learn from business books

I’ve been writing consistently for the last four years. Blog post after blog post. Article after article. The words don’t always flow through my fingers like butter, but I’ve come up with a few strategies that help me beat writer’s block whenever it happens.

Writer’s block is when it feels like you can’t put one more word on the page. The good news is that there are some exercises you can work through to cure yourself of the sickness.

Free write

If I’m having a really bad case of writer’s block, I’ll start free writing about anything and everything. I went through a very bad case of writer’s block about a year ago. It felt like I was completely out of new ideas.

I started writing fiction for a few months and that got my creative juices flowing again. I’m not sure if the book I was writing will ever see the light of day, but it helped me find the love for writing again. Finding the passion was what I needed to come up with new things to write about in other areas of my business.

Write without editing

Having writer’s block often boils down to being overly critical of yourself. You write a sentence and backspace until there’s nothing on the page. The pressure gets the best of you and you end up having nothing to show for hours of work.

Write without thinking and then go back and edit to your heart’s desire. Don’t edit while you’re writing. These are two different functions. When you try to do them at the same time, you can end up getting nothing done.

Keep your ears open

The act of writing is self expression. When we get too focused on the mechanics of writing we forget the essence of it. Its purpose is to share ideas, knowledge, and stories with others. Listen to what your audience is saying.

What hot topics do you hear them wanting to know more about? What happenings in pop culture relate to your industry that you can pull inspiration from? Keep a running list of interesting topics you can write about in a document for when you’re stuck. 

Log off and get out

If writer’s block really has a hold on you, put away the laptop and go outside. Seek inspiration from the outdoors and rest your brain. It could be that you’re facing a bad case of burn out. It’s not that you have no new ideas, it’s that your brain is so tired it can’t organize them into words.

I work hard in my business now but I worked even longer hours in the beginning. Working hard doesn’t always lead to more work production or higher quality. Taking breaks can actually help you be more productive and give you the creative energy you need to bust through writer’s block.

Try something new

If you’ve been writing for a while maybe it’s time to “wow” your audience with other forms of content for a while. Maybe a podcast or recording videos could be other creative outlets for you. Live video and workshops are areas that I’ve dabbled in this year, and it’s turned into something I really enjoy doing. 

Final word

Writer’s block is normal. Don’t beat yourself up about it. If you write a lot like I do understand that you need to give your brain a rest or it won’t perform at its full potential.

You can give it a rest by freeing yourself to experiment with other creative pursuits or you could enjoy the outdoors. Whatever you do, don’t sit down behind the laptop for hours without writing anything. That’s a waste of time that you could be using to restock creative juices.

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Taylor K. Gordon is a personal finance writer and founder of Tay Talks Money, a personal finance and productivity blog on hacking your way to a happier savings account. Taylor has contributed to MagnifyMoney, The Huffington Post, GoGirl Finance, Madame Noire, and The Write Life.

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