The Alchemist's Lair
Thoughts on writing, language, life as a freelancer,
and what comes to mind.
and what comes to mind.
We all have those days, you know. Days when you don’t feel like writing.
And every sentence looks crammed and soulless.
You blame it on the hot (or cold) weather.
You blame it on white page syndrome.
Then, you think of something else to blame.
As you fiddle about, the deadline approaches.
And before you know it, writing becomes a time-sensitive race.
Ranting is OK – for a while. But when you write for a living, you can’t drown in whining for too long. So, how could you get your writing mojo back – and quickly?
Read on to explore some tried-and-true strategies you can use to start writing again when you feel stuck. Test your favourite ones, and find out what works best for you.
#1 Acknowledge your human side
Here’s the thing: zero motivation days happen. But when you can’t write when you should, a sense of guilt often comes into play. And when it does, it triggers a downward spiral that only makes it more difficult for you to start writing again.
So, acknowledge your human side. Negative sentiments don’t help.
#2 Start with your audience’s reactions
Sounds crazy, right? Well, it kind of is. But it's a great trick – and one of the best ways to reinvigorate your writing when your content looks dull and flat.
Start with the kind of reaction you’d like your audience to have - in other words, apply the popular think-feel-do marketing paradigm to your writing:
Your answers will help you define the mood for the piece, and decide on the key information you need to share. Which is a pretty good start.
#3 Embrace writing formulas
When you don’t feel like writing, the blank page is daunting.
But here’s the thing: you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
Need to write some web content quickly? There are a few copywriting formulas you can use to outline your piece at ease. Stuck on fiction works? Have a closer look at classic story structures for inspiration. You can also start with typical text structures (see below), and select the one that suits your content best.
#4 Spice up your writing space
I get it. You can’t always trade your studio for a stroll just-like-that. It would be nice, but that’s not how life works for most of us. Yet, you can create a refreshing new scenery … straight in your office. Here are a few things you can do to trigger your inspiration:
#5 Write something different
If you’re stuck on business writing, try something different. Find a few writing prompts that inspire you, and craft a short story or two. Maybe it won't be Pulitzer material, but you might come up with an idiom, a joke or else you can use to reinvigorate your "must do" pieces.
6. Chunk it
When your writing motivation is low, tackling large projects is bloody scary. Chunking that gargantuan piece in smaller writing tasks is a good way to get back on track.
For blog posts, you can easily apply this chunking scheme:
You might still need to complete more tasks during the day. But creating sub-steps can help you get back to writing quickly. Also, ticking them off your list is a natural motivation booster!
What about you?
What are your favourite strategies for getting your writing motivation back?
What's your favourite trick for overcoming your lack of inspiration?
Have your say in the comments!