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Oct 04

9 Steps to take to avoid writers block

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It has happened to every writers/blogger online at one point or the other. It affected many blog owners to the exclusion of abandoning their site until it drowns on the search engine pages. But those who are successful in blogging keep up publishing more in-depth article and content. What’s their secret? What motivates them to write every day and become an industry leader? These are the things we’ll be discussing today. Are you ready, and then let’s dive in.

1, Understand how the brain works

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According to the law of use, you get more of what you use. Anything you think about expands. We are a creature of habit. Any activity you engage in for more than 21 days becomes part of you. According to psychologist, the brain capacity is about 25 billion cell. That’s why the memory can retain a lot of information. You probably have more than enough memory than you can use in your lifetime. There’s a research carried out some years back about the productivity of employees, the result was that most employees are working at 50% capacity. The same applies to bloggers. Many online marketers are working at 50% capacity. The few, less than 20% stretch them a bit – up to 70%-80% capacity. To get more results, you have to do more.

Scientist has successfully proved that when the brain is stretched beyond the elastic limit, it can’t come back to its original state. Stretch your brain. You can’t die. Hard work doesn’t kill, it only removes hard life.

In addition, it’s said that more than 10,000 thoughts flash into the human brain daily. Unfortunately, most of it is a negative thought. The brain is the broadcasting and receiving station for the assemblage of thought. As a blogger, you have the power to control your thought through the law of cosmic habit force. Stop discussing trivial issues that have no bearing to your goal.

Remember, great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and little minds discuss people. You get more of what you use your mind on. If you stretch your brain in the direction of your topic; fresh ideas, insight, transformational thought will flow into it. You are born originally; the power of originality is in your thought.

Then how on earth do we have a mental block? The fog is a mirage appearing real. If you put your mind on your job, then you can’t be short of ideas. The brain is powerful, use it or lose it. even napoleon hill submit that the subconscious mind is the only place in the body that does not stop working. What you think about, talk about, dream about, you bring about. The secret is to have active power consciousness. The only activity going on in the mind is the thought. You have the power to control it in the direction you want. When you direct your brain towards your goal, it discharges more than you think. Everything grows in compound interest, even including the brain.

2, Have a writing pad with you anywhere

An ugly looking idea you get from your social activities or from the film might inspire the next blog post that will have many social shares. The palest ink is better than the sharpest brain. The solution to infertility of the mind is to always pen every idea that flashes through your mind in form of hunches.

There’s a nerve that connects the brain and the hand together. It’s called the median nerve. Have you ever noticed that when you write something down, you tend to remember it, even if you lose the sheet of paper? That’s the power of the brain. The brain is the largest organ in the body. It thinks a lot of things. It’s funny to the extent that when a fresh idea comes if it’s not scribbled down, you tend to forget it forever without coming back.

The secret behind jotting things down is to direct your brain to your topic and generate more workable ideas. It makes your job easier eventually. It serves as a guide for your final script. The reason why many blog posts have not been written is that many bloggers are waiting for the right time, and the right time never comes. You don’t make an iron hot when the light strikes, you make it hot by striking. Confrontation is the key. There’s never enough time to do everything, there’s always enough time to do the most important things in life.

I always love to move around with 5” by 7” inches jotter and save it for later blog post – of course, that’s after generating the headline on the topic of interest.

You can as well use Evernote or inkpad notepad on your smartphone to jot ideas down. I love using inkpad notepad because it automatically saves to my e-mail account. Even if I don’t have my mobile phone with me, I can access it online.

 

3, create an outline before you write a post

 

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I will never write an in-depth content without an outline. Like this post, the outline has already been developed a week before. An outline serves as a guide. It directs your brain towards most important point and cut down the irrelevant points. You are not just another crappy writer. You are a professional blogger and you must see yourself as one.  This will give you the discipline to write more. Discipline has been said as ‘the habit of doing what you want to do when you want to do it, whether you feel like doing it or not’.

Research shows that the article that gets ranked by Google nowadays are up to 2000 words in-depth articles that cover a lot of ground in a single topic without random musing of an idea. Gone are the days when article less than 1000 word length is ranked by Google. Thanks to Google hummingbird and penguin that rewards hard work. These are the reasons article directory sites like e-zine article, article dashboard, are becoming irrelevant in an online world and do not get ranked again.

In the same vein, things are changing very fast and the majority that cannot meet up are condemned to the bottom ladder online. To get noticed like the authorities, you need to work hard. Hard work is a rule. Blogging is almost becoming a full-time job now. According to a report by hubspot, sites that publish at least 16 post/month are more popular than sites that publish less.

That’s why you need to write more often. Without an outline, free flow of ideas is impossible. You‘ll just be musing over unnecessary point. Here’s a typical example of an outline that works.

