You sit there staring at a blank screen and nothing comes out.
Most days, the words just flow like a healthy river stream. But not today. Today the river’s gone dry.
Sometimes, that moment of frustration is temporary; though it feels like a lifetime.
Other times, a change of scenery will do just fine. It’s enough to get the creative juices flowing and the words to come out.
There’s tons of articles on how to fight writer’s block too. Do they help? Sometimes, sure.
But here’s the thing…
Writer’s block is really just an excuse.
You don’t need an article to tell you “5 ways to cure writer’s block” just like you don’t need an article to tell you “5 ways to lose weight.” If you want to lose weight, you need to diet and exercise. You need to do the work and put the hours in.
It’s the same with writing. There’s no secret formula, or exercise, you just have to do the work and put the pen to paper.
Writer’s Block Is A Myth:
- I have writer’s block.
- I don’t know what to say.
- It’s already been said before, my way doesn’t sound all that interesting.
- No one wants to read that.
All of these are just excuses. It’s what you conjure up in your head to keep yourself from putting the words down on paper. It’s what Steven Pressfield calls, the resistance.
You do too have something to say. You just don’t know it…or you just don’t know how to articulate it. Or you’re too busy judging whether your words sound smart enough.
Writer’s block is a term coined by writers who are too lazy to write. It’s a term used by people who think they don’t know what to say or how to say it.
What you’re experiencing isn’t writer’s block. It’s “the resistance.” That force that causes you to be afraid and lack in confidence in your work. The inner critic.
The inner critic seeks to take advantage of you and your fears. It’s telling you that you’re not smart enough. It’s telling you that your writing sounds dumb. It’s telling you that no one wants to read what you have to say. And so you make the excuse and say, “oh, I must have writer’s block.”
It’s Time To Silence the Inner Critic…
Fact: You have subject matter expertise on a topic people want to learn more about.
That’s why you’re in business and that’s why you have a website (presuming of course you are good at what you do).
If you have a real estate blog, people are coming to your site to learn about real estate. If you have a mortgage blog, people are coming to your site to learn about mortgages and mortgage rates. If you have a bicycle shop and an online presence, people are coming to your site to learn about and shop for a new bike.
Bottom line is, you’re the expert and people are coming to you to learn more about a specific topic. They’re waiting for you to teach them, educate them, inform them…
They want to know everything they possibly need to know to make an informed purchasing decision.
So how are you going to do this?
Turn reader questions into blog posts.
The next time someone emails you a question, blog your response. Think about it, how often do you find yourself answering the same question over and over and over again? Probably pretty often, right? Well, the next time someone asks you something related to your business, publish your response on your website as a blog post for everyone else to benefit from your knowledge as well.
My guess is if you scan your inbox right now, you’ll find a handful of questions worth writing about.
Take pictures everywhere you go.
These days, most people have a smart phone. And most smart phones have pretty good quality cameras built into them. So really, there’s no excuse for you not capturing content on the go.
So say you have a real estate blog. A large percentage of your time is spent out in the field previewing homes, driving potential buyers around the community. Why not capture some good photos while you’re out there? Then, to take it a step further, why not write about your experiences as well?
Did you capture a great shot (or two or three) of the community? What makes this place a great place to live? In fact, I can see the headlines already:
- 10 Reasons [Insert Community Name] Is A Great Place To Live, or
- The Best Schools in [Insert Community Name], or
- The Best Place(s) To Eat in [Insert Community Name]
I know these aren’t market reports and real estate specific data, but in many ways you have to sell the community before you sell the house. People want to know what makes this area a great place to live before they make a purchasing decision on the biggest investment of their lives.
Tap into your social network.
Ask yes/no questions to incite a conversation. Or poll your followers. Take a look at what Zillow does on their Facebook page for an excellent example of this in action. They’re consistently creating discussions among their fans with questions like:
- “Yes/No: Do you have any unfinished projects around your home you plan on completing in 2012?”
- “What’s your strategy when going to an open house? a) Put on my poker face, b) Openly show my like/dislike of home, or c) Other”
- “It’s Tuesday Taste Test! Both homes are for sale for $379,900. Which one do you like? A or B?” (With photos of both homes of course).
Which questions generate the best response? Once you know that, you know what kind of content people are interested in consuming most and that’s what you write about.
What Comes Next?
That’s simple, just do the work. Have confidence. And put the pen to paper.
What questions are people (your target audience) asking, that you can provide answers to?
I can’t write the post for you and it sure isn’t going to write itself.
Real writer’s do the work themselves.
What are you waiting for?