Fortunately, somewhere along the way I did manage to develop a few tricks to overcome writers block. Some are obvious, others are not.
1. Don’t Write Too Soon
Before trying to write, it is important to prepare mentally for a few hours or days (depending on the size of the task) by mulling the writing project over in the back of your mind. (Just as athletes don’t like to peak too soon, writers shouldn’t write too soon either!).
2. Do The Preparation
Read over whatever background material you have so that it is fresh in your mind. I read through all background material carefully marking important points with a yellow hi-liter and then review it all before I start to write.
3. Develop A Simple Outline
Before sitting down to write, put together a simple point-form list of all of the key points you want to cover, and then organize them in the order in which you are going to cover them. (I know, I know… your Grade 6 teacher told you the same thing… but it actually does work).
4. Keep Research Documents Close By
When you sit down to write, make sure that all of your key background materials are spread out close at hand. This will allow you to quickly refer to them without interrupting the writing flow once you get going. I keep as many of the source documents as possible wide open, and within eyesight for quick and easy reference when I’m writing something.
5. Just Start Writing
Yes, that’s exactly what you do. Once you have prepared mentally and done your homework you are ready to write, even if your writer’s block is saying “no”. Just start writing any old thing that comes to mind. Go with the natural flow. In no time at all you will get into a rhythm, and the words will just keep on flowing.
6. Don’t Worry About the First Draft
Once the words start to flow, don’t worry about making it perfect the first time. Remember, it’s your first draft. You will be able to revise it later. The critical thing at the outset is to write those thoughts down as your mind dictates them to you.
7.. Work From An Example Or Template
Get an actual sample of the type of document that you need to write. It could be something that you wrote previously, or it could be something from an old working file, or a clipping from a magazine article, or a sales brochure you picked up. As long as it is the same type of document that you are writing. Whatever it is, just post it up in your line of sight while you are working. You’ll be amazed at how it helps the words and ideas flow. The main thing is to have an example to act as a sort of visual template.
In my experience this last one is the ultimate secret for overcoming writer’s block.
In fact, this last tip is so important that I have built ALL of my writing help products around sample templates that I call “real-life templates”. Using those templates, coupled with my step by step “template adaptation method” will virtually eliminate writer’s block in any kind of day to day practical writing situation.
To see ALL of my writing help products that include these real-life templates go to the following link.