7 Steps for Overcoming Writer’s Block

Frustrated? It’s time to get up and go for a quick walk outside. (Photo: J.R. Bale)

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”
—Mark Twain

Mark Twain, who worked as a journalist as well as a novelist, should know a thing or two about writer’s block.

All writers struggle with filling a blank page or screen at some time in their careers. Reasons include anything from anxiety to exhaustion, and from distraction to confusion.

We can experience a block at the very start of a project or at its conclusion.

What every writer experiencing a block has in common, however, is the frustration that comes along with it. Here are some strategies to try the next time you’re stuck with a blinking cursor and nothing to say. Continue reading “7 Steps for Overcoming Writer’s Block”

Multitasking While You Write: Bad Idea

(Photo: kzenon)
When you’re writing, stick to one thing: writing. (Photo: kzenon)

Hey, writers—do you like a little noise while you work?

Most of us find an optimal environment for creativity somewhere between total isolation and orchestrated chaos.

A surprising number of business writers say that silence in itself is distracting—they need at least some music playing softly in the background.

Sure, minimal sensory input such as soft background music may help your writing. However, multitasking (for example, trying to write an annual report while watching a YouTube video) will actually doom your writing efforts. Continue reading “Multitasking While You Write: Bad Idea”

When Software Hinders Your Writing, Try This Easy Trick

C’mon, you can do better.

A keystroke or mouse click opens up a window that accesses the Internet so you can find and play a distracting video… And the next thing you know, it’s 20 minutes later.

There are three words of a sentence on the screen in front of you, and you can’t even begin to remember where you were going with it.

Sound familiar? Are you futzing with fonts and messing with margins—when the truth is that it doesn’t even make a difference? You may need to slim down your word processing functionality and steer it back to doing not much more than… processing words!

One easy trick, then, is to simply get rid of the bells and whistles. Allow me to explain. Continue reading “When Software Hinders Your Writing, Try This Easy Trick”