Here’s a quick guide for how to get over writer’s block. These are methods I’ve personally used very successfully, and I hope you scroll through this, find a good method, and get over writer’s block too!
Most people sit down at their keyboard and type stuff that looks like it was edited by an 8th grade English teacher:
“Dear sirs, to whom it may concern I offer our company services of supplying roofing shingles at an affordable price structure that’s cost effective for our clients……..” :::falls asleep:::
To get the most response, you shouldn’t bore your readers to death, and therefore should talk like you’re in a casual conversation. This casual tone of voice shows you’re a real person, who is cool, and would be fun to do business with.
“Hey Mr. Moneybags!
I figured out a way to save Acme Roofing 30% on your shingles cost. We got the manufacturer to ship them directly to Scranton instead of having to ship them to Boston first. Call me if you want the new rate.
Sammy Salesman: 713.301.1546″
By first casually speaking out your message into your phone, you can see what your words will sound like in a casual tone. Then you simply transcribe these words into your computer, and you now have a great starting point for your copy!
Here’s the two methods I personally use to record on my iPhone:
- Open the Voice Memo app, hit record, start talking.
- I tell Siri: [“Make a note to…”] + [Start talking] = Siri transcribes it for me in the Notes app.
Sometimes there’s just too much clutter distracting you. Just a blank screen and some typing can go a long way.
Try out this distraction free writing trick to get the ball started.
Having a distraction-free zone to write is immensely helpful in getting started on your first few lines of text. Once you get past the first few lines, the rest are easy :)
Headline formulas are helpful in kicking off an article idea or angle. Here’s 3 quick sample formulas to get you started:
[End Result] + [Time Period] + [Address Objections]
5 Ways to Boost Your ____ Without Spending More _____
[X Number Of Ways] To Accomplish [Amazing Result] without [Negative Side Effect]
If you want more formulas and headline idea templates, here’s a giant list of headlines (including their open rates).
I don’t usually make headlines or articles out of formulas, but if I’ve got a case of Writer’s Block going…..I’ll try some of them out and quickly get a ton of ideas.
Simply changing up the environment your brain is experiencing can snap you out of a funk really quickly!
Here’s my personal suggestions:
- Change the location you’re in.
- Do a handstand to get the blood flowing.
- Do some pushups to get the blood flowing.
- Put in ear plugs to “get into your own little world.”
- Plug in some headphones and listen to music (my favorite work music is “Deep House Radio” on Pandora).
Basically by physically altering your location or pace of your body……your brain has to adapt a little and “wake up” to deal with the change.
This is a super-solid way to snap out of a funk.
Give your brain a punch and chemically change it up!
Heres some of my favorite ways:
- Drink Caffeine. Within minutes your brain will be buzzing with ideas.
- Drink a beer whilst working. Slowly sipping on a beer on a Friday afternoon and writing…..a fun time + a creative time!
- Take a shot of liquor. If you’re working with some buddies, down a shot and see if it doesn’t pump some ideas into you. I would recommend not over-doing this, otherwise productivity and creativity will rapidly tank.
Unless you want to get alcohol buzzed at 2pm on a Tuesday, I’d say the most effective way of chemically altering your brain is caffeine. There are many different caffeine delivery systems besides coffee. What you should pay attention to is how many milligrams of caffeine are in something, and modify to your capacity.
The upper-limit caffeine tolerance for a normal and healthy adult is around 400mg per day.
Here are some common caffeine delivery mechanisms (all these numbers can vary):
- Green tea = 50mg caffeine.
- Red Bull = 80mg caffeine.
- 1 Cup Coffee = 80mg – 150mg caffeine (varies by brand).
- Monster Energy = 160mg caffeine.
- Caffeine Pill = 200mg caffeine.
- Five Hour Energy = 200mg caffeine.
You can use this Caffeine Calculator to see which products give you the most caffeine and calories.
If I drink a healthy dose of caffeine (let’s say 200mg), I’ll definitely feel a strong caffeine buzz. Within 5 minutes I’ll feel extremely alert, a bit hyper, more talkative, and tend to have an increased flow of ideas. I try to not have caffeine after 2pm or else I find it difficult to fall asleep at night.
