Staring at a blank page and feeling completely stuck? You’re not alone.
Writing can be a daunting task, but the right writing strategies can turn that blinking cursor from an enemy into a friend.
Whether you’re crafting a novel, diving into academic writing, or creating blog content, specific techniques can break the wall of writer’s block.
From productivity hacks to personal growth, we’ve compiled 101 strategies to get your idea off the ground.
Ready to transform your writing strategy?
Let’s dive right in.
Handle Writer’s Block Before It Handles You
If you want to write but can’t, you might have writer’s block.
And although writer’s block is a common problem, it often remains unacknowledged because it’s actually fear masquerading as something else.
So when you have writer’s block, you may mistake it for another problem entirely. And it doesn’t help that some writers deny that it even exists!
But you can’t solve writer’s block if you’re looking in the wrong direction.
The following resources will let you know when you’ve got it and show you how to get over it.
1. Diagnose the real problem and discover what to do about it.
2. Learn how to beat your psychological creative blocks.
3. Draw upon the wisdom of others by reading what famous writers have to say about writer’s block.
4. Control your inner critic by silencing negative voices.
5. Learn what to do when fear takes over.
6. Accept resistance and self-loathing as normal experiences.
7. Try a creative writing prompt.
8. Punch writer’s block in the face with these humorous tips.
9. Give your verbal brain a break and try getting visual.
10. Stop getting blocked by comparing yourself to others.
Boost Your Confidence, Mindset, & Motivation
Mindset and confidence are critical to achieving goals. In fact, many experts believe that mindset is the most important factor of success.
That’s why you can’t afford to underestimate your inner game.
The following resources will keep your attitude working for you.
11. Start by putting yourself in the “write” mood.
12. Give your excuses a reality check with Charles Bukowski’s myths of creativity.
13. Just get over it and accept that writing is hard.
14. Learn how to become a kick-ass writer.
15. Soar past rejection with these Olympian traits.
17. Stay motivated with these practical quotes on the creative life.
18. Embrace rejection and learn why it’s good for you.
19. Use these three steps to recover from creative rejection.
20. Get a pep talk and put that ‘S’ back on your chest.
21. Study how successful writers overcome challenges.
Set Goals, Prioritize Your Time, & Create a Routine You Can Live With
Many writers report that lack of time is their biggest obstacle.
But if you change the way you think about time, it can be created rather easily in most circumstances.
From getting up an hour earlier in the morning, to sacrificing a TV routine for a writing routine.
In other words, it might be time to put your grown-up britches on and take control.
23. Either find the time for writing, or don’t, but stop thinking about it.
24. Learn how to hack your procrastination.
26. Create time with these 6 habits to help you write when you don’t have the time.
27. Add more time-saving tips to your collection with these 5 tips for finding writing time.
28. See how you can find time for large projects (such as writing a book).
29. Build a f***in’ great writing routine.
30. Leverage the power of a morning routine.
31. Get inspired by the daily routines of famous writers.
32. Use science to keep the drama out of your writing routine.
Conquer Inertia & Stay Productive
Productivity is like money — we all want more of it.
Yet, what does productivity really mean?
Put simply, it means that you’re writing at your maximum effectiveness, as you define it.
You have a unique personality, lifestyle, and set of challenges, right? Therefore, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution (no matter what the experts tell you).
So experiment with the following resources to find a good fit.
33. Keep it simple with common sense productivity.
34. Slice and dice your content to maximize productivity.
35. Bump up your productivity with these unconventional tactics.
36. Write more and stress less with the help of The Productive Writer.
37. Find your own personal productivity bible like the Ultimate Writing Productivity Resource.
38. Harness the power of mini-habits to become more productive.
39. Improve your productivity by taking writing seriously.
41. Discover how crazy-busy people stay productive.
42. Get inspired by productivity tips from writers just like you (check the post’s comments).
Anticipate Stuckness & Fuel Up on Inspiration
If you feel like you don’t have any good writing ideas, then you’re stuck.
And while stuckness is discouraging, it’s just another part of the writer’s life.
Being stuck can look suspiciously similar to writer’s block — and writers often confuse them — but writer’s block is a more general, chronic issue that’s psychological in nature.
Stuckness, on the other hand, is a simpler affair.
It usually requires a light nudge to get the ideas flowing again, and the following resources should help.
43. Don’t freak out when you run out of ideas.
44. Discover the seven most effective techniques for creativity (backed by real data).
45. Learn where successful writers get their ideas.
46. Get lots of ideas for brainstorming blog topics.
47. Try these 31 ways to find inspiration for your writing.
50. Open your eyes to everyday inspiration.
51. Try getting inspired by filling in the blanks.
52. Use these clever ways to keep your muse on speed dial.
Crush Distractions & Maintain Focus
There are limits on your time and attention.
