ARK Works


creating meaning with content

Getting over blog stall, blog lag, or writer’s block

Every writer invariably suffers from the dreaded writer’s block. (These days, it would more likely be called blog lag or blog stall, which is what happens when a blogger gets writer’s block.)

Back when I was writing daily news, writer’s block wasn’t a viable option. Either turn in that article on time or find a new job. But rather than sit around and complain about the way things were, I’d like to offer up my patented tips to help you get through even the worst case of writer’s block. These strategies have always come to my rescue during my times of need and I hope they can do the same for you.

1) No excuses. Whatever the reason, the first rule of writer’s block is to not make excuses. So shut up!

2) Just write. Be it nursery rhymes, a shopping list, your favorite songs, the names of your yet-to-be-born children — just start typing or scribbling. The act of writing anything can lead to inspiration and may even lead you in a direction you hadn’t even anticipated.

3) Notes, quotes, and info. To me, a story isn’t just composed of flowing words, but also facts, figures, and quotes. So gather up your supporting information and put that in order. From there, you can easily insert additional text and before you know it, your article is complete.

4) Edit. The best writers are usually the best editors (though there are definitely exceptions to that rule). So just write anything. It doesn’t have to be perfect or remotely decipherable. You can always edit it later.

Sure, there are other tips, like Faulkner’s patented “drinking oneself into a stupor,” but I purposefully didn’t include those. What about you? How do you get through writer’s block?

Filed under: content, journalism101

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April 2009