Content writing and writers blockCo
As a professional content writer, you need to write every day because if you don’t write, you don’t get paid.
Your client who wants to publish his blog post or webpage or landing page or press release or whatever, couldn’t care less about your writer’s block, in case you are having one.
If you have committed to deliver the document by Wednesday, you must deliver the document by Wednesday, writer’s block or no writer’s block.
What is writer’s block?
Frankly speaking, as a writer I have never believed in the concept of writer’s block. You write, or you don’t write.
Yes, you are distracted sometimes. You are demotivated. Thousands of other thoughts barge into your mind and you cannot focus on writing. You also lose confidence sometimes.
You suddenly begin to hate every word you write, and you begin to feel that you are the worst writer in the world and people are going to laugh at you or ridicule you when they read your writing.
Every artist, and in fact, every professional goes through such phases.
Surely, writing is different. It is not physical. It is not worldly. Just imagine, you don’t just imagine, you also put your imagination into words and then put those words on paper or on screen and even if there is a slight disconnect, the entire imagery collapses.
So yes, if writers think that writer’s block is a unique phenomenon that manifests just among writers, I don’t disagree.
Do I get writer’s block as a content writer?
I do, but at least in my case, I firmly believe that it is my own doing.
There is a writer who writes stories: JK Rowling or Narendra Kohli.
Then, there is a writer who writes content for websites, information articles, blog posts and even opinion pieces and articles for newspapers and magazines.
Content writers and journalists are less prone to being hit by writer’s block because usually, there is a lot to write.
For example, as a content writer, I don’t have to wait for an idea. I’m given a brief by the client and I know exactly what I must write and what I have to achieve through my writing.
With a writer, the problem is rarely about writing – it is like driving a car, once you know how to drive, you know how to drive, and you don’t even have to think about it – it is what to write about.
For example, if a great writer like Narendra Kohli has to write, he first needs to come up with the story, come up with the characters, string the stories and the characters together, and then write the story, without getting distracted, even for months. It can be a humongous task.
A content writer, on the other hand, solely needs to focus on the current job at hand that is, maybe 500 words long, or 1500 words, or 3000 words max.
The topic is there, and in most of the cases the information can be found no matter how hard it is to find it.
So, where does the question of writer’s block arise in the case of a content writer?
Distraction is the biggest writer’s block in the life of a content writer.
This distraction comes through social media and social networking websites, through emails, through social networking apps, through phone calls and through whatever the connected world throws at us these days.
How do I deal with writer’s block as a content writer?
It’s easy, actually. Since, I know that I get writer’s block when I’m distracted or when my passion has been consumed by a subject that has got nothing to do with my client’s work, all I have to do is, create an environment where external messages cannot reach me.
I have mentioned this in my previous blog posts also, to stop social media distractions, I use ColdTurkey to block websites like Twitter and Facebook.
I mostly get distracted when there is lots of political noise, for example the ongoing elections in India. I cannot keep myself away from knowing what people are talking about.
So, along with activating ColdTurkey I also keep my phone in another room. This prevents me from unconsciously picking up the phone to check updates or to post something that comes to my mind.
Even after taking these measures sometimes it becomes difficult to write.
In such cases, I just start writing. Over the years, I have experienced that when I stick to my writing for at least 20 minutes, without giving up and without getting distracted (and without finding an excuse to abandon something that is taxing my mind), the writing begins to flow smoothly.
Another thing that helps me get over my writer’s block is I start writing in monosyllables or single sentences. It’s easier to write a word than a sentence.
Usually, the thoughts are there. Sometimes the information is lacking. Sometimes, there is no conviction, especially when one is not sure whether the information at hand is correct or not.
At that time, it’s better to write very short sentences, sometimes even a single word. It is better than doing nothing.
Eventually, and this has been 100% true, the words automatically begin to fill in the document turns out to be fine.