4, Write early in the morning if you can

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Although there’s no hard and fast rule on this, you can write anytime you wish so far your outline has been arranged and intact. But I’ve discovered over time that energy is at peak when you wake up, especially 4-5 a.m. Distractions this time is minimized and the mind can work more at this time.

Many world influencers and billionaires’ wake up early around this time and do affirmation. Bob proctor (a renowned expert in productivity management), confesses that he always reach office before 7 a.m in the morning before anyone else and write for solid 2 hours. This approach has helped him to write and publish many books which are bestselling. Richard Branson, bill gates, warren buffet and other prominent billionaires wake up early and do most of their productive task around that time before dawn when distraction is inevitable.

Research shows that people that apply this approach use 20% of their time to get 80% of the result. The trick is to work hard on yourself as much as you do your job. Always put the pressure on yourself. You are responsible for your response. It’s your duty to be resourceful. If you try this, you’ll see improvement in your work.

5, Don’t write when you are tired except the outline

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Every human being has a mountain of strength and valley of weakness. We have been told over and over that energy can neither be created nor destroyed but can be transformed from one form to another. Our body is like a machine, after a long day work, we recharge the battery by answering the call of nature. We sleep to recharge our battery. Energy is at its peak early in the morning and low in the evening.

There’s a hormone that induces sleep to the body. It comes twice a day. It’s called serotonin. The scientist said it comes around 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. that’s why you tend to sleep around 10 p.m irrespective of what you do around that time. That of 5 a.m is just a mirage that comes as a result of late night sleep. That’s what led some scholars to say; early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Only the wise cultivate the habit of recharging their battery properly.

Again, rest is a restorative mechanism for all mankind who want to live a healthy lifestyle. Sleep allows our brain to rest. Long term deprivation from sleep will kill the brain cells. It devoid the healthy function of the brain. That’s why sleep deprivation is one of the brain damaging habits.

According to marketing profs, 54% of B2B and B2C marketers struggle with content creation. They confess that content writing is the most difficult task. 41% also say that they have a problem tackling this menace. Most of them tend to write at the wrong time.

The trick is to do things right and keep doing them right. Find out what works and simply stick to it. It’s not the subject of who is right but what is right. That’s why trying to write in the morning leads to a better result.

If you are to write at all, because we say idea can come anytime, it should just be an outline for the next blog post. Always do your homework very well before creating that masterpiece. Writing a blog post that you intend to go viral will make your article to be mediocre because there will be lack of quality ideas.

6, Improve your environment to minimize distraction

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When you open a blog, always have it at the back of your mind that you are the only staff with a 24-hour shift. Your blog is your online presence; therefore you need to take it seriously. You are a writer –says Jeff going. The mind can only think of one thing at a time and what you think about expand to fill the allotted time. Eyes are blind when the mind is somewhere else. The mind works better when it’s calm. That’s why psychologist says you should engage your mind in internal and external sanitation. Here’s how

 

 

  • Internal sanitation of environment – orderliness is heaven’s first law. You can’t be here and there at the same time. You need a calm mind to write better. Positive and negative ideas cannot stay in the same container. Just like an acid, the one that’s given more energy wins. Always ruminate your mind to filter out negative and stay optimistic. That’s why to do list comes into work here. Setting daily goals helps you concentrate more on the job at hand. Always organize your activity with respect to time. You can read more on productivity tips and time management books online to know more about how to design your day.

  • External sanitation of environment – the major degradation in the world today is pollution. The world is becoming busier which has enhanced the way we live but the loop side is the distraction they cause. Noise pollution, air pollution, telecommunication interactions, technology barriers in form of TV and radio set are the tall order if the day. It’s your job to take a palliative measures to minimize such distractions to enhance free flow of ideas. If there are a lot of distractions at home, it’s high time to find a place where you can’t be disturbed. In his Adweek copywriting book, Joe Sugarman emphasizes on serene environment as the only way for ideas to flow. Some writers go as far as the bush, where everything is silent except the beauty of nature.

7, slice and dice every task –

by the yard it’s hard, inch by inch, everything is a chinch, you can only do one thing at a time. That’s why there’s no spare time.  Concentration is the key. You have to be present where you are. Always stay organized, I used to think in the past that spending many hours on blogpost is a relative waste of time and people might not read your article if it’s too long, research has proven me wrong. It takes about 5 hours to write a standard blogpost. That factor out research, outline, gathering fact, and other things put together. That’s if it’s a subject you know very well but if on the other hand, its subject you are unfamiliar with, it takes longer than that. That’s why blogging is becoming a full-time career. You have to take it very seriously and work hard at it.

How do you eat an elephant? The answer is obvious, one bite at a time. You don’t need to see the whole stair case, just take one step at a time. If you get into details, you can be overwhelmed with the complexity and enormity of the task. But doing it little by little brings out the best result. Like this post now, I’ve been writing it for the past 2 hours aside from the outline I’ve gathered a week ago.