Factor in the innate curiosity of a writer and you have an ADHD cocktail hour all day, every day.
The best response is to acknowledge challenges and limits, anticipate the demands, and call in reinforcements.
53. Jolt chronic distraction with this no-nonsense approach.
54. Understand why creativity comes and goes.
55. Read the Focus Manifesto.
56. Get Zen about finding focus.
57. Find focus by going analog.
58. Train your brain to get monk-like focus.
59. Get the self-care advantage with these 4 proven tips to increase focus.
60. Improve your focus with these focus-boosting habits.
61. Try an app to help you stay focused when browsing (requires Google Chrome).
62. Refresh your focus by rebooting your brain.
Build the Right Relationships & Improve Your Communication
Whether someone likes you is more important than whether you know the difference between “your” and “you’re.”
And it always will be.
That’s why communication is one of your most crucial challenges.
You’re expected to build your own audience and affiliates, promote yourself, and develop the strategic relationships that lead to success.
In addition, you need a good elevator speech, just like any other professional. So, dig into the following resources and learn how to be more likeable.
64. Discover how an accountability partner can help your writing and your career.
65. Understand that your personality is your most precious commodity.
66. Learn how to win friends and influence people online.
67. Follow these writers’ tips for getting noticed on social media.
68. RSVP to an intensive, professional workshop like Social Media Bootcamp. (The first broadcast of every class is free — catch free re-broadcasts periodically.)
69. Stay mindful of how to speak to other humans on the Internet.
70. Learn the value of conversational writing skills. Use power words. Pack your prose with sensory details.
72. And seriously. Ditch the snark.
Get Extra Help with Tools, Services & Support
It’s an unprecedented time to be a writer.
Never before have there been so many tools and services. Never before have so many people begged you to let them help you.
From enhancing creativity to getting that first word on the page, the list of services and tools is virtually endless.
But the following are a good place to start.
73. Try a creativity app like OFLOW.
74. Try a program just for writing, such as Scrivener (free for 30 days).
75. Reward your progress with a new kitten picture for every 100 words you write.
76. Use Write or Die to force yourself to keep writing.
77. Create a daily writing routine with 750 Words, inspired by Julia Cameron’s morning pages.
78. Enter a post-a-day challenge like this one at WordPress.
79. Block distractions with Freedom, my personal favorite Internet blocking software.
80. Chill out and write with OMM Writer.
81. Let your audience decide what you should write.
82. Check your writing with the “best grammar checker in the world.”
83. Let the Hemingway App edit your writing to make it bold and clear.
Feed Your Mind with Education & Community Resources
You have another job besides writing. You know that, right?
It’s to never stop learning and growing.
The following are some great online resources for growing as a person and writer.
84. Learn how to stand out by being interesting and smart.
85. Expand your horizons by checking out the latest TED talk.
86. Get a weekly dose of “interestingness” without a trip to the library at www.brainpickings.org.
87. Try a free creative writing class from The Writing University.
88. Practice story-telling and blogging on Medium, my favorite platform for writers of all stripes.
90. Subscribe to Scratch, an online magazine for writers.
91. Find a great writing critique group online.
92. Join offline communities such as local classes, workshops and writing groups. The value of IPR (in-person relationships) can’t be overstated.
Bonus: Personal Growth + Writing = Awesome
Sure, you’re a freelance writer, blogger, and maybe an entrepreneur too. But you don’t live in a vacuum.
After all, you’re probably writing because you want a life full of rich experiences, joy, fun, and love, right?
And the better life is, the easier and more effective writing becomes.
That’s why you can’t allow quality of life to slip through the cracks while you build a career.
That’s so 1995. Do the following instead.
93. Soak up this creative manifesto on art, life, and human relationships.
94. Find out who you really are and what makes you happy.
95. Write for joy.
96. Quit the church of self-improvement.
97. Choose meaning over happiness (so you can feel happy more often).
98. Undo the damage of long writing hours at the desk with these yoga poses.
99. Learn to write even when you’re depressed.
100. Empower yourself to take risks.
Which of These Writing Strategies is the Secret to Your Success?
There you have it: 101 ways to solve nearly every writing problem you might face.
Keep them close to hand, and pull them out whenever trouble strikes.
Or better still, put them to use immediately.
Just ask yourself:
What problems am I already facing as a writer? Where could I use a breakthrough today?
Maybe you need to get unstuck on that half-finished blog post you know your readers would love, if only you could get it done.
Or maybe a simple productivity boost would make the difference between struggle and success.
Or maybe finding the right tool would have the most impact on your writing.
It doesn’t matter where you start, just that you get started.
So pick a problem, then pick an effective writing strategy above.
Creating great content just got a little easier.