

Comment provided June 15, 2010 at 12:20 PM

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Avik writes:

well said, very well said.

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11
Taylor writes:

Great ideas! I usually just grab a notebook and a pen, a drink, and sit outback and jot down what comes to mind. Sometimes even put my i-pod music on and brainstorm.

Comment provided June 15, 2010 at 12:26 PM

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12
Sonny Dinger writes:

HI,
So, doesn’t having a website , or promoting a product help with a subject line?
I write everyday, and find many different ways to what you call tweaking, rearrange the words, changing words, in a sentence, strange…. you never at a loss for words when you talk…?
Thank you for allowing me to comment

Sonny

Comment provided June 15, 2010 at 2:21 PM

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13
Dodger Rier writes:

If what you’re writing can wait and you can’t call up the creative part of your mind, do something useful at least: Do a job around the house … mowing, cleaning the garage, bathroom, vacuuming … You know what needs to be done around your homes. When I’m blocked, I do something semi-useful like cleaning. The more mechanical and rote the better; helps to percolate the writing mind.

Comment provided June 15, 2010 at 3:26 PM

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14
Adwello writes:

I never have writer’s block. Is that believable? Well, on my desk I keep a number of lists and magazines and books and even audio programs that prompt article idea after idea for me. In fact my main challenge is writing less on more. At present my articles tend to be over 1000 words and I’d like to be more punchy at around 500 words. Every time a great article title comes to your mind jot it down in a notebook. You will soon build up plenty of inspiration if you keep alert to the busy world around you!

Comment provided June 15, 2010 at 7:08 PM

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15
Van Cao writes:

I always take my notebook and pens inside. So if I had had new idea when I watched TV, looked through blog, told with my friend I noted them . I have a long list of what I want to write so I have worry about writer’s block.
It’s effective way.
Thanks for your post.

Comment provided June 16, 2010 at 1:01 AM

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16
shreekumar writes:

I was drifting like a rudderless ship in the cyber ocean in search of an ideal blog……(rest in my blog)

Comment provided June 16, 2010 at 1:38 AM

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17
Christine writes:

I look at my blog or someone else’s for fresh inspiration or indeed going off and making a drink etc.. will often jog a thought to get me started.

Comment provided June 16, 2010 at 9:17 AM

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18

I find that when I don’t think too much about the actual topic, it tends to come out better. It seems to flow right out in such a way that I cannot stop it.

Sometimes, I am not aware that I am about to actually write something, and then, it just come to life out of nowhere. This happens more frequently when I am researching for something else or talking with a client or associate about an issue.

That’s how I finished my book.

Comment provided June 17, 2010 at 8:35 AM

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19
Kruno writes:

These are some great tips! Writing on a notebook is quite easy and helps in free flow of thoughts and concentration on the topic. Every time a great article title comes to your mind jot it down in a notebook.

Comment provided June 28, 2010 at 3:34 AM

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20
sreekumar writes:

Topics often comes to my mind almost like a surprise. I then concentrate on it and think continuously and develop points in my mind. Later when l start to jot down ideas flow.

Comment provided June 28, 2010 at 8:40 AM

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21
Aish Mehta writes:

Topics don’t strike my mind easily so in that case I start overlooking my brother’s books and whatevr is the first topic that interests me , I start thinking about that topic .

Comment provided July 9, 2010 at 10:19 AM

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22
jon bone writes:

Best to sit down and imagine yourself sitting down and seeing thought and pictures in your mind, it should get around your conscious block

Comment provided October 20, 2010 at 5:45 AM

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