As freelance writers, we’ve all been there at some point in our careers. Whatever the scenario, there’s nothing quite so unproductive as sitting in front of a blank document in a state of suspended animation. Thankfully, with a good balance between diligence and creativity, occurrences of writer’s block can be significantly lessened.
Sometimes, it’s not so much about finding what to say, it’s more about finding an original way to say it. Have you ever confidently written something and then had it scanned by plagiarism software, only to find its duplicate (or something too close to almost being so) already existed on the Internet? Annoying, indeed.
In this sort of situation, never underestimate the power of a thesaurus. There are plenty of online thesauruses, such as the appropriately-titled Thesaurus.com. Or, in newer versions of Microsoft Word, select the Review tab, and the Thesaurus option should be on the lower left.
Another common source of writer’s block is figuring out a title. For example, an SEO client might assign a topic (keyword phrase) and a word count, and the rest is a matter of choice. A good title not only benefits the search engines, it can also serve as inspiration for the content that follows it. So, consider using this title generator. Simply type in the topic, specify it it’s a noun or a verb, and a list of titles appears!
Ever gotten a project where you have to write something like 10 articles on one generalized topic? It can be difficult to diversify, so the key is in evaluating the topic and picking out specific facets of that topic to turn into articles. For example, if the topic is gardening, you can get as specific as which gardening tools are best for flowers versus vegetables.
What about writer’s block in creative writing, such as short stories or novels? Perhaps you have a basic idea for a plot, but no idea how to realize it on paper. My suggestion would be to skip the structure for the time being, and just start brainstorming/jotting down ideas. There’s no need for perfection right from the beginning – that’s what drafts are for!
I’ve met so many people who express an interest in writing, yet are hesitant, fearing possible ineptitude. They care too much about what others will think. Remember, the art of writing means that everyone reads from a different perspective; one’s criticism might be another’s delight. If you’ve found yourself with anxiety-induced writer’s block, take a deep breath, find a quiet place, and acknowledge that you need to write for yourself now, and for others later. Don’t be surprised if, after shedding the insecurities, blank pages become filled with meaningful words.
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