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The Busy Executive’s Prescription for Writer’s Block

You may consider yourself a writer, maybe not. But sure as shooting, as a business owner or executive, there have been times you wanted to write a report or a proposal and you found yourself instead sitting at your computer or with your notepad, just staring into space. The words weren’t flowing. One doesn’t have to be a professional writer to have this problem.

I have been writing things in one capacity or another for almost 30 years. I don’t even really consider myself a writer because I don’t write for the love of it. I write because I want or need to communicate something and happen to be decently good at it.

What I found works

There is a caveat here. This is not meant to be an Oxford Dictionary compendium of all the writer’s block remedies in the world, but just those few things I have found personally to be successful for me. They may or may not work for you. But I have a sneaking suspicion they might.

It was going fine until…

To get to the nub of the matter, there have been times, just like you, I have been sitting at my desk, staring blankly ahead, thinking about going to Starbucks and just not getting my work done.

What to do about it?

The usual scenario is that I have been merrily writing that letter or that article and all of a sudden in the midst of a paragraph or at the beginning of a sentence, I stall. I know where I want to go, have all the information I need, but what I was going to write doesn’t seem so good.

I am sure this has happened to you. You start and stop a few times, but it doesn’t get any better. After five minutes, you are frustrated and think you should get up and get something to drink or walk away. Then when you come back, you still don’t get anywhere. Sound familiar?

The solution is simple.

Write what you were going to write initially. Write that stupid sounding sentence and continue on. You are self-editing too critically.

If you just write that sentence, you will find your writer’s block will magically disappear. Usually, when I do this, I look back a few sentences later and find that that sentence wasn’t so bad after all. Or it dawns on me how I could word it better.

This has been a life saver for me. So much so, I can genuinely say I don’t get this type of writer’s block anymore.

I can’t get started!!!

While this scenario is generally what I consider writer’s block, there are three other situations that might prevent one from starting to write when one has some writing to do. So I will share my solutions to those as well.

The first situation is that I find I am not interested in the subject.

I have to write something. I don’t want to or I put it off. For instance, I was thinking about writing something for our company blog, but couldn’t come up with a helpful marketing idea to go on about. So I was going to leave it. Then I realized I was more interested in something about writing and came up with this article. And it has just flowed.

The second is I don’t know enough about the subject

Generally to write about something, you have to know a lot more about the subject than just what you are going to write. So if I sit down and I am interested in the subject, I have to review if I actually know enough about it. This is quite simple to diagnose. If I can’t explain the subject to myself, I know I have research to do. When I get more information, I can then write about it. Situation solved.

The last is attributable to procrastination.

Sometimes I just have to take myself by the scruff of the neck and sit down and do it. Usually it comes down to necessity— there is a deadline and it takes that extra pressure to get onto it.

No help for it, mate. Then the job gets done.

There is one more reason for not writing. But it is not writer’s block. I will leave it to another blog article.

I hope you found the above helpful.