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Eliminate the Idea of Writer's Block: Just Write!

Updated on April 28, 2013

What motivates me to write?

I get paid to write. Seriously, I write because I get paid to write, either in money, recognition, or by comments from people who were helped in some way by my writing. Often, it's all three.

While I’m actually writing an article, I continue to write in hopes that what I’m saying really resonates with someone else and makes their life better, fixes some problem they had, teaches them something new, or just plain makes them laugh—even if it’s at how stupid they think my article is!

Think of Writing as a Holiday from Your Regular Job

Then again, I'm a professional technical writer all day at work, so I'm used to writing about any old topic that someone needs at any moment and getting paid for it—there is no such thing as “writer’s block” as a technical writer, just assignments to write and deadlines to meet--and a salary.

But if I'm writing articles, it's more like creative writing--like taking a holiday from "regular (technical) writing" for me. If you aren't a professional writer, then you can think of writing as your holiday from whatever job you normally have.

Everyone enjoys a holiday! If you think of writing as your holiday, then you will be happy about doing it and, therefore, not likely to get "writer's block".

Whatever you do, from now on eliminate the words "writer's block" and the concept of it from your mind and you will soon stop suffering from it, too.


What Else Motivates Me

When writing online articles, I get motivated by seeing the comments people write, which are usually inspiring and confidence-building, or at least educational or helpful (like pointing out an error in an article I've written--thank you thank you!!).

I'm especially happy when one of my articles makes a real difference--whether big or small--in someone's life or affects our culture or our world.

Something that de-motivates me to write, however, is email. You can't escape it, but you can turn it off while you're writing to avoid the temptation to deviation from your present work.

River, the dog, "un-blocks" writer's block with her antics.
River, the dog, "un-blocks" writer's block with her antics. | Source

My dog provides no end of antics that I could write about, and just as often she is likely to inspire me to write about something other than dogs.

Maybe you have pets or children or other things that motivate you. If you don't, pick up your ideas notebook and pen and go to the nearest playground and play on the equipment. Or just swing. Or sit on a bench. For 15 minutes. You'd be surprised what you think of to write about, both related to the park scene and not related to it.

Ways you can motivate yourself to write

Although this list is in no particular order, the one thing you really must do if you have motivation/inspiration problems (whether too much or too little of it!) is to keep a list of articles to write. Always keep this list handy (with you--in your purse or wallet or smartphone) so that you can add to it or begin writing from it wherever you are, even if it's on the back of the restaurant napkin or placemat.

  • Set a personal goal to complete so many articles in a certain amount of time--one per day or week, for example. Make it an achievable goal for you: and make sure you do achieve it. Then, gradually challenge yourself to higher goals if you wish to write more.
  • Take a paper notebook and sit in a different place than usual and write or see what comes to mind—use a colored pencil or crayon or something unusual to write with. Have you ever tried a glass ink pen, where you have to dip the glass pen in an ink well every few seconds?
  • Look at your list of articles to write and figure out what's easiest for you to write at that particular moment, and then go write it right quick, before you have time to think twice about it.
  • Write the first sentence of each article you plan to write. Now, write the last sentence for each.
  • Outline an article--then filling in the details now or later will be easy.
  • Drink coffee (or another warm beverage) out of a special cup/mug every time you write, helping to make it a ritual that you look forward to.
  • Develop healthy rituals that you can easily do year-round, such as using a special pen, a certain app on you iPad®

Another Writer's Ideas for Overcoming Writer's Block

If All Else Fails, "There's an App for That"

There are many mobile apps that can help you in the writing process. These writing-related mobile apps can help when you're on the go or deliberately seeking new spots to write in or about:

  • jumpstarting the creative process to overcome writer's block— (**Note that I haven't tried either of these two applications, so since they aren't free I can only recommend them based on their descriptions):
    "ThinkBook - Write, Plan, Outline and Take Notes" by Bitolithic Pty Ltd, $3.99";
    "iThoughtsHD (mindmapping)" by CMS, $9.99, "Mindmapping enables you to visually organize your thoughts, ideas, and information. Typical Uses: ... Brainstorming...."
  • simple new-text entry
    "Free Writing - the cure for writer's block" by psyos, designed for iPhone and iPad and some iPods, available in 14 languages, "an app for writing... and nothing else." gesture-based text editing, rated 4+ out of 5;
    "Easy Writer Lite" by Infovole--there is also a paid upgrade to this app that you might want to consider before making any in-app purchases
  • accessing an existing document on the Cloud
    "Documents by Readdle" by Readdle, works in iPhone and iPad; highly acclaimed--apparently does everything but the dishes
  • storing ideas of various types for later development into articles or whatever
    "Save Your Ideas: Chromolux Ideas Preserver" by M-real Zanders GmbH; available for iPhone and iPad; English and German versions.

Personally, the last app listed ("Save Your Ideas: Chromolux Ideas Preserver") sounds the most fun and useful, but please share your experiences with any apps that you use to help with the writing process, especially in overcoming writer's block (that which does not exist).

Thanks, Karen Creftor!

I hope this article helps Karen Creftor, who personally inspired this article, and anyone else with motivation/inspiration problems!

Do you often get "writer's block"?

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    • Laura Schneider profile image

      Laura Schneider 4 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

      Thanks, Viva Jones! I love your idea of writing the 2nd paragraph first! In fact, writing your first paragraph would probably be better if it was written last anyway (whether you just THINK of it as the second paragraph or not). The full text is all in your head now--you're completely familiar with it--so the first paragraph should be easier to write, and might even turn out better. Awesome idea!!

      Thanks for the compliments about River, too! I think she's gorgeous, but I could be prejudiced LOL. She's very sweet and polite, too ( she tries not to interrupt me when I'm working or on the phone, for example)--I've never met a polite dog before, but I sure got lucky getting River (who is named after the Nile).

    • Viva Jones profile image

      Viva Jones 4 years ago from UK

      I used to get first paragraph fear - I'd want it to be perfect and so would end up either not writing it at all or delaying writing. Now I tell myself that I'm starting with the second paragraph, and that it really, really, doesn't matter if it's rubbish - I'm going to end up re-writing everything anyway. Just get started! Just changing that perspective has been really liberating. River is BEAUTIFUL by the way!!

    • Laura Schneider profile image

      Laura Schneider 5 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

      You're welcome! My pleasure! I hope they help you.

    • CroftRoan profile image

      Kate Rolands 5 years ago

      These are some very good ideas. Thank you so much for showing me this.

    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 6 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      I don't think I have ever had writer's block. I just get writer's discouraged.

    • Naima Manal profile image

      Naima Manal 6 years ago from NY

      It is very interesting how a technical writer can continue to have writing inspiration beyond work. Thanks for sharing.

    • BakerRambles profile image

      BakerRambles 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      I like this, keep up the good hubs!