Don’t rush into completion. Take it one step at a time. Every natural growth is slow. It takes a while for perfection to come to your work. Rome they say was not built in a day but it was built on a daily basis. The more you write, the less you err and the more professional your work becomes.

Here are steps to take

 

Step 1: Use the pizza slice approach –

a journey of a thousand mile begins with a step. With this method, you lay out the task in details and resolve to write one point at a time. Just like eating a bunch of pizza. You eat one portion at a time. Psychologically, you find it easier to do a single small piece of a large project than to start on the whole job. After finishing one part, soon, you feel like doing just one more slice. Before you know it, the job will be completed.

We all have an urge to completion or what’s often referred to as compulsion to closure. When you finish a task, you feel satisfied and elated.

Step 2: Use the Pomodoro technique

You can break down your task by employing the Pomodoro approach. It makes your work fun to do. With this, you have a break after the first 25 mins, a break of 5 mins, then after the 4th 25 mins, you have a break of 25-30 mins. It makes your writing extremely easier. Before you know it, you are through with the job.

8, Reduce the way social media controls your time

 

technology has integrated the way we do business today. Social media is one of the best ways to get your product or service in front of millions of potential customers. But the way they take most of our time is nothing to write home about. Research shows that every customer is exposed to at least 3000 commercial messages a day from all sources. From the time we wake up till we sleep at night, we are bombarded with many sales messages from all channels including social media that shout buy this; buy that.

Time is the scarcest resources. To get your attention back, you need to cut down the amount of time this medium takes. There’s a discovery made by a CEO of one of the top company in America. He calls his secretary to delete emails that don’t relate to their line of work and unsubscribe from them. It took them a whole day to do that. Lo and behold; within a week they’ve saved 48 hours of distraction from email solicitation alone. The way Facebook, Whatsapp, BBM, email arrest our attention and clutter our mind about their product is very alarming and disgusting. If you have fallen into the trap already, it’s high time you unsubscribe from an unsolicited message that has no direct bearing on your life to save up more time for most important things of your life.

Remember, any minute wasted can never be regained. It’s lost forever. Just like a sunk cost. The worst thing is to throw a good time after the bad in the process of figuring things out.

9, Be a perennial student of the world

 

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It’s not enough to know more about your field, you must be ready to know more than anyone living on your subject. The champion that knows the most is the one that needs to learn the most. The reason, why many people encounter writer block, is that they don’t know what to write about. 80% of success in writing is to know what it is you want to write on. It’s more important to read more than to write more. Readers are leaders they say. The more you read, the more discoveries you make and the easier it is you write. There’s no new thing under the sun, every piece is just an improvement over what’s being written.

No matter your field, there’ll always be an authority. Subscribe to their email list. Read their article and take note of every idea they share. The best way to become a leader is to be a learner. If you are too big to serve, then you are too small to lead.

Read authority blogs – blog such as Neil Patel, Marketing Sharpa, Marketing Profs, Social Triggers, Copyblogger are authorities in the online world today.

Reading most of their blog post will spark innovation and creativity in your career.

Read business and marketing books – books abound around us on practically any subject. Read them, ideas will come from many of them. I understand that some author’s book is just crappy. But if you read one that inspires you, you can buy another book by the same author. If one of his books blessed you, surely other collection will definitely uplift you. Your brain must be full before you can convince people of your own point of view. Whatever subject is of concern to you, it has been of concern to someone else in the past. They have gone ahead and write their approach. Just take advantage of it.

Conclusion

It’s not that hard to avoid mental block. You need to cultivate a positive mental attitude in your calling. Anything that’s possible in someone is possible for everyone. The difference between high performers and low performers is largely determined by what they choose to procrastinate on since it’s inevitable to procrastinate. So far you must procrastinate, decide today to procrastinate, outsource, delegate on low-value activities that don’t make much contribution to your life in any way. Don’t see your most important job i.e writing as a hard task. Always see it as a leisure task.

Elen Langer of Harvard University invited 84 women, ages 18 – 55 years who work as a house keeper at seven Boston hotels to participate in a study. Those in 4 hotels were told that their regular work was just contributing happiness to their healthy lifestyle – of course their work take longer hours to accomplish because they clean more than 15 rooms a day with 30 minutes in each room. Therefore the job was a bit of intense workout.  Those in other hotels were told nothing.

Surprisingly, the women in the informed group told the scientist that their lifestyle was healthier. They have taken the benefit of working to heart which makes them healthier and fit. The other women show no such changes because they were not told their week is an exercise routine that can have a placebo effect.

Like the hotel workers, writers should be told that their work makes them stronger and better. The more we think and apply, the more our brain is consolidated with euphoria. Until you see your work as a routine and workout, you probably might not stick to work. You need to stay committed to your commitment. To cap it all, what is generally written without pressure is in general read without pleasure. Always put heart and interest in your writing.

Or what are the steps  you think we can take as a writer to avoid writers block, lets discuss it below.

 

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