Ever started writing and after half an hour you take a glance at the word counter and realize you just wrote 200 words? Yeah? That’s called writer’s block. It sucks.
Writer’s block is like a pest for freelance writers. Almost everyone fears it. Most writers have gone through the writer’s block at some point in their careers. And they’ll tell you, it’s not the nicest thing on earth.
The thing with writer’s block is it’s constantly around and it’s hard to get fixed. But in this article I’ll get deep in what it is, why is it important and why it’s not and most importantly how to tackle it.
What is writer’s block?
The writer’s block is when a writer is facing difficulties in writing. I call it the Blank Page disease. Unless they are writing as a hobby, writer’s block can be harmful to freelance writers. What makes any freelance writer successful is because they write. So, facing the writer’s block means less productivity, less submission, and less money.
Why is it important to sometimes accept the writer’s block?
I know it’d sound scary if I say writer’s block isn’t a bad thing at all. Of course, it is. But facing it – at some point in your writing career – is necessary. From my experience,
Why is the writer’s block bad for you?
Writer’s block kills your productivity
How many times have you opened your laptop just for writing and ended up scrolling feeds on Twitter? When you start facing the writer’s block it’s really hard to get through it. It not only encourages procrastination but it also promotes distractions. Little do I know, this is not the way to a five figures month.
Writer’s block Makes you miss deadlines
As long as that page will be blank, you’re progressively wasting time and chances are you fail a deadline. Unless your client is a relative, you’ll spend tough times trying to convince them to trust you again.
Writer’s block makes you lose clients
You probably know the song “Miss a deadline once, shame on you. Miss a deadline twice, shame on your clients.” No client will accept working with the guy who wasted his time twice. The other thing is that clients pay for articles not for blank pages. You won’t stick together if all you are capable of is a blank page.
Miss a deadline once, shame on you. Miss a deadline twice, shame on your clients.
Writer’s block makes you lose confidence
Every time I spent an hour facing a blank page, I felt worthless. I’m like, this job is not mine. As this was going, I would lose my confidence. You don’t even feel like sending pitches anymore. Ugh, how do you write a good pitch when you’re facing the writer’s block?
How to fix the writer’s block?
Don’t Be Hard With Yourself
When I first started writing, I could spend 3 days writing the same article. Not because I lack inspiration but because I wanted every single word I typed to look perfect. I was all the time thinking of writers that inspire me the most and I badly to write as good as they do. But the truth is, everybody has their writing style. And nobody will judge you for your writing.
Write, Don’t Edit
As simple as it can be, all it takes to write a good article is writing. No matter how perfect you want your article to be, if you don’t type in the keyboard, nothing will happen. So, stop thinking hard. Write as your thoughts come in and out. Even Pulitzer winners do that. They write first. Then they edit.
Editing is a painstaking job. It’s time-consuming and if you’re a perfectionist as I am, it can be a suicide. Because I take it very personally. And the mistake I did when I started was to write and edit at the same time. It was a very bad idea.
To an extent, when I had a tough deadline, it stresses me out. The fact is, there’s always something to edit so don’t spend days trying to make perfect something that will never be.
Perfect is the enemy of good.
There are times during the day when I can write. There are also times I cannot help. Personally, I love writing at dawn. When everyone is sleeping, when nobody can disturb.
Normally, 4:30 – 6:30 is good timing for me to write. Since I can write 1000 words per hour, within that time period I usually get 1,500 – 2,000 words done. Sometimes they are ready to be published, sometimes they just need to be SEO optimized.
Make an outline
If you are like me, you format your article as you are writing. That is not the greatest way of doing things though. In this article Alexander Cordova says it’s much easier to make an outline and know where and how you’re going. See the outline like a compass for writers. When you have a compass, you’re sure you can’t get lost.
Do your research
It also goes without saying that you should do your research before you start writing anything. In this article Carol Tice recommends to do the research and take some note before you start the work. This applies to cases where the topic you’re writing about is not your cup of tea.
Generally, when you know much about the topic, I recommend writing without being distracted by the internet.
Stay away from distractions
It’s easy to end up watching Game Of Thrones when you’re supposed to write an article. It’s easier to end up watching your favorite artist’s latest hit on YouTube. Make rigor a habit.
Before you start your day, set goals and sort them by priority. Use a timer and set a deadline. In case you don’t meet the deadline, you know you’ve been counterproductive and you can fix that the next time. Here are the things I do when I start.
- Turn mobile data off
- Turn “Don’t disturb” feature on
- Stay in a quiet room
Writer’s block is the worst thing that can happen to a freelance writer. We all agree on that. However, it can be of help. It makes you think and overthink and in that process you become creative.
Most of my ideas come from the moment when I am stuck. Nevertheless, this is no reason to let yourself be controlled by writer’s block. There are plenty of things you can do to avoid it. Here are some.
- Write Strategically
- Don’t be hard with yourself
- Stay away from distractions
- Write, don’t edit
How do you go about writer’s block? Let us know in the comments.