Even professional writers sometimes find it difficult to put words down on a blank page. It’s a phenomenon known as ‘the terror of the blank page’. Can you believe horror writer Stephen King has suffered from it. He said, “The scariest moment is always just before you start.”
So, it is ‘a thing’ – but how do you overcome it? If writing blog posts is part of your job or you’re a business owner who needs to promote your business, avoiding writing isn’t an option (unless you decide to pay someone else to do it for you).
Citing “writer’s block” won’t cut it. That’s pure self-indulgence. After all, what other job comes with a built-in excuse not to do it? Can a teacher wake up one morning and decide they don’t feel like imparting knowledge that day? Or a police officer decide to let criminals have free rein until they get their mojo back?
Of course not. So, from personal experience, here are my top three tips to make writing slightly less painful:
- Identify your best time of day to write. Is it first thing in the morning before you get derailed by emails and meetings, or later, when you’re properly awake after the first fifty cups of coffee?
- Just get something – anything – down on paper. It can be incoherent, poorly written and littered with spelling mistakes as long as it includes the germ of your idea. You can go from there. Once you’ve got the broad gist of a post, take time to edit it and turn it into something you won’t be too ashamed of putting out into the world. As the wildly successful author Jodi Picoult says, “You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”
- To help you knuckle down, promise yourself a reward for getting it done. It doesn’t need to be something lavish like a holiday in the Seychelles – I find chocolate works for me (which probably explains a lot).
- If none of these suggestions work and you’re really stuck, get in touch. With years of experience, a professional copywriter like me will get the job done for you!