How to Overcome Writer’s Block with Gibberish
Then again, maybe writing is a magic power. If it is, then you can consider this technique a magic trick.
I Needed a Writer’s Block Cure
For the last 8+ years, my career has involved lead generation in one way or another. Whether I was building marketing funnels, writing a proposal, or creating Facebook ads, I had to write. And I always hated the writing aspect of marketing.
That was tough because marketing involves a lot of writing.
Staring at a blank page, trying to think of what to say (and how to say it). I ended up procrastinating time and time again, and it often got me into trouble.
I needed to know how to cure writer's block.
How I Beat Writer’s Block
Then, a few years ago, I made a discovery. It was during a writing gig for an online publication. Once a week, I would write an opinion piece on some timely political issue. At the time, I was very busy with law school. I wasn't able to keep up with the news on a regular basis, and I didn’t have much time to write.
But I needed the money, so once a week I would sit down and write an article. And I always started a few hours before my deadline, so the pressure was always on.
I had an Audible subscription at the time, and a book called Accidental Genius caught my eye. It's a book by Mark Levy that introduced me to an ideation technique that has made writing a breeze ever since.
The technique isn't new, but Levy explained it in a very in-depth way that motivated me to try it. Now I want to tell you how to use it in your writing.
What You’ll Need
How to Get Over Writer's Block
The technique is called freewriting. Basically, it's just nonstop writing without editing for a set period of time. It sounds simple but it actually takes some getting used to.
Here's how you do it:
It’s a simple process, but you have to stick to the rules:
The goal is to produce a large amount of raw content that you can sift through for inspiration.
If you find yourself running out of things to write, write that. Or write gibberish. Or repeat the last word you wrote over and over again again again again again again again again again.
How I Do It
When I’m trying to create great content, I like to do some research first. Nothing crazy. I just Google around, skim some Wikipedia articles, etc.
Basically just throwing ideas in my head that I can bounce around during freewriting.
After I’ve done that for about ten minutes, I’ll start freewriting. Like I said, I usually work in twenty minute blocks. I’ll freewrite about my research and anything else that comes to mind.
When the timer goes off, I’ll sort through what I have to separate the wheat from the chaff. This means combining anything repetitious and deleting anything irrelevant.
I may have to repeat this process a few times before I’m ready to start writing (depending on the subject matter and other factors), but it hasn’t failed me yet.
What’s So Great About Freewriting
According to Levy, freewriting does the following:
1. It acts as a problem-solving tool, which helps them think through business problems.
2. It serves as a tool of thought leadership, which enables them to write one-of-a-kind books, posts, speeches, and anything else they need to stand out.
You silence your inner critic and blow past any psychological barriers that would try to get in the way of your writing. That way you get a head start on any obstacles to your content creation.
In other words, you’ve got a couple pages worth of writing done before writer’s block has a chance to put its pants on.
Granted, the majority of your freewriting won’t see the light of day. But you’ve scored a major psychological victory that will carry you through to the end.
If it doesn’t, freewrite some more!
Just Try It
Since then, I’ve continued freewriting. Not only for writing, but any time I’m struggling to solve a problem or come up with an idea. I use it to come up with innovative ideas at work, to solve personal problems, and to clear my head.
Give it a shot! Even if you’re not a writer. Even if you don’t have any problems to solve. Sit down for twenty minutes and write whatever comes into your head. See what happens.
Roy Harmon is the founder of Advertoscope and a lead generation professional with over 8+ years of experience.