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11 Unconventional Ways To Immediately Overcome Writers Block


Neville

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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!

 

 

1.) Dictate The Words Into Your Phone

 

 

 

2.) Write Inside A Distraction Free Zone

 

 

 

3.) Use A Headline Formula

 

 

 

4.) Physically Alter Your State Of Mind

 

 

 

5.) Chemically Alter Your State Of Mind

 

 

 

 

6.) Follow A Writing Prompt

 

 

 

7.) Make A Constraint For Your Assignment

 

 

 

8.) Stop Being A Little Bitch About It

 

 

 

9.) Make An Outline

 

 

 

10.) Take A Nice Shower

 

 

 

 

11.) Copy Someone Else

 

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Keep this in your files for whenever you have Writer's Block and need to get rid of it!

 

P.S. If you want more help with Writer's Block, checkout some of our Copywriting Tips for more inspiration!

 

P.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!

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Guest Neville

Posted

BAHAHAHAHA!!!! Sounds like YOUR way of getting rid of writer's block is pretty awesome :)

If I'm at home and trying to write, I actually like distracting myself by pickup one of my guitars or trying to learn something new on the piano. Even my iPad has a ton of apps installed that play music.

Was originally going to write one of the methods as "Jam on an instrument"....but I know a lot of people can't do that one. Thanks for sharing Bob!!

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Guest Neville

Posted

Interesting it's like you're doing a physical AND mental workout :)
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Guest Neville

Posted

1.) bahahaha, kinda true! I also think it might be a function of not knowing enough about a subject. That's why reading others materials or doing some research will usually snap you right out of a writing funk.

2.) Mind Mapping is one of the items I need to put in this article. I personally don't always use it in the traditional form, but I jot down ideas in a similar manner.

Thanks for the suggestions Ronnie! Possibly a Nevbox-worthy comment :)

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Guest Neville

Posted

Yup yup! Physically altering your state of mind is definitely a fantastic cure for Writer's Block.
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Guest Axel Maldonado

Posted

I've found coffee naps works great for me! Drink some coffee then immediately take a 20 minute power nap. By the time you wake up you'll feel refreshed from the nap and energized form the caffeine.
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Guest Debbie Rebar Miller

Posted

I do the voice memo thing BUT I have to be walking outside before it yields any kind of presentable result (if I'm not walking, I just sound like a babbling ninny). In a pinch, I use voice memo but have the conversation with my dog - he loves everything I say so it's always encouraging.

And when all else fails, I get up and go take a shower because for some reason that act tells my psyche that it's time to work (must be left over programming from my pre-entrepreneur days).

That's all I've got and one of these will usually work.

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I read somewhere that if you can do something for 8-11 minutes, you're likely to keep on going until you're done.

So, I tell myself "Self, you only need to write for 11 minutes." The odd thing is that I usually end up writing for much longer than that. Not every single time, but more often than not. So it's in the arsenal.

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Guest Andrew

Posted

One of my professors used to say there was no such thing as writer's block -- your expectations are just too high. All you have to do is lower your expectations about what you're about to write. Rather than trying to think of the best most amazing description to write, you just start typing. Eventually, you get everything written down and then it's just a matter of improving what you've written, which is usually easier and less daunting than staring at a blank page.

This has helped me a TON in trying to get ad copy written or content done for presentations and landing pages. I just start writing short, curt sentences and then work on improving it later.

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Guest Oleg Starko

Posted

I've already won a NevBox from you, Neville. :) So maybe let someone else have it this time.

> I know there’s a lot of apps like that, but I personally just need to maximize the window on a notepad-like app and get the same effect.

That's pretty much what it does. You can even disable copy-paste, Delete, and Backspace, to have a properly "free-flow" writing. :) #1 thing I don't like about it is that the word count feature seems inaccurate.

> I think I’m going to add the outline method here.

I was surprised you didn't have it on the list, actually. :) What with your love of AIDA and all.

