Five tips for easing back into writing

Published January 30, 2014

Recently, I’ve noticed a few people lacking motivation when it comes to writing – specifically in this instance about blogging. I thought I’d share a few of my favourite tips on getting back your writing mojo, whatever the project, because it’s a new year and a good time to blow the dust off that keyboard.

I’m not an expert, by any means, but I’ve written and I’ve had writer’s block, and these are the tips that have helped me. If you’re struggling to get the motivation to write, try one or more of these on for size, and see how you get on!

  1. Don’t start with a blank page. Obviously, it’s hard to achieve this because you always have to start from a blank page at some point. But a way around it is to make a list of five topics you might want to write about. Then, go away, think about it and when you return, add in some quotes or links or tiny bits of research you might have found about each topic. Repeat as necessary. Each time you come back to your list, you’re no longer faced with a blank page, but instead have the notes that could get you started on a pretty awesome post.
  2. Switch something around. Maybe you’ve been using the same blog theme for a long time. Perhaps you need to refresh your header. Maybe, like me, it’s time to move on to a whole new blogging platform. Sometimes, just a little change can make things feel fresh and new, and give you a little bit of inspiration to fill the good-looking page with content.
  3. Write like no one is reading. If you’re keeping up a blog online, it’s likely you want people to read your words. But equally, that can be a mental barrier to getting the words out of your head and onto the page. People are actually going to read this? What if it’s not good enough? Instead of worrying about it, write as though no one is going to read it. Perhaps turn comments off. Perhaps publish but don’t plug your work. Maybe even set up a secret site somewhere so that no one really is reading. Whatever it is, it may help boost your confidence that you do know how to write, and that people may actually be missing out on your work.
  4. Start small. You don’t have to be groundbreaking all the time. You don’t have to be groundbreaking at all. If you’re struggling for topics, or worried about what to write, start with something different, unusual, and most of all, not too taxing. Forget the 1000 word essay on the future of microbiology. Why not take a picture, post it, and explain why you like it? Or pick a handful of your recent tweets and expand on them. Perhaps review something you watched/read/played recently. Those items in themselves may then propel you on to bigger and better things. And if not, they’ve at least got you posting again.
  5. Just do it. To borrow from a certain sports company, in the end, you just have to get on with it. The painful part about writing is that there’s no way to solve any of the issues you have without just doing it. Whatever your reason for not writing is, the solution is always going to be to just hit the keyboard and don’t be scared of that publish button. You never know what you might end up with.
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