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How to Beat Writer’s Block: Part 1 – Working Out Why You’re Stuck

Today’s episode is about how to beat writer’s block. It’s the first in a mini-series of podcasts that looks at how to prevent writer’s block holding you back from making your blog a success. Writer’s block is very common. I get asked about all the time and suffer it too! In today’s episode, I share tips about how you can work out why you are stuck in the first place, along with solutions that will help you move forward. 

Untitled by Garrek Reed on

In This Episode

You can listen to today’s episode above or in iTunes or Stitcher (where we’d also LOVE to get your reviews on those platforms if you have a moment). In today’s episode:

  • 3 types of blogger’s block
  • What to do when you are completely stuck for ideas
  • What to do when you have the ideas but just can’t get into a good writing rhythm
  • What to do when you find you have no problem starting blog posts, but you can never seem to get them finished

Further Reading and Resources for How to Beat Writer’s Block: Part 1 – Working Out Why You’re Stuck

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view
Hi there and welcome to episode 83 of the ProBlogger Podcast. My name is Darren Rowse. Today, I want to talk about Blogger’s Block. In fact, this is the start of a miniseries on the topic of blogger’s block. It all came about because Sally emailed me. Sally shot me an email just a couple of days ago. She asked me this question, “Darren, do you have any tips for bloggers with blogger’s block? I really want to take my blog to the next level in 2016, but I’m completely stuck. Every time I sit down to write, nothing comes, and the more that happens, the more stressed I feel and the less it seems to flow.”

Sally, you are not alone in your blogger’s block. It’s something that affects all of us as bloggers at one time or another and I’ve had many bouts of it over the years. So today and in the coming episodes, I want to share a few different tips and to help you to tackle it from a number of different directions.

You can find today’s show notes at where you can also subscribe to the ProBlogger PLUS newsletter. It’s just a simple newsletter that I send out every week, usually on a Tuesday or a Wednesday, depending on what part of the world you’re in. It has our latest podcast episodes, but also anything else that I’ve produced over the week, including blog posts, periscopes, and other live streaming.

There’s also the occasional promotion of a new ebook that we might be producing or one of our events, but it’s largely just updates of content from ProBlogger. You can subscribe to those show notes. Again, it’s at Let’s get into talking about blogger’s block.

As Sally says, a blogger’s block is something that really does hit us as bloggers at different times. It can be incredibly frustrating and I feel that frustration in Sally’s email. She actually went on to write a little bit more about the problem she was having and I really relate to it. It’s why I put aside the other podcasts that I had planned for the next few weeks to really tackle it because it’s something that I know impacts a lot of us. Particularly it can be frustrating at this time of year when we’re in January and we’re excited about taking a blog to the next level, but it’s just not flowing and we can’t make it flow.

So today, I want to talk a little bit about different types of blogger’s block. In the coming episodes, I want to tackle each one in turn. What I found over the years is that blogger’s block comes in different forms. A lot of people just describe it as Sally did that it’s just not flowing. What I found helpful is to really step back from the blogger’s block and to analyze what’s going on when you’re feeling that because a number of things might actually be happening there. To give you some tips, you really need to know what the problem is that you’re having.

Where do you get stuck in your blogging? It’s the question that I want you to ask today. Where do you get stuck in your writing, in your creation of content? Because what I found over the years is that there are different places that I get stuck in. Some of these might relate to you. I want to go through three different types. There may actually be other places that you get stuck, but simply asking that question, “Where am I getting stuck?” can sometimes be the answer that you’re looking for by just simply identifying that you are getting stuck in one of these areas. You might just find that blockage suddenly is removed or you might find a very simple solution.

Here are three different types of blogger’s block that I’ve suffered from over the years. Like I said before, I’m going to tackle each of these in an upcoming episode of this podcast. I really want to dive into each of these three types and give you a whole heap of different tips on each one.

The first type is where you have what I would call an ideas impediment. This happened to me a couple of years ago. It’s actually happened to me a number of times, probably every year almost as I’ve blogged. It’s where I found blogging really tough because I just kept getting stuck on coming up with the ideas of what to write about. I’d sit down and I get the feeling that maybe this is what Sally is talking about. She says she sits down and nothing comes, no ideas come. This is something that many of us face. The ideas is the struggle. It can be incredibly frustrating.

