Unbelievably, Procrastination Cures Writers Block!
I've found a solution of sorts for those occasions when my brain turns to a lump of clay, and I can't get my teeth into writing. Most of my writing recently has been about setting up a successful online business, but the suggestions below will serve well for authors in all walks of life. Read on to learn how procrastination cures writers block!
To make this work, you have to play a mind game with yourself. It's not too difficult, since we all come pre-wired from the factory with a willingness to procrastinate when we're presented with any potentially boring or undesirable task. Take advantage of that mindset to overcome your writers block!
Let the Games Begin!
I start with a blank screen or piece of paper and jot down an idea related to my blog topic in a blank page or post on my site. Certainly there's nothing creative going on. Keyword research is kind of fun, but I'll even put that off for a while. I can cope with just jotting down an idea, even if my brain has taken the day off. I might use a free tool like Title Generator to stir up the gray matter between my ears a bit. There's another similar free tool called Portent's that will only give me one idea at a time – but it's a cheeky, fun tool. Note that I'm just taking some notes, not really writing. I'm just making a list of things I found interesting – and potentially profitable.
Now I'm getting a little jazzed, and take an appealing topic from the ideas that popped to mind above, and begin doing a little keyword research to see what kind of traffic I can expect. I'll only pick one keyword for each page, and optimize the page just for that keyword. Next put my keyword in double quotes (“my keyword here”) and search for it in Google – just checking into one of those interesting topics, wondering who else wants traffic from that keyword. At this point, my brain is completely sucked in, and thinks I'm just searching for some interesting information online, part of my normal procrastination. Ha!
Fleshing it out
I look at the sites Google turns up, and jot down a few of the main ideas from each on the new page I've begun in the editor. You'll notice that there's an outline starting to form here, but I'm still not writing, and my brain is barely aware it's in use. What's more, there's no need to worry about the merits of my little list. I haven't put anything “out there” for others to critique. I'm in a safe spot, just researching.
After I've identified 6 or 8 main ideas to expand on, I close the browser, and begin tossing ideas and thoughts under each of the ideas that make up my topic research. Just fleshing out an outline with some random thoughts, you understand. It's still a draft, and no one can see it but myself, so I toy with it a bit.
The Hat Trick
I can't just leave it like that though. There are sentence fragments, the capitalization and punctuation are all wrong, etc… so I put on my proofreader hat. While I'm at it, I begin tying the bits together, so one paragraph transitions easily to another. Mind you, nothing I've written is “out there”, I'm just proofreading – the same as I would before sending an email.
Now it's starting to look like something – a research paper! Boring!! Off comes the proofreader hat, and on goes the editor hat. Time to put a title on it (an H1 header) and sprinkle some H3 headers throughout to break up the text and draw the eye down the page. Add a picture or two, and suddenly it's starting to look like something! Wait… something else… what was it? Ah yes – the keyword! Is it in my H1 tag? Can I work it into my first paragraph? Done!
The editor is pleased. It's time to push the Publish button.
Time to publish!
Wait! What? It's written? It's out there for all to see?? Perhaps it's not too bad, having come from a lump of clay! I re-read the article, and decide that it really doesn't look too bad – and traffic begins to find its way to my finely written, proofread, and edited masterpiece!
Apparently procrastination cures writers block! I just have to sit down and put a seed on a blank page, then give it a bit of lovin' – fertilize it a bit. I try to keep it healthy as it begins to grow, then step back and evaluate fruits of my labors. Occasionally I'll wander off topic a bit, so I have to weed out those diversions. You'll want to focus on only one topic on your page, and do it well. I also frequently find I've repeated myself when I'm dumping my thoughts into the editor, so I have to prune my plant a bit. I do my best to clean it up so others can clearly see my central theme.
In the end, you will have a healthy page or post on your blog, one which will prosper with very little additional care as time goes on. Your goal is to rinse and repeat 4 or 5 times a week, gradually filling your blog with healthy pages and posts – something your visitors will appreciated and visit often.
The idea of using procrastination as a tool occurred to me after I'd fought with procrastination one time too many. It sounds strange to say that procrastination can be used to help your work ethic, but just go with it. Don't make the same mistakes I made when beginning my online businesses. Procrastination was a big mistake that ambushed me daily – until I learned how to work with it.
Questions or Comments?
Do you have a question or comment about how procrastination and how it cures writers block? Do you have a scathingly brilliant idea of your own that cures writers block? Spell it out in the comment box below and let it fly!