Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
How To Overcome Writer’s Block When You Have a Small Biz
Writer’s block, content creation, (crying) and blogging go hand-in-hand.
To piece your writing together, you need images, GIFS, graphs, or videos. Also, depending on the type of article, you usually need some combo of said things to convey the right message.
When you have a massive marketing and content team, these projects (usually) move along quite well.
However, when you’re a small business owner, it’s usually your team of YOU (and sometimes a co-founder if you’re lucky!) to brainstorm AND create EVERYTHING…
If you’ve ever had to delve into creating content and marketing, then you know that it’s NOT easy. Especially for small businesses! However, it sometimes feels downright impossible when you have a creative block, writer’s block, a lack of inspiration, or a creative slowdown. Call it whatever you want!
…as small business owners, time is NOT our friend!
Well, a majority of the time.
So as small business owners, it’s imperative to manage our time to a T.
We’re always, planning, delegating, creating and selling our brands, but sometimes we get thrown a curveball or two!
Creative Block & Writer’s Block!
Many have written about one or the other, but not so much about both. For some reason, creative and writer’s block get conjoined a lot, and it baffles me.
It could be me, but creating images, GIFS, videos and the like are different than sitting down and writing.
Writing seems to be more practical, logical, and scientific than designing images. I have to force myself to stop writing and think in a whole different way when creating images (more on this later).
Can you relate?
Now when it comes to getting a case of the creative or writer’s block, overcoming it is a whole different story!
Not only do we have to work extra hard, but we have to motivate both of those little areas in our brains to push out ideas that we’ve never thought of before!
How in the heck do you accomplish that?
As I was researching for this post, I noticed a trend:
- Most are how-to lists on overcoming writer’s block only.
- They also seem to assume that most “bloggers” either work from home or their employers offer flexible options like taking a walk, work in a shared space vs. a cubicle, “simply” push forward, play ping-pong, etc.
Now don’t get me wrong, changing up your mindset and stepping away is sometimes super important. However, when it comes to writer’s block, none of those things seem to help me. Believe me; I’ve tried all of those hacks to the moon and back!
So, that leaves one option. In this case, I need to write a blog about writer’s block, when I actually have it! Yay!
So, bear with me as I delve deeper into some of the causes of (creative block AND) writer’s block — all from the perspective of a small business owner — currently experiencing this phenomenon — and. What. I. do. about. It.
How to Get Past Writer’s Block
First, I have to point out that writing WITH writer’s block doesn’t work!
If you’ve ever tried, you know the feeling. It starts with hesitations and sighs and slowly moves from your stomach to your throat, then to your brain, and results in…starting at your screen for long periods and writing nothing.
Sometimes that feeling even moves from your brain and out your eyes in the form of tears (heard it from a friend).
So to avoid all of that and prevent other things from piling up while only staring at your screen, spend some time working on something else! However, make sure that “something else” has nothing to do with writing a blog!
Think about it, have you ever stopped focusing on something only to come back to it later, and low and behold, it all of a sudden makes sense, and you finish it in 1/10th of the time?
Change What You Are Writing About or Change the Title
Sometimes we fall into the habit of coming up with a title to guide us through the writing.
Pro tip: Stop doing that!
Not only does it stifle your writing, but I’m a sheer believer that doing so is one (of many) triggers that lead to writer’s block in the first place.
You, of course, want to stay on topic, or it won’t make sense. However, use the title as a general guide and adjust it later because you’ll probably change the title to some extent anyway.
(Pro Tip: However, NEVER change a permalink once it gets published!)
Pay attention to your gut!
For example, you may not be *feeling* that a blog post on ‘10 Easy Ways to Defeat Writer’s Block‘ is sufficient. At the same time, perhaps, an article called ‘What Causes Writer’s Block and How to Stop it.’
Which one seems better to you?
If this isn’t making any sense — Try this: Create a list of blog topics you want to write about. Then, say each title out loud. Heck, you can even scream them out if necessary (sorry, neighbors!).
Next, after you say each one, pay close attention as to what comes to mind or how each title makes you *feel*. Make a note next to each or scratch out the ones that are a no-go.
(Seriously. Write a list of blog topics and say each title out loud.)
Are still drawing a blank or are the ideas starting to flow?
When I do that exercise, I tend to default to the latter because writing tends to get easier if lots of naturally flowing ideas start to evolve.
How Else to Deal with Creative Block
As mentioned above, I feel like we use different parts of our brains when writing vs. creating…because I have to be in a different mindset to do either one. (Also, I am not going to research that because I want to finish this blog.)
And guess what?
A quick google search led me to find out that the brain’s left side deals with language, and the right side deals with creativity! BAM!
The same goes for dealing with a creative block — stop trying to design something new if you aren’t feeling it! Be easy on yourself and come back to it later and work on something else for a bit.
Another Tip: Change Your Sleep Schedule or Get ENOUGH sleep!
This one goes hand-in-hand with both creative and writer’s block. Get enough sleep!
Also, this isn’t medical advice. Science says it’s practical, AND practicing consistent sleeping habits of 7 or more hours can have health benefits.
Takeaway: Not getting enough sleep = domino effect that leads to an “everything block.”
Still Have Writer’s Block? Rearrange Your To-Do List!
Albert Einstein said that “doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results” = the definition of insanity.
(Example: ALL OF 2020!)
If you push writing to the last thing on your list, move it up! If it’s on your schedule every day, switch it up to every other day. Heck, maybe limit it to a couple of days per week.
We’re only human!
If You Don’t Have One — Find a Motivator!
If you’ve gone through all of the previous suggestions and still feel writer-blocky, don’t worry! Remember that it takes time and a whole lot of practice to find WHAT makes you the most productive.
P.S. Coffee isn’t one of them! At least it shouldn’t be (except for days that end in Y).
Everyone has an on-switch to their motivation, but it’s different for everyone. The problem is, we have to figure it out on our own by trying out and immersing ourselves with new ideas, hobbies, etc.
When I first started to delve into my motivators, I resorted to finding quotes that gave me goosebumps or just stood out for some reason.
Here are a few of my favorites:
“Do the best you know how today”Anonymous
“The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.”Robert Tew
“Be a dreamer, but don’t let dreams be your ruler.”Anonymous
“Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”Steve Jobs
One last thing!
Practice Gratitude and Change Your Attitude (hey, it rhymes! AND you heard it here for… the… first… time…s?)
So, where to begin? I guess with self-talk.
Suppose you notice your mind drifting or telling yourself that you can’t do something. Switch it up by telling yourself that you can. The trick is to know that you can and then own it. It isn’t easy to convince yourself that you CANNOT do something when, in fact, you KNOW that you CAN.
There’s also a difference between wanting and needing to do something.
You have to figure out and understand the differences though.
And That’s That for Content and Writer’s Block Tips!
So what can we learn from this little experiment? ANY type of creative block is no fun!
Plus, sometimes we just need to step away and take a break.
We have feelings and reasons for why we do the things we do. We have to be willing to delve deep, learn, try new things and not let our businesses fall behind while figuring this all out!
But most importantly, take care of yourself. Get more sleep, work on something else if need be, know that you CAN pretty much do anything you really want to do. The trick is to believe it for yourself and believe it sincerely.
Until Next Time!
If you need some additional inspiration and/or business tips, check out these posts:
- 12 amazing small business blogs to follow
- What to consider before starting a blog
- Helpful content creation tools