I’m a riffer. I like to riff. I like to sit down at my keyboard and just kind of freestyle, and write what comes to me in the moment.
Then I read what I wrote. And a lot of the time, I hate it.
Riffing can be fun. It can be easy. I’m actually riffing right now – I had the idea for this post while eating a bowl of special k and got so excited I dropped my spoon. I swear. And I ran to my office and I started writing, and, hey, so far so good, right?
But then there are those other times. Those times when I sit down and start writing, and suddenly, I forget what the &%$@ I was trying to say. So I look at what I’ve already written, hoping it will provide some sort of clue, and it all sounds like a bunch of nonsense, or self-indulgent crap, or insert-your-own-insult here.
And I find myself totally and completely blocked.
Now, as a lot of you already know, there’s a thing I do when I get writer’s block, and it generally works pretty well. I even made it into a special, FREE guide you can download HERE and use yourself.
However. As great as the guide is – and it is super, super great – it isn’t completely foolproof.
Because it doesn’t work if you don’t really know what you’re writing about.
A few weeks ago, I tried to write a blog post that was basically along the lines of, “Can you really call it writer’s block if you don’t even know what you’re writing?”
And I got blocked. So I never finished it.
(Until now, I guess…)
So now we’ve at least identified the problem. But what can you actually do to break through writer’s block when the normal stuff won’t work?
I know what I will do next time – because that’s what I figured this out in the middle of a bite of Special K.
The next time I get writer’s block when I don’t know what the bleep I’m writing, I will…
…Write an Outline.
To be honest, I’m kind of shocked I didn’t come up with this sooner. My primary job, besides writing stuff about writer’s block, is writing books and – and here’s the important part – coaching people through writing their own books. And when I coach people, the number one thing I tell them to do, before they start thinking about titles or designing covers, is to WRITE AN OUTLINE!!!!!
Why? Because an outline is like a map that keeps them from getting lost. If they ever feel like they don’t know what to write next, all they have to do is look at the outline and it should be right there.
So. Wouldn’t the same principle hold true with something smaller? Like, say, a blog post about writer’s block???
I’m about to finish this piece. So that proves that it did. And I’m betting it will work for you too.
(But if it doesn’t, let me know – I may be able to help.)