Last updated on December 28th, 2022 at 10:13 am
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As a blogger, we almost all have had moments where we’re trying to figure out how to get over a mental block.
I’ve been dealing with quite a bit recently.
As you know, a lot of my blog post ideas are inspired by what I am currently going through and right now, it’s dealing with writer’s block.
There’s been a few blog posts about my blogging journey now such as beginner blogger mistakes and things you must accept as a blogger.
But I wanted to dedicate a blog post solely to writer’s block because it’s what I’ve been struggling with. I realized I’ve mentioned this in passing before but never went into full detail.
How to get over a mental block can be a real pain so here are 5 tips to help you overcome this issue.
How to Get Over a Mental Block #1: Take a Break
When you encounter writer’s block, the first tip I recommend is to take a break.
You’ll get some time to clear your head and get a fresh start when you come back to it.
I have experienced times when I’m sitting with my laptop doing nothing. I stare at the screen, my hands hover over my keyboard but nothing comes to mind. Nothing.
That’s a very good indication that now’s the time to take a break. You might not think waiting for a day or two might help but it does.
It’s better than forcing yourself to keep thinking and producing content. The end result is usually me feeling extremely frustrated at myself and asking myself questions like:
- Why aren’t the ideas flowing?
- Why can’t I write?
- Isn’t this what I like to do?
This might be the tip of the iceberg and spiral into blogger burnout which is the last thing I want to happen.
Sounds good in theory, right?
But what if you don’t have that luxury?
If you can’t take a break for a few days, you can even think of taking a break for a few hours. Even an hour if you’re pressed for time.
If that’s still not a possibility, I would go with the next tip.
2) Brain Dump
When taking a break is not an option, do a brain dump. I post a new blog post every Thursday. When I’m experiencing writer’s block on Wednesday nights, it’s terrible timing due to the promise I made to myself in 2022.
(I have been posting consistently since 2021 and I’m not going to break my promise now.)
If you never heard of a brain dump, you probably have some idea of what it means when you read it.
You spend 5- 10 minutes writing down whatever is on your mind. Personally, it’s usually things that I’ve been putting off. My brain is subconsciously reminding me to finish some tasks and it’s not letting me fully relax otherwise.
The other type of brain dump was what I learned when I was in school. You grab a pen and a piece of paper and don’t stop writing for 5 minutes.
Even if your head is filled with nothing other than ‘blah, blah, blah,’ that’s what you write down. The point is the pen does not leave the paper.
This exercise helps you declutter your thoughts. When you’re writing, you wonder how to phrase certain sentences or you can spend too much time focusing on what’s the best way to express yourself with words.
Doing a brain dump can help clear your mind and it’s a technique for how to get over a mental block.
3) Write in Bullet Form
One type of writer’s block is being so overwhelmed with information that you don’t know how to proceed.
For example, I’ll be writing a blog post and there are so many things I want to talk about but my brain almost hurts because there’s too much to process.
All this information is fighting to come out and I end up being confused because my thoughts are a complete mess.
When you’re not sure how to structure your blog post, organize your thoughts into bullet points.
Spend some quiet time and think about what you want to say about a particular topic. Even if you don’t think that bullet point will be that helpful, add it in anyway.
You can always delete it if you have plenty of other things to write about. But if you forget it, it’s more troublesome to think of more ideas.
These bullet points often work as prompts. Seeing a bullet point might help you realize there are other points you can bring up.
You can then continue to write smoothly and organize your thought process better.
4) Reread Your Work
As I’m editing my blog posts and trying to make them more SEO-friendly, I’ll almost always find that as I’m rereading my work, I have more things to say.
Even if you’re trying to create a smoother transition between one point to another, there are extra words you can add.
Or you’ll realize that there are points you didn’t talk about yet and it’s valuable information to add to your blog post.
Similar to the previous tip, rereading your work can act as a prompt to get your brain moving again.
Get the writing spark back and let the words flow to you.
This editing blog post checklist will help you. Sign up to receive this free resource!
5) Find a Place with No Distractions
It’s hard to be in the zone with writing when many things seem to be calling your name. That can be Youtube, your phone, Vestiaire Collective, etc.
I’ve been dealing with writer’s block because my mind is completely occupied by Chinese dramas. I rewatched Love and Redemption and it’s my new obsession (again).
Thankfully, they have this series on Netflix and I can rewatch it to my heart’s content. The drama sure deserves to reach a more global audience.
I love this show so much that I even recommended this to a childhood friend who doesn’t usually watch any sort of Chinese drama.
In order to write this week’s blog post, I had to unplug from everything to help me concentrate.
Listening to music might be a distraction for some but listening to slow music has always helped me focus on writing.
When I have my earphones in, I can tune out the outside world and focus on my thoughts. It’s something I’ve been doing for years now and don’t see myself changing anytime soon.
If you need to change your environment to get rid of distractions, go somewhere new. Even if it means moving from room to room.
Forcing yourself to solely focus on writing can be difficult especially if you REALLY don’t feel like writing.
Once you can get past that point, it’s another way of beating writer’s block.
Final Thoughts – How to Get Over a Mental Block
Writer’s block can happen anytime especially if you spend a lot of time writing like me.
When you’re experiencing writer’s block for a school assignment or at your job, it’s probably not acceptable to tell your professor or boss that you couldn’t hand in your work because you couldn’t write.
Some people might accept this as a reason while others think it’s not an excuse.
That’s why my #1 go-to tip for beating writer’s block is to take a break. If this isn’t possible, you have to use other methods to conquer writer’s block.
Usually, for blog posts, I don’t write things in any particular order because it’s not a ranking post.
But for this post, there’s a reason why I put taking a break as #1 because that’s the technique that has worked the best. It hasn’t failed me so far.
Now to You – How to Get Over a Mental Block
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Love all of your tips! I also find it helpful to set a timer. When I know I have 45 minutes for example I just put myself together and write whatever comes to my mind. Then after a little break, I come back and edit. Thank you for the great article 🙂
oooo. that’s a good idea as well. does it always work to help clear your writer’s block?
Another way is to do a mind map which is similar to the brain dump but with the mind map you also add drawings about what comes to your mind. Thanks for your tips!
That’s such a great tip. I didn’t even think about that so thanks for sharing!