Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If you do, this post is just for you!
I received a note from a reader today. He said how impressed he was that I managed to have a series of posts ready to be published whilst I was away last week. He went on to say he’d love to be able to write as much valuable content as me, one day.
Many people seem to be waiting for some magical flash of inspiration to strike them, before they will start to write. In my experience, you get a lot further, a lot faster, if you decide not to wait for inspiration to strike, but to proactively seek it out.
Writer’s block and bricklaying
My late father was a bricklayer and never once suffered from bricklayer’s block. However, if he spent a while away from laying bricks, when he returned to work his back and shoulders used to ache and he found it harder. You may have experienced something similar, if you start exercising again after a week (or 3) away from the gym; everything aches! Interestingly, something similar happens when you write. If you write regularly, it becomes easy. If you write infrequently, it’s a lot harder.
I use a similar approach to writing as my dad used for laying bricks and have never had any issue with writer’s block. I get to work at a set time every day (before my family wakes up is best for me) and lay one word down at a time, like my dad did with bricks, until I have the piece written. I don’t wait until I feel like it, in fact, I’m not even sure how it’s supposed to feel!
Writer’s block and perfection
Many people tell me they have a perfectionist mindset, which means everything has to be perfect before they can write and that the actual writing itself has to be perfect too. The challenge with perfectionist writers is that they seldom get started, because perfection is in very short supply. I strongly suggest you drop the perfectionist mindset when you write, as it is both high-pressure and low output.
I decided a long time ago, to give myself permission to write imperfectly. I am happy to say that I have stuck by this and have never written a perfect piece of work in my life. I have, however, developed one of the most popular blogs in my niche and helped clients to make millions in sales, from copy I have written for them.
Something that helped me massively, was this quote from Ernest Hemingway:
For a long time now I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.
In short: Get started, write often and give it your best shot!
Photo: Wiertz Sébastien