How to Overcome Writer’s Block
Having been blogging/writing for 8 years, I’ve experienced times when I have a “writer’s block.” You know, when you desperately want to write something, but nothing comes out? When everything you write feels like crap. When you are already behind deadline in your to-dos but your mind isn’t cooperating.
I feel you. In this episode of The Personal Excellence Podcast, I share 7 tips to break out of a writer’s block and get into the flow of writing. 🙂 These tips apply not just for writing, but any form of work that involves creation: drawing, composing, podcasting, video creation, entrepreneurship, software development, etc. Learn
- 7 tips to address writer’s block
- The importance of your environment in writing/creating quality work [2:11]
- What to do when you have an article/topic that isn’t working out [8:33]
- What to do when you’re stuck when writing a chapter of a book [11:31]
- What “filling your tank” is and why you must always do it [14:20]
- What it means to have energy that is “murky” and how to have peak energy instead [15:55]
- The one sure way to stifle your creativity… yet everyone does it all the time! [19:00]
- Difference between (negative) comparison and benchmarking, and why the former is bad [20:44]
- Why 10-time Grammy Award Winner Adele’s music is so hugely successful [24:50]
- How I wrote some of the most popular series at PE [27:34]
- How mega companies like Airbnb and Whatsapp got founded [30:46]
- The increasing noise online and what to do about it [34:56]
- Why you need to make creating easy [37:54]
- One thing that was blocking me from creating in the past year and how I tackled it [37:54]
Addressing writer’s block shouldn’t be about “waiting for inspiration to strike” because inspiration may well never strike. By proactively modifying your environment, changing your mindset and changing your writing approach, you will find that prolific writing is something that can happen right away. This podcast will help you do that. 🙂
If you've found The Personal Excellence Podcast useful, I'd really appreciate it if you can leave a good rating and review on iTunes. Your review does make a difference and it will help the podcast to grow and spread the message of conscious living to the world. Thank you!
How to Overcome Writer’s Block [Transcript]
Welcome to The Personal Excellence Podcast. The show that’s all about helping you be your best self and live your best life. Now, your host, Celestine Chua.
Celestine Chua: Hey everyone! Welcome to the Personal Excellence Podcast Episode 8. I’m Celestine Chua from PersonalExcellence.co.
I hope you are having a fantastic day. I am actually back from Ubud, Bali. For those of you who have been reading PE, I was in Ubud for one month. Fantastic, amazing place. I shared about the whole place, my review, my travel, at PE and you can read my series at personalexcellence.co/blog/ubud/.
Today I want to talk about writer’s block. For some of you listening to this, perhaps you’re a writer or you’re a blogger, or you do some writing in your work, or maybe you just deal with creative output or content creation. Maybe you’re a podcaster, or you create videos, you compose music, you draw, any kind of output. I thought it would be great to do a topic on this because I have been writing for eight years. I started my blog in 2008. Through these eight years, I’m by no means an expert, but through these eight years, I have been through times when I feel blocked in my writing. I know that it can be a very painful experience when you just want to create but you can’t, and then you’re stuck there, trying to get things going, to write something, but nothing’s