Man laying on floor with notebook over his head experiencing writer's block

How to Overcome Writer’s Block When on a Deadline

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You’ve got a big deadline looming and you feel a little like a deer in headlights. This anxiety is not uncommon and the best writers tap into it to fuel fantastic work. However, even the best of us get stuck in the writer’s block trap when a can’t-break deadline teases us. If you feel trapped and unable to make any progress, follow these tips to overcome writer’s block and find your muse once again.

Write Your Way Through It

If you’re experiencing writer’s block, one of the best ways to break it is just to keep writing. For example, you can:

  • Write something, anything, just to get it done
  • Keep to a strict writing schedule every day
  • Take periodic breaks to refresh your mind
  • Throw away any bad writing you create
  • Use the ideas from the bad writing for the greater good

This last point is so important. Yes, this type of writing may end up being tossed away. However, it can often kick-start the breakthrough you need to break your block.

Get Rid of Distractions

Working from home can be liberating for many people, especially for writers. However, many of us are guilty of letting distractions creep up on us. Although very common, it can be a significant source of your writer’s block.

Turn off the television, put your phone on mute, and focus on your writing. Thankfully, you can always use an array of streaming sources to catch up on any shows you might miss. That kind of instant access is excellent for after you’ve finished your work.

Notebook open on table full of writing and story ideas
Photo by Yannick Pulver on Unsplash

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

As a writer, you have strengths and skills that make you a success. However, it is easy to work your way into a rut yet struggle to find your way out. So from time to time, step back, think about your audience and their expectations for what you’re writing.

For example, if you’re stuck expanding an article and unsure where to go next, think about what your readers need or want to know. This step isn’t always easy to do. As a writer though, you probably have great empathy. You likely know how to step into other people’s shoes and see the world through their eyes. Take advantage of this gift!

Take a Break and Read

There comes a time when all the thinking and planning can end with nothing but frustration. If your writing isn’t flowing, and you’re frustrated, take a break and read. Don’t take too long of a break (that deadline is looming!) but get some inspiration from a writer you love.

Many writers have specific ways with words and express ideas that inspire. These insights can help fuel new concepts into your own work.

Stay True to Yourself

The pressure to bring your A-game to every writing assignment can often be immense. As a result, you might spend so much time thinking about writing awesomely and creating a dazzling approach that you get stuck in your head.

Instead, just write true to yourself and trust your skills. All that planning is typically going to cause you to try too hard and make your writing appear phony or desperate. Instead, trust yourself and your writing ability. You are a successful writer for a reason, and you can tap into your skills to thrive!

Do Your Research

As mentioned previously, while you should always be true to yourself, you must also do plenty of research before you start. Writing by the seat of your pants is never a great idea, especially when writing for a client with strict deadlines.

Do your research, plan your article structure, and then start writing. You might find that this step breaks through your block and gives you access to your innate writing genius.

Follow these simple tips and you can work your way through any writer’s block. A fantastic quote on this subject comes from Lili Saintcrow, who says, “Discipline allows magic.” Regular discipline and consistency can be a great formula to help break through writer’s block.

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