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Guest Brianna Hall

Posted

I find that PLAY is one of my powerful block-busters. That can mean finding a park with swings somewhere nearby, or taking my pup out to throw a ball around. It can mean grabbing finger paints or Play-Doh and going nuts. It can even sometimes be a silly iPhone game. But breaking up the uber-serious "I have to write something important" mindset is crucial for me to get the creativity flowing once more. And if I'm taking myself WAY too seriously, I text a friend for an ice cream date and talk through it out loud.
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Guest David Heasman

Posted

Nev, absolute baller post as always.

I've been a freelance writer for the past 6 months, and I've had to ghostwrite a 70,000 word book under deadline.

So....let's just say me and writers block have tangoed a few times.

Here are two strategies I've found to be instant K.O's against writers block:

1.) Have a frikking outline.

Writing down an outline before you write seriously helps kill writers block. It might just be a list of ideas, but if you spend 5 minutes on working the outline, the piece will almost write itself. You'll see how it all fits together, and your brain will start cooking before you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).

2.) Just Write. Doesn't Matter. What. Just Physically Write.

This one is simple. It's something I picked up from doing morning pages everyday. When your stuck, just sit there and doodle. Write about why your procrastinating. Write about that girl your thinking of. Just fucking write. Get into the act, and then the ideas for your article will come and you can start writing on that. The beauty about word processors is you can delete all that garbage you initially wrote to get the "writing engine" going.

A few bonuses from actual accomplished writers:

- Ayn Rand used to just sit at her writing desk, no matter what, when she got writer's block. She could be found playing solitaire or doodling, but she wouldn't get up from her desk until she'd hit her writing quota.

- Voltaire liked to work in bed. He would spend his mornings in bed, reading and then dictating his work to his secretaries. This would happen until noon, when he would get dressed and receive visitors.

- Morton Feldman, the composer, used to copy his half formed compositions as a form of creative exercise, "It's a very good idea that after you write a little bit, stop and then copy it. Because while you're copying it, you're thinking about it, and it's giving you other ideas."

These were from Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey. A book I highly highly recommend to anyone engaging in any kind of creative work and have to deal with the daily battle of procrastination.

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Guest Raspal Seni

Posted

I love #2. I use the Writer's block app for this. It works great because it doesn't allow me to do anything, ANYTHING else other than typing in the editor, for the time I specify or till I have typed the no. of words I specified.

I also like #4 but I like it better to go out with my lappy or even better with a notebook and pen, sit in a park or library and type there.

I like your #7. We all forget to be grateful for what we get.

I had published a post about 21 ways to get post ideas for your blog.

There's another old list post in which I linked to posts which give headline or post ideas - they were more than 2500 in all. Here's the link, if it helps anyone.

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But then there's the issue of getting yourself to BELIEVE your constraint (especially when it's time-related)...
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Guest Niklas Isaac

Posted

Here's what I do as a preventive measure against writers block. This method is especially helpful if what I'm writing involves lots of referencing notes or outside facts...

I try to keep left brain activities separate from right brain activities.

Basically, I do all my structuring, outlining, research and note taking (left brain stuff) before I start writing. That way when it's time to let the words flow, everything is set up and I can focus all my energy on the creative aspect of writing (right brain stuff). Now, I'm no neuroscientist, but I feel like I'm onto something here.

I use Gingko App for most of my writing, and it works perfectly with my method, especially for research-heavy writing. It uses a tree layout with movable cards, and I like it because I can keep all my notes and reference material in cards right next to the cards that I'm using for writing. Kind of hard to explain, makes sense when you see it. The main benefit is that you can keep everything within one browser window, eliminating the need to toggle between tabs which always throws me off and slows me down which could lead to writer block.

Great read, Neville!

