Overcoming 2 Types of Writer’s Block: The Definitive Guide

Published by Algorithmic Global on

Second-guessing ideas are a sign of writer's block

Blow past writer’s block by taking a systematic approach to content creation.

Write frequently enough, and you’ll encounter a moment where the well of words seems to dry up. When writer’s block happens, a screen of white looms large in front of your eyes and becomes more intimidating as time passes. 

Drowning in the sea of white on the blank page can make you second guess yourself when you need to get content written.

With a deadline approaching, whether self-imposed or placed upon you by whomever you write for, it can be a challenge to know how to get quality words out of you and into the world. 

My goal is to teach you how to see a blank page as an opportunity instead of an opponent.

How to get past writer’s block

The steps outlined below are specific for blog post creation. Feel free to use these strategies for general writing projects, except for a few of the actions regarding search engine optimization.

Writer’s block shows up in one of two places:

  1. In the beginning, when the for your piece of content will take hasn’t materialized.
  2. During the creation, when it’s hard to find the confidence to stand behind your words.

Let’s start by addressing the writer’s block that occurs in the beginning.

Coming up with an idea worth putting into words.

At the beginning of a new creative endeavor, you can feel pulled in a million different directions. The post could be about anything; which direction is the right one to take? This abundance of options sometimes shows up as an emptiness that stifles the emergence of words.

Creativity requires structure—a scaffold on which to build. Think about an escape room. You look around, trying to find a clue, creating ways to connect dots that will lead you to freedom. Creating content and escape rooms have a lot in common.

The first step is to brainstorm every potential topic of the post. Just throw all your ideas onto a blank document, regardless of how you feel about their viability. With any luck, a theme will emerge, pointing you in the direction you should take.

Then, come up with the applicable keywords/keyword phrases. This action is only appropriate for blog posts. Type these in Google Trends to make sure they have enough search volume to return results. If possible, choose a keyword or phrase that is rising in popularity.

Google trends report shows and recent increase in searches for "writer's block"
Google Trends for “writer’s block” over the past year.

Creating your content.

It is in this stage where the structure will help you get past writer’s block. Use the seven steps of story structure to come up with the arc of your post.

As a reminder, the seven steps are:

  • Problem
  • Desire
  • Opponent
  • Plan
  • Battle
  • Revelation
  • Equilibrium

Refer back to the linked blog post if you need a refresher. 

The first step is to write down your thoughts about each step and how they contribute to your overall post. Then, turn each of these thoughts into sentences. Finally, transform each of these sentences into paragraphs. These seven paragraphs will form the backbone of your content.

Another tip for the blog post creators: include a numbered list in the plan. 

example of numbered list
Include a numbered list whenever possible!

Troubleshooting

Be careful not to self-edit yourself as you create the rest of your post around your seven paragraphs. A better practice is to get all the words you can come up with down, step away, and come back with fresh eyes. 

Going over words, again and again, can lead to overwrought sentences. In reality, most projects would be better with shorter, more conversational sentences. If you ever have any questions, email me (m.hernandez@algorithmicglobal.com), and I’d be happy to provide you with guidance on your writing project.

Remember, chip away at writer’s block by taking a systematic approach to content creation. Small steps forward will shrink the blank page until it becomes much more manageable. Learning to treat the blank page as an opportunity instead of an opponent takes a shift in mindset, but doing so means you’ll never be starved for words!


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