Its another long day and youre absolutely dreading that blog post you have to write. Theres just no creativity left; no spirit. Every word you think about typing hits you with cramps in your fingers and a dull ache in your head.
Its not writers block. Its writers fatigue.
What are you going to do?
Youre going to take a deep breath, get up your courage andnothing.
The first step to beating writers fatigue is to back away from the project. We all know that pushing through it can actually result in work that, well, sucks. Sometimes, taking a step back and doing nothing can give you the time you need to flesh out your thoughts and get yourself back into the mood.
But if that doesnt work, maybe one of these tips will.
10 Tips for Making Writing Easier
1. Write alone. When Im alone, Im usually really productive. I feel much more focused and a lot less distracted by what others are doing around me, even if Im writing in the public library or in a caf.
2. Or dont. Sometimes, writing with others can actually help you get a project done faster. When Im at work, I like to bounce some ideas off of my coworkers to see what they think. Usually, we help each other with word suggestions or even new ways of framing a topic. Think of it as having several brains instead of only one. Its pretty nifty.
3. Write something else. Ive done this before and its worked well. Instead of dragging myself through page after page of SEO copy or a particularly tricky blog post, Ive written poetry or participated in the Creative Copy Challenge. Itll get your creative juices flowing while giving you a welcome distraction from the writing you HAVE to do. When you cant do what you have to, do what you want to. I still consider it work " and in the end, Ill go back to the original assignment feeling energized.
4. Find the time. Im most productive before lunch time and after dinner, so I usually save my most important work for those times of day. Everyone has times that work better for them in terms of productivity, so find out yours and set aside your writing for those times. Use the rest of your day to take care of the less strenuous or more tedious tasks.
5. Break it into pieces. Working on a really long SEO copywriting project can seem pretty daunting, especially when you have a list of 50 section pages in front of you. Break the assignment into pieces and do a little at a time. Itll go a lot faster than you think.
6. Ride the wave. Sometimes, you really get into the groove of what your doing and sail through a dozen pages in what seems like a blink of an eye. OK, maybe not a dozen pages, but you get the picture. If you get a wave of creativity, ride it until it stops. Even a short burst of writing inspiration can help you make a big dent in any writing project.
7. Read something. We all know that reading makes us better writers, but writers who read when they cant write can actually break through the fatigue much easier. Maybe its a phrase in the book youre reading that lights your spark again. It could even be a single word. Giving your mind a chance to break from the task of creation and just enjoy something can leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready to head back to the keyboard.
8. Make notes. If you cant actually sit down to write because youre stuck in traffic in your car, on the train, or sitting in a doctors office waiting room, you can still use the time to your advantage. I keep a notebook in my purse for jotting down ideas in. If Im working on a particularly tough assignment, Ill use the downtime to map out topic ideas or even jot down a few key points or phrases to use. I may not be at my computer, but Im still writing.
9. Prewrite. Despite being an honor student, I LOATHED prewriting exercises. There was nothing worse than staring at that blank sheet of paper, demanding to be filled with topic points, a numbered outline, and *shudder* a thesis statement. Ick.
Now that were grownups, we can approach prewriting a bit differently. Make a mind map. Jot down whatever phrases are stuck in your head. Doodle. Whatever it takes to get those thoughts on paper, do it. From there, use your prewriting notes or doodles as a guide.
10. Ask questions. Social media is a tool every writer should use. Its just that simple. When you get stuck, ask your Twitter followers or Facebook friends for a little help. Check LinkedIn answers to see if another writer is having the same trouble covering a topic. Call Mom. Asking questions can give you the answers you need to overcome your fatigue and make writing that article or that blog post a lot easier.
BONUS TIP: OK, I know this post said "10 Tips to Make It Easy On You", but I'll throw in a bonus: recycle. I'm not talking about adding your shredded paper drafts to the blue or green bin. I'm talking about repurposing good content so even when you get stuck, you can still produce something of value. Don't copy and paste verbatim. Instead, go back over the topic and see if there's something to add or update on. Use past writing as a springboard for something new and usually, you'll come out with several different writing projects on your mind.
How you do fight through writer's fatigue?
Mandy Boyle is the SEO Team Lead at Net Driven. She is also a published freelance writer and co-founder of NEPA BlogCon. She enjoys theater, not taking herself seriously, and adventurous eating.