Do you suffer from writer’s block? Is there a pending project you are putting off because you lack the inspiration to even get it started? You certainly are not alone. At various times you will go through extended periods of energetic writing as well as lengthy dry spells. Here are some tips you may want to consider to help you keep those slow times to a minimum.
Idea Mining If you do not have a specific topic in mind, start brainstorming to come up with a variety of topics. I get plenty of my ideas when I take a thirty minute brisk walk through my neighborhood. Watching rabbits eating clover, observing colorful roses, and listening to the sweet conversation of cardinals puts me at ease. When I am relaxed, I can think much more clearly. It sure beats sitting in front of my computer fretting about my work! Find something that brings out the inspiration in you.
Get Interested Writing on a topic that interests you is much easier to do than when you must write about a topic that you either: a) do not find interesting, or b) you are not particularly knowledgeable about. You can raise your interest by researching the topic. Read other online articles, go to the library and read a chapter or two in a related book, or contact someone familiar with the subject at hand [an enthusiatic expert is best]. After a certain amount of research your curiosity should be piqued which will help fuel your interest in the topic.
Make an Outline Write a topic sentence and then “bullet” three or four key points that you want to make. Expand each point into one paragraph each; collectively these points will comprise the body of your article. A brief conclusion [summation] tying all the points together at the end of the article will bring things “to a wrap.”
Sit on it No, I am not being obscene. Rather, once you have written your article put it aside for a day or two and then come back to it. A fresh perspective has a way in helping you craft a better article. More than likely you will catch grammatical errors, locate incomplete or unclear thoughts, or find errors in punctuation by stepping back for a period of time.
You can overcome writer’s block by following the above steps. If you find yourself hindered by the “paralysis of analysis” when it comes to selecting a winning topic, then you must step away, regroup, and come back only when sufficiently inspired. Writing with clear purpose and enthusiasm will happen once you put your writer’s block beyond you.
(c)2005; Matthew C. Keegan, LLC