Got Writer’s Block? Want to become a Content Generating Machine?
If you’re feeling like you’ve used up ALL your best ideas and there’s nothing left in the old noggin, don’t worry about it. This happens to everyone.
Famous writers throughout history have faced the problem …
overcome the problem …
and lived to write about it.
Ray Bradbury says that writer’s block is your conscience telling you that you’re writing about the wrong thing. His advice? Switch topics. Write about something that brings you joy.
Hemingway advises to stop when the going is good – before you get stuck.
John Steinbeck says to pretend that you’re writing to someone you know and like.
Maya Angelou’s approach is to simply keep on writing. This famous poet had a strong discipline of writing. She said she would just keep on doing it even if she was writing ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.’ over and over again for two weeks.
Angelou knew that writing isn’t something you have to be inspired to do. On the contrary, writing is work you just do.
Does your electrician need inspiration to replace your circuit box? Must your accountant have an epiphany before finishing your Schedule C Profit or Loss From Business Form? (OK, you might have me here, depending on your trade.)
Of course not. They just do it. And so will you.
So here’s my advice, gleaned from the practices of numerous other writers and marketers:
Your brain is an amazing marvel of cholesterol and neurons … and other stuff that isn’t terribly pretty to look at. And if you provide the right circumstances, it will produce amazing ideas you never knew you had in you. To put it fully into gear, do this:
- Before you go to bed, set an intention of writing 10 new email or blog post topics the next morning. Then forget about it and go to sleep.
- When you wake up the next morning, go straight to your writing desk and jot down the first 10 topics that come to mind. They can be terrible. They can be silly. They can be boring. They can be many other things, but keep it friendly between you and your conscience (remember Bradbury’s rule).
- The next day, do it again.
- After a few days, pick 10 topics you like.
- Pick one of those 10 topics and write 10 subtopics. Do it again the next morning. Out of those 20 topics, you now have the makings of an email series, blog post series, mini-course, or short ebook. See how easy that was?
- Rinse and repeat until you have 100 great topic ideas.
- Then give it a rest for a few months. See what your readers respond to, and let that inform your next topics.
Until next time,
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