Picture this: you sit down at your desk, at a coffee shop or at your favorite place to write, but you stare at the screen with the little line blinking at you incessantly. You cannot seem to type one word or think of a single idea. You have hit writer’s block. But don’t let this stop you from doing what you do best—writing.
Let these professional bloggers inspire you with some tried-and-true strategies to beat the dreaded writer’s block.
1. Write about your passions
A paper in your least favorite class never writes itself effortlessly the way an article about your passions will. When you don’t know what to write, think about something that gets you amped up and excited and let that adrenaline guide your handiwork. “I quickly realized that writing about a topic that I am passionate about is much different from writing to just pass a class. I am more excited to sit down, write and share my work with others. Being passionate and interested in the topics I write about is what mainly inspires me to write,” Gamilia from the blog Sincerely, Ms. G. said. Having a passion means you want to share that passion, and what better way to do so than writing about it for others to enjoy and feel inspired?
2. Write like it’s a conversation with a friend
No conversation goes more smoothly than one with your best friend. “Everyone gets writer’s block and nobody gets talkers block you know? So I learned to write like I talk, so when I write an article I pretend it’s a conversation with a friend,” Martin Dasko from Studenomics said. Dasko makes a good point in that when someone asks a question, you will always have a response. Let your writing flow naturally just like a conversation with your childhood bestie. You will be more genuine and own voice will truly shine through in your writing.
3. Get inspiration from your readers’ questions
You should always write something interesting that others want to read, so ask your readers. “Over the years I have turned reader questions into what to write about. And that’s the easiest way to find things to write about. Turn your reader questions into topics and blog posts,” Dasko said. Actually asking readers what they want to hear can also provide inspiration. “I usually go on Instagram and ask a question in my stories about whatever I have a thought about,” Katie Michelle Reyes from Katie Did What said. When you don’t know where to go next, let others give you the push you need and feel inspired by those who want to read your writing.
4. Look on good ol’ Google
If you don’t have a ton of blog writing experience, you most likely don’t have dedicated readers asking you questions to give you writing inspiration. But never fear, Google is here. “If you don’t have an audience to ask, take it to Google. Search for things people are talking about surrounding your general topic,” Reyes said. You cannot get readers without starting somewhere, and knowing what the general population wants to read about will attract those readers to inspire you later on.
5. Carry a notebook and write down ALL ideas
Most college students don’t carry a pen and paper at all times, but this may lead to new ideas. “My strategy is to always carry a notebook around and every time I get an idea, to just write it down for later. It’s my most precious thing and has proven to save me a lot of time,” Corina Denov from Chasing Our Financial Freedom said. Instead of rattling your brain later on to remember that idea that came to you while walking to class, write it down the moment you think of it. No excuses here, because if you still don’t want to carry a notebook, you have a handy dandy phone in your pocket. Just get that idea down on paper or in your Notes app and don’t let it get away.
6. Find inspiration from those close to you
The only people who will critique and push you harder than yourself: your closest circle of support. They trust you and will look to you for advice in the same way you do with them. “Most of my inspiration comes from the people close to me. They always seek career advice in regards to changing a job, asking for a promotion, job interview tips, how to handle a manager, so this is a good source of inspiration for me,” Denov said. People think alike, including those closest to you. They can provide a good sample of the larger population—so let their questions and advice inspire you to write for others. “My younger sister started college the same time I started my blog. So as I write my blog posts, I focus on how it could help my sister during her first year in college,” Gamilia said. Use this strategy to imagine yourself helping those closest to you and you will want to provide them the highest quality writing.
7. Get the blood flowing and go for a walk
Nothing refreshes the brain like mother nature. Sometimes you need to get away from the keyboard and let your mind wander. The best ideas might just come when you least expect it, so get up and take a walk to think about anything that might be on your mind and preventing you from writing your best. “This helps me get some fresh air and gather my thoughts,” Gamilia said. Fresh air always provides the perfect pick-me-up—especially if you walk to a coffee shop and combine that fresh air with a bit of a caffeine kick.
8. Look to motivational quotes or music
If you lack your own motivation occasionally, look to others to provide some much-needed inspiration. “I have a board on Pinterest where I save quotes that motivate me. Reading those quotes inspires me to continue going,” Gamilia said. The boost of confidence will motivate you to keep on going and to write even when you feel like you hit a dead end. Or try listening to some inspirational tunes to get those ideas flowing. “I find listening to music more effective because I usually find that some of the lyrics help to inspire my posts…I have a specific playlist dedicated to writing,” Aggie from Lifetime Will Tell said. The wise words of others may help you when your own creative juices need a kickstart.
9. Write about something you have experience in
It will undoubtedly challenge anyone to write about something they have absolutely no knowledge about. Get out there and live life, and you will have experiences that inspire you to write. “If I don’t have anything to write about, it’s a sign to me that we need to get out and do more. In that way, it’s nice because it’s keeping me in check! Not letting me be boring,” Reyes said. If you feel bored by your life, then your readers will feel bored by your writing too. “I have found that you can‘t force yourself to be creative. So I think it’s important to get out there and live a little you know, get out there in real life…Then it’s much easier to write about something you’ve actually done,” Dasko said. Nobody enjoys talking about anything more than talking about themselves, and so when you do something, turn that into writing and ta-da. You’ve beat writer’s block once again.
10. Always launch
If you never try, you will always fail. So at least get something out there to inspire your writing. “Keep on launching and keep on getting feedback so you always have things to talk about. But if you never launch, you will never have anything to write about and you’ll just be stuck in this vicious cycle,” Dasko said. The new world of social media makes it incredibly easy to write a quick Instagram post and see where it goes. No one expects perfection in Instagram captions or stories, so start there and then use the feedback to inspire you further. Never hold yourself back by not giving any effort—be confident and start somewhere no matter how small.