For me on the last time I had this, a lot of it came because I felt like I’d written everything there was to write on my topic. I’ve been writing about photography. I’ve been writing about blogging on my two main blogs since 2004 and 2007. It’s a long time of producing content. You can feel like I’ve said everything there is to say or everyone else has already said everything there is to say. Just coming up with something fresh and new to write about can be incredibly hard to do. That was one of the blogger’s blocks that I’ve had. For me at that time, the way I broke it, the last time I had it, was to sit down with a friend and to brainstorm together.

There’s one simple tip that you might have is to actually sit down with someone else to get some fresh perspectives on your particular niche or industry. As I say, I’ve got an episode fully dedicated to coming up with ideas. It’s actually the next episode of this particular podcast. Do you have an ideas impediment?

The second type of blogger’s block that I’ve suffered from is hitting the writing wall. This is where you get writer’s block, where you have got plenty of ideas for blogging, but you might find it really difficult to get into the rhythm of actually writing the content. Sometimes you actually have too many ideas. This is something that I struggled with when I started ProBlogger. I just had so many ideas that I just found it really difficult to get into the flow of writing some of that content down.

Another time that I’ve suffered from this, it was because I was trying to write all my content at night. Nighttime is just a horrible time for me to write content. I know for some of you, it’s the best time, but mornings, I produce much better content. You might find that your struggle is the writing. For me when I last had this, the solution was pretty simple. I changed the structure of my working wake around to dedicate a little bit more time for the writing process. I also set myself some deadlines of when I needed to create content by. I work quite well to deadlines.

I also changed what I was writing on. I wasn’t writing on my main computer which is connected to the internet and being constantly bombarded by Skype messages and Slack messages. I actually wrote offline on my other computer and I did it in a cafe where there was no internet. Just by changing some of those things around, I actually was able to get more into the flow. I set up a regular time every morning to get into some of that writing. Now again, I’ve got a whole heap more tips on writing tips that will help you to get into the flow in an upcoming episode.

The last type of blogger’s block that I have suffered from over the years is “completion constipation.” I’m not sure whether that grosses you out too much. This is where you get stuck in completing posts. You might have a serious backlog of unfinished posts that you just can’t get out. I’m embarrassed to admit that this is something that I struggled with over the years.

I remember when I first started ProBlogger, after I got into the flow of writing, I had this problem. I remember looking at my half-written blog posts one day, the drafts in my WordPress to discover that I had 93 half-written posts there. I also had a notebook full of ideas of things that I wanted to write about and text documents on my computer, bullet points of posts. I was starting a lot of stuff, I was coming up with titles, I was coming up with outlines, but I wasn’t actually completing stuff. This is something I know a lot of bloggers also struggle with.

Every time I talk about this one, I ask people, “How many drafts do you have in your WordPress installation?” It’s amazing how many people will come out and say 50, 100, or 200 half-written blog posts. This is where you’ve got so many ideas and so much that you want to say, but you never really complete anything. You’re constantly being distracted by the next idea.

The solution from the last time I had this was to just dedicate a little bit more time each week to completing, to finishing, to polishing, to getting those posts from that half-written state into completion. Again, I’ve got a whole podcast coming up on this particular topic as well and hopefully will help you to complete a little bit more.

The thing I would really want to ask you today is, “What part of the process do you get stuck at?” You might actually find that this is one of these areas constantly is your biggest problem. Coming up with all ideas might be your problem, and it’s just a constant problem that you have, or you might be someone who at different times has different problems.

This is my case. There have been times where I’ve had problems with ideas, problems with writing and creation, and problems with completion. I had to change and adapt the way I spend my time depending upon the problem that I have. Just spend a few moments asking yourself that question, “Where are you getting stuck?” You might just find that by giving a little bit more time and a little bit more intentionality to that particular area that things begin to flow.

Stay tuned for the next few podcasts. I’ve got a really great interview actually coming up with Pat Flynn in a couple of episodes. But before and after that, I’m going to tackle blogger’s block and give you some really practical tips on how to get those ideas flowing, how to get into the flow of writing, and how to get your blog posts completed.

Again, you can find today’s show notes at where I will have some further reading for you and I will update links to the future podcasts that we do. I would also love to hear your answer to that question. Where do you get stuck with your writing? Is it in the ideas? Is it in the writing itself? Is it in the completion? What have you found that has been the most helpful in getting through some of those types of blogger’s blocks yourself?

I look forward to hearing from you and talking with you further on this topic in Episode 84.

How did you go with today’s episode?

Have you suffered from a bout of bloggers block? What variety was it? What did you do about it? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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