When you have “Writers Block” it usually means you’re having trouble STARTING an article. A “writing prompt” is simply a sentence, question, or “angle” to view the topic that can kick off your writing.
“This first time I used this product I…..”
“The most creative way I’ve seen this product used is…..”
“It was exactly two years ago when I…..”
“From my customers angle my product looks like…..”
“If I was super rich I would…..”
“The best way in the world to do [cool thing] is to…..”
Try following a writing prompt to snap you out of a brain funk!
I love the quote: “Constraints create creativity.”
Pretend there’s someone with a gun to your head. THEN can you get the job done?
A constraint can be anything:
- Finishing an article in a limited amount of time.
- Finishing an article that has to be written in the 1st person.
- Finishing an article that has to be written in the 3rd person.
- Finishing an article only using pen and paper….no computer.
- Finishing an article by limiting the number of characters you’re about to write.
This means you have some sort of time limit, deadline, or “angle” you have to complete the work through.
Here are some example constraints:
In (4 minutes) I need to (tell a personal story) about (product).
In (25 minutes) I need to (explain a unique way) to use (product).
In (1 paragraph) I need to tell website owners why they should be using (SumoMe).
With only (.gif images) I need to show (my software) working on a website.
While (inside a dark room) I need to come up with (3 business ideas) in (7 minutes).
Try adding a constraint (or multiple constraints) to your assignment, and see how fast you can finish it!
You. Have it. GOOD.
Your life has been enriched with thousands of years of human innovation that takes the drudgery and pain away from a harsh, violence-filled, disease-ridden, backbreaking-labor, hardship-filled existence.
Your ancestors would FLIP THE HELL OUT at how easy your life is compared to theirs.
If you were born just 200 years ago:
- If you had bad eye sight: You better start squinting. There’s no cheap solution for that.
- If you needed surgery: You better drink some whiskey before a guy saws your body open with a rusty blade while you’re still awake.
- If you got a weird illness: Some voodoo witch doctor would crush up some random leaves, cut you, rub them in the wound…..and hope for the best.
- If you wanted to know something: You better hope one of your friends knows. Otherwise you’re out of luck.
- If you wanted to travel somewhere: You better be super-duper rich and have 6 months of transit time.
Life completely sucked compared to what we have now!!
If you are reading this on a computer……you have access to tools and information that 200 years ago people couldn’t even fathom would exist. ……yet here you are complaining that “you don’t know what to write.”
Understand that your work will never ever ever ever be 100% perfect. So just type something out….then go back and edit it. It’s the best way to just start. It’s not the end of the world if you write something crappy. Just edit or delete it later.
So quit being a little bitch and finish off your work.
One of the problems people encounter when they sit down to write is the task is way too daunting.
It’s only daunting because they haven’t broken the problem down into little chunks.
This is where an outline comes in real handy. Just list out the main points (like our friend in the picture above has), and then fill in each section. Within just a few minutes you can finish a huge percent of your article just because you made a quick outline!
What is it about showers that jogs the brain so much?? In my own shower I keep a little Shower Notepad like this:
Believe it or not, many of the methods listed in this very post were jotted down whilst I was in the shower! Giggity.
Literally the best way to jog your memory is to see what other people are doing.
If you are trying to write copy about a mattress. Go search for “Best Mattresses” or “How to find the best mattress” on your favorite search engine, pull up the first 5 results, and start reading!
By simply immersing yourself in other people’s writing, you’ll start stacking up some ideas.
But don’t just be a little copy-cat and do what everyone else is using. Use this information as research, and use it to IMPROVE upon what everyone else has done:
- See what other articles are lacking.
- See what people are asking a lot on Quora.
- See what your competition is doing wrong.
- See what people are responding to a lot on Facebook Groups.
By seeing what else is out there, you can see what YOU can contribute to it.
Download this entire Writer’s Block post for your own files:
Keep this in your files for whenever you have Writer’s Block and need to get rid of it!
P.S. Comment below what YOU do when you have writers block. I am going to add (and draw!) more methods here based on the comments!