broken pontoon boatThe team at CEM recently celebrated the company’s third anniversary by getting together to meet one another and enjoy a relaxing weekend. I must say, we had a blast! Perhaps one of the most memorable moments of our trip was the day we spent cruising the waterways of the Gulf of Mexico on a pontoon boat. Everything was going swimmingly until our boat decided to protest our day of fun by breaking down in the middle of the ocean.

Fortunately, the team at CEM is a resilient bunch who laughed off danger and patiently awaited our rescue vessel. This hilarious event got me thinking about some of the struggles writers face when creating content day in and day out. Sometimes, you just can’t think of anything to say. So what do you do when your creativity has gone kaput and you’re floating in the waters of uncertainty? Here are seven life preservers to use the next time you’re feeling stranded.

  • Change your scenery. A good way to relax your mind is to change your scenery. This can include going for a walk, driving to your favorite coffee shop, or taking a 30 minute break to watch your favorite show. Relaxing your mind is a great way to get the ideas flowing.

  • Life’s a pitch. It’s much harder to think of a topic when you have to write something. Instead of waiting until you have a deadline to meet, try thinking of topics during everyday life. Are you making a new recipe? Visiting a new place? Dealing with life problems? Keep a notebook with ideas handy for days when you’re feeling stuck.

  • Ditch perfection. I’m someone who is guilty of wanting to be perfect. In reality, it’s just not possible. The desire to achieve perfection can hinder your ability to let the creative juices flow. Remember, you can always edit later.

  • Check the competition. Can’t think of anything to write about? Check out the competition. What are they writing about? What is their audience responding to? Will your audience feel the same way? Keeping tabs on trending topics in your industry is a fantastic way to find ideas.

  • Wander off. Sometimes reading industry-related material just gets boring. There, I’ve said it out loud. The truth is that it’s okay to look elsewhere for topic ideas. It could be that those old magazines and books have an idea lurking amongst the pages. You never know unless you look.

  • Break the rules. We all know that content comes packaged in a standard format. There’s a beginning, a middle, and an end. To add complexity, each type of content comes with different recommendations for engaging the audience. When dealing with writer’s block, it’s okay to break the rules. Do you know how to end your post but not begin? Fantastic! Write what you know and work the rest out later. Before you know it you’ll be finished.

  • Reinvent old content. Updating old content with new information or expanding upon a point made in a previous post is a great way to escape the clutches of writer’s block. You’ve already laid out a set of ideas; you just need to add a different perspective to make it new again.

How do you overcome writer’s block? Share your tips with us!