Blogs, newsletters, and social media posts. They’re all great ways to develop relationships with new and existing customers. But they all hinge on creating interesting content. So what happens when you get stuck and can’t write another word? Fear not, here are five tips to overcome your writer’s block and get back on track.
Tip 1: Relax, even professional writers get it.
You’re in good company. Even famous authors get writer’s block. Kurt Vonnegut, whose writing career spanned over 50 years, once said, “Who is to be pitied more, a writer bound and gagged by the police or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?” So give yourself a break. It’s part of the writing process and will pass, if you let it. Do something else until the time is right.
Tip 2: Get it down first. You can polish it later.
Your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect. In the beginning, it’s more important just to get it down on paper. Write your thoughts down as they come to you. You can always go back and rearrange it later. Think of it like moving into a new house. How many times did you rearrange the furniture before getting it right? But you couldn’t start until you got all the furniture in the room. The same is true with getting all of your ideas on the page first.
Tip 3: Use mind mapping to get organized.
If you’re a visual person, mind mapping can be a great way to organize your thoughts before you write. It’s a diagram of your topic and key points. You start by writing your main idea in the center of a page. Then you brainstorm subtopics and write them at the end of branches that you draw out from the center. You use the finished diagram to map out your article or blog post. This video shows you how it works, using a mapping software. But you can create one with just a pencil and paper.
Tip 4: Collect seeds to plant later.
Writing doesn’t start when you put words on the page (or the screen). It begins long before that. It might start with something you read online, a comment made by one of your customers, or something unique an employee did. Start collecting these “seeds” of an idea. You can plant them later and grow a full-blown article. Some people keep a notebook. Others use an app like Evernote. When you don’t know what to write, consult your notebook for inspiration.
Tip 5: Establish a routine.
When you close your store each day, you likely follow the same routine each time. It makes the task easier because you follow a pattern. Writing can work the same way. Establish a routine that works for you. For some, it might be writing for 15 minutes after breakfast. For others, it’s the half hour after your staff leaves for the day. Maya Angelou kept a hotel room in her hometown and went there to write. The idea is to establish a predictable routine. It trains your brain that it’s time to write.
Don’t let writer’s block keep you from reaching your customers with informative content. Keep these tips in mind next time you’re stuck and the words won’t come.