Most of us have faced this dilemma -- both professional writers and professionals who have to write. Whether you call all it writer’s block, analysis paralysis, or being frozen in your tracks, your fingers can't move and the clock is ticking.
Here are a few ideas for getting yourself unstuck.
1. Do something else
This seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? You’ve got a deadline. You’ve GOT to get that report, presentation or email written. However, it may be pressure that’s blocking you. Release it. Take a moment to stretch, get a cup of coffee, walk around the office. The brief distraction may be enough to let you come back to your project with fresh ideas and renewed enthusiasm.
2. Start with the conclusion
Sometimes the way to begin is to start at the end. Sounds like Yoda? But just think about it for a minute. You already know the conclusion you want to reach. Try starting there and working back through your supporting arguments?
3. Develop an outline first
You can go from beginning to end or end to beginning. The beauty is that you just need to jot down ideas, rather than full sentences and paragraphs. You can reorganize as needed. An outline can make writing easier because it gives you a framework to write from.
4. Just start writing
Here’s the “Just Do It” method of writing. You’ve done your research. You have your resources gathered. You have a general idea of what needs to be said. So plunge in. Start writing. It may wind up being the middle. It may be the end. It may just be “blah, blah, blah.” But the act of starting somewhere can serve to get you unstuck. You may need to do some reorganizing and editing later.
5. Talk it out
Thinking out loud to a colleague may work to get your ideas flowing. Or try talking to a voice recorder. Some folks leave themselves voicemail messages.
I hope at least one of these ideas works for you. But if you’re stuck and running out of time on a writing project, why not call in a pro? A professional freelance writer may be just what you need to move a project from “To Do” to “Done.” Contact me for help on your next project at email@example.com
(Photo by Drew Coffman)