-- Niklas

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Guest Drew Hudgins

Posted

Number 8 made me smile. No joke. Go get out the country, huh? Went to Haiti back in '13 and will never look at things the same way. Go to a place where there's no escape from the aroma of burning trash… then [number 8]

I love a good mind map. I'll open MindNode (Mac and iOS) and get to popping in all sorts of ideas. It's a way to "feel okay" about one's ADHD. Just open, plop ideas… stand back and look, drag 'em around and reconnect/rearrange them.

Mind maps have become a little like a "pretty" color-coded Excel file, knowwhatimean? Ya stand back and look… they become a thing of beauty! :-)

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Guest Scott Worthington

Posted

I take my dogs for a walk.

Whatever the weather, getting outside creates a break and a stimulating change from the environment. Doesn't matter if it's a cold wind in winter, rain soaking through my shirt, or radiant warmth from summer's sun; a walk outside is guaranteed to get me out of my own head and allow room for creative thought to flourish.

And my dogs really appreciate it.

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Guest Rocky

Posted

Being reminded of method #8 is super helpful. I'd probably be on some farm in a 3rd world country if my parents didn't take action and move to the States. Here I am procrastinating my ass off. Better get back to work!
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Thank you for this and everything you write, Neville. Super helpful! Super entertaining.

Here's my list of things that break me out of a funk:

1. Stop caring - "writer's block" = too much emotional investment in the subject + perfectionism. I try to pretend that no one is ever gonna see my writing and I don't care if it's crap anyway.

2. The Anthony Trollope Method - seriously, Google this guy. He put his watch in front of him when he wrote and demanded that he produce 250 words every 15 minutes for 3 hours. He'd hit 3,000 words a morning before going off to his job as a postman (he even made those red postboxes in England). If he finished a novel and still had time on a clock, he'd just write THE END and start a new one. Crazy good productivity. This tip is similar to your constraint one.

3. Get in a REALLY good mood - Again, you've talked about this in your book and on this site. But it just plain works. Watch funny videos (e.g. Louis CK) before writing. Or you can tell really silly jokes to someone. Sometimes I will dress up in a nice shirt but only have my underwear on my bottom half. It's hard to take yourself so seriously when you can see your pink boxers in your peripheral vision (just me?).

4. White Noise - Not the disclosure song. Literally get some white noise form YouTube and put some noise-cancelling headphones on.

5. Rewards - A piece of chocolate every 250 words is a good one. A line of cocaine is probably not.

Those are my tips. But seriously, on a list filled with AWESOME tips, the best tip here really is to stop being a little bitch and just do it.

Thank you again, Nev!

P.S. I'm having so much fun with that website editing tool. I teach English on the side and I'm gonna use it with my students. It will be a hilarious way to learn a language!

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Guest Neville

Posted

HA! That really is the best way to start writing.....it has the least amount of "tactics"...but it DOES work :)
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Guest Neville

Posted

Bahaha, love it! It's like it holds your copy hostage :-)

Thanks for the suggestion Jaquelyn! (it took me like 4 tries to spell your name correctly)

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Guest Neville

Posted

Oh yeah I've seen this mentioned my Tim Ferriss I believe. I tried this, but I think the caffeine hits me REALLY QUICK and I can never quite fall asleep :)
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Guest Neville

Posted

TALKING TO A DOG!! That should definitely be on the list :-P

And yes, for some reason showering is great for ideas. I have one of those waterproof Shower Notepads on my shower wall, it works great!!!

Thanks for the suggestions Debbie

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Guest Neville

Posted

Yup, that's suggestion #6 of making a constraint...it works super well! Especially if you call a friend and tell them your deadline so you now have social pressure also.
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Guest Javi Pastor

Posted

I get rid of the writers block with Google Analytics!

I just go to my blog, search over the most visited articles of the last year and find a path between them. If 3-4 have some in common I just find another keywords related to them, questions in forums or using BuzzSumo to find what can I write in depth from that topic.

Something easy: use your own content to beat the writers block!

Thanks Nevile!

PD: buying Kopywriting Kourse and Autoresponder Kourse, kmmmon!

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