In far too many instances, writers get stuck in stall mode because they desperately want to “write the perfect piece.” They unwittingly sweat all the small details in putting together every sentence and every phrase — unnecessarily I might add. All during this process, they wind up staring at the keyboard and the computer screen as if the writing process takes place on auto pilot.
So, what happens in the meantime?
And that’s a problem.
Articles do not write themselves
I can’t remember any article, book or blog entry that ever wrote itself. That’s not to say that writer’s block isn’t real. It truly is. But that should never stop you from getting things done, even when the words aren’t flowing like you would like them to.
The main thing is to get some thoughts and/or ideas to appear on that computer screen, regardless of how much those thoughts/ideas may not make much sense to you at that time. In other words, that is not the time to strive for perfection. Because of computer technology, you can always go back and revise and edit what you’ve written to your heart’s content.
When I find myself in those situations, I just type what comes to mind regarding the topic I’m writing about. To me, it’s like painting the wall of a house. You just slap the paint on it and go from there. I believe you’ll be surprised at how well this technique works when dealing with writer’s block.
For success, you must consistently provide quality content
It’s also a neat way to further develop the discipline to write consistently. If you’re a blogger, that’s crucial because so much of your success hinges on your ability to routinely deliver quality content that keeps your readers coming back for more.
In other words, it’s OK if what you’ve written isn’t the best you’ve ever produced. And it’s OK if, it’s just plain bad. Remember, you can always make changes … or … you can start all over again from scratch. I learned a lesson a long time ago from a college professor who had his own definition of writing. I still remember him repeating these words over and over again as if it was a chorus to a song.
“Writing means rewriting.”
Make writing a part of your personal routine
To help get the creative juices flowing, there are times when it’s beneficial to step away from your computer and go for a short walk … 15, 20, or even 30 minutes. Just make sure that you do come back and not put writing on the backburner. When you return from your walk, your mind is more likely to be clear. As a result, your thinking won’t be clouded by distractions, which will help you in the writing process.
Actually, bad writing can be of immense value. But only if you take the time to learn from your not-so-brilliant writing efforts. Truth is, none of us can be brilliant all the time. But we can shape, form and fashion what we’ve written into a work that can captivate readers.
In my years as a journalist, I’ve learned that writing frequently — as frequently as every day — will only help you to get better at your craft. I’ve read that it’s highly important to write at the same time each day. Personally, I can’t vouch for that. But that doesn’t mean it has no validity.
It’s just that in newspaper and magazine journalism, deadlines vary from day to day and week to week, so I don’t have any experience with writing at the same time of day every day. In the coming weeks, though, I’m going to try it for 30 days and see what happens.
Setting up a scheduled time to write has distinct advantages
I can see how having a regularly-scheduled time to write can work to the writer’s advantage. By doing so, you make it part of your normal routine, which assures that you don’t ever miss any writing time.
But regardless of whether or not you choose the same time of day to write, it helps immensely to write on a regular basis. And don’t put restrictions on the subject matter either. And don’t be shy about being flexible with your topics.
In summary, you can always improve your skill set. But as a writer, the only way for that to take place is to keep writing on a continuous basis — five, six or seven days a week.
Please feel free to share your thoughts about this entry in the comments section below.