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Avoiding writer’s block…

Blocked door in a wallHave you had that sinking feeling of not being able to write when you need to?  Time seems to tick by so slowly… but yet the deadline approaches so quickly.

A few weeks ago I gave some ideas on overcoming writer’s block but the ideal is obviously to avoid it rather than deal with it. The following steps can be taken whenever you have the chance to reduce the odds of reaching that situation again. I won’t say you will never face writer’s block again because sometimes it is just too hard to get motivated despite any preparation, but you can reduce the frequency of it!

Here are my ideas for avoiding writer’s block, but I’d love to hear your ideas as well in the comments below…

  1. keep a list of writing ideas so when you have time to write (for a blog, newsletter, articles, etc) you don’t have to waste time thinking of topics as well
  2. if you know you need to write a report, jot down notes as you think of them. For example, every time I write major news items for a particular client, I copy it into a document that will form the basis of their annual report in July. Having those topics already in place makes the annual report much easier to deal with.
  3. set specific times for writing so you know there is a deadline and you don’t have time to sit and worry. Make a separate specific time for editing and rewriting so your writing time is exactly that – writing time.
  4. try making a regular time to write. If you don’t consistently have things you need to write you could still use this time – rewrite web content, write parts of reports you know are coming up, write some standard email/letter responses for customers and so on. Being in the habit of writing at a certain time will make it easier to write when you have to.
  5. know your limitations, and do something about them before crunch time. That could be learning some writing skills (such as reading through my blog once a week), starting bigger projects ahead of time if you can’t write for hours at a time, or researching a writer/editor to help you.
  6. look after yourself leading up to your writing project – get a good night’s sleep, drink plenty of water, grab some fresh air and exercise, and so on. Being run down and uncomfortable within yourself won’t help you write efficiently or effectively

What else have you done to avoid being unable to write when it’s important?

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