August 2, 2020

Writing anxiety: Is writer’s block a real thing?


Writing anxiety is when a writer cannot write because they cannot think of anything to write about. It happens to bloggers, writers and in general content creators and it usually starts by looking at a blank piece of paper/text document for hours.

Is writer’s block a real thing?

Many people doubt that writing anxiety (aka writer’s block) is a real thing. In their mind a writer is a professional who is gifted with the virtue of inspiration.

This may have been the case in the past with ancient philosophers for example, but now things have changed.

Because now you do not have to write philosophy to be considered a writer. A writer now can be a book writer, a blogger, someone who writes books for kids or a copywriter who writes for other companies.

Why is writing anxiety a problem?

Writing anxiety is an issue almost every writer faces at a certain time, so it is not something to worry about. Then why is it a problem?

It is a problem when someone makes a living out of writing. Because when you are an average writer (i.e. you are not J.K. Rowling) a month of writing anxiety can mean no income for this month.

 Charles Bukowski

Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all.

How to solve writing anxiety

Writer’s block appears in two stages. The first stage is when you do not know what to write about.

The second stage is when you have you found a topic, but you cannot write much about this topic and you are stuck looking at a blank piece of paper.

Below I will give you two ways to fight the first stage and my best way to battle the second stage.

A magnifying glass and google's logo

1. Keyword research

When you do not know what to write about a great practice is to first find out what people are looking up on the Internet.

With this method you input a keyword that relates to your niche into an SEO tool like Ahrefs and the tool will give you all sorts of similar keywords that can trigger your inspiration.

This method is great for two reasons:

  • It will unblock your inspiration by giving you all sorts of keywords that in the end can turn into a writing material’s topic.
  • You will be able to determine through the SEO tool whether the topic you selected is searched by many people and whether other competitors have already written about it.

I used this method to write this article you are reading now.

A forum sphere

2. Forums research

A similar method to fight writing anxiety and find writing topics is to do research on forums like Reddit or Quora.

With this method you visit these digital forums, you narrow down to topics related to your niche and then you try to find questions that people have asked that you think you can answer.

For example, imagine that you found someone on Quora who posted this question: “How to overcome writer’s block?”.

You notice that this question has not been answered yet and so you try to give a short but to the point answer.

Next thing you notice is that other users of Quora stat upvoting your answer and write comments on it.

This means that you most probably know what you are talking about and you can turn this small paragraph into a blog post or even a book!

Quora is also a great place to get free traffic to your website.

3. Content patterns

The next problem takes place when you know the topic you will write about, but you have not started writing any words on it.

And this usually starts by you looking at a blank piece of paper (or text document in your computer).

How can we solve this though?

By implementing something called content patterns.

Scroll up and look at the 3 methods mentioned above and you will notice that I followed a specific writing pattern which is:

  • Image
  • List Item title
  • Text

And so how does this help you stop looking at a blank piece of paper?

With this method you start your writing process by first determining your subtopics (subheadings), then you find an image for those subtopics and finally you write one sentence about what you will write about in each subheading.

After that you can start writing your introduction, but this time you will not be looking at a blank page.

Instead you will be looking at a structured layout that will help you start writing immediately.

Where to start from

The above tips can help you overcome writing anxiety and give you some inspiration about topics that you may want to write about.

However, it is still important that you create content only when you have something important to say.

If you do not have something to say, do not just write because you have to. Otherwise you are wasting your readers’ time when you publish content which is not unique and valuable.

And this is what I did with this article which I published 2.5 months after the previous one.

Your turn

To conclude, do not become a machine that produces low quality content. Use the tips in this post to overcome writing anxiety and write high quality content.

And how do you write high quality content?

By reading books, doing (online) research and talking to people who know more than you do.

Finally, I want to ask you…

Are you dealing with writing anxiety? If yes, what measures do you take to overcome it? Let me know by writing a comment below.

Until next time (when I will have something to say).

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About the author 

Manos Syngarefs

I am a child of God, that loves gardening, growing my own food and trying to live as natural a life as possible. When I feel like I have something to say then I will write an article. I hope you enjoyed this one :)

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