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How to overcome writing roadblocks

As business owners, there is always the need to stand out in a competitive environment. One way to highlight your expertise in your chosen field is to contribute articles to business websites and industry publications as well as write regular blog posts for your own website.

An idea for a topic may result in the writing of a series of articles. That same idea may also result in frustration, as you stumble along struggling to find the right words for your article.

Frustration can often lead to anxiety and writer's block if not dealt with appropriately. The more you try to force the 'perfect' article to appear on your page, the harder it becomes. Quite often the pressure we place on ourselves means we become immobilised and nothing is achieved.
Here are six tips to help you overcome those writing roadblocks.

1. Do something else

By taking on a totally different task, you allow your mind to rest and think about the article idea in the background.

(Which means that 'different task' needs to be one that is achievable and will not require too much brainpower). The act of completing that task can motivate you to then focus on your article.

2. Go for a walk

Walking helps to stimulate the brain. This type of activity can have physical benefits whilst generating new ideas for topics or new approaches to your current piece. Walking in a park can relax the mind, strengthen the body and inspire new ways of looking at your topic.

3. Always have a notepad

Make sure when you're taking a break or going for a walk, you have a way to jot down any ideas or thoughts that might come to you (you can use either a physical notepad or a smartphone). Those ideas may be related to the current piece you're working on.

Use a notepad – either a physical one or on your smartphone – to jot down ideas as they come to you. These may be useful for the current article you're working on, or for future ones (having ideas for future articles ready to go is a great cure for writer's block).

4. Outline the key points

Brainstorm what you want to cover in your article. Then organise those points so that there is a logical flow of ideas.

5. Just write

Remove all constraints by allowing yourself to just write. Many writers feel the need to 'get it right' from the outset. What you need to remember is you can edit a first draft – but if you don't have a first draft, you have nothing to work with.

So literally just write … and then let your edits shape the article into something that you want to publish.

6. Wait before editing

Before editing, take a break. Get yourself away from the piece and give your brain time to switch from 'writing' mode to 'editing' mode. (Some people like to write their first draft at night and then come back to it in the morning for instance.)

Writing quality articles does not always follow a smooth path but it is definitely a rewarding one. It can be a great form of exposure for your business with the added buzz of being able to share your knowledge with others. Making the time to share that knowledge will have far-reaching positive effects for your business down the track.

What are your tips for overcoming writing roadblocks?

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Maria Pantalone

Maria Pantalone is the author of Success Talks: Conversations with Everyday Leaders. Maria works with individuals and teams to make communication their strength so that their message is heard. She provides tailored programs in presentation skills, business writing and effective communication as a leader and team member. Maria’s programs help her clients to excel in their role and be recognised as leaders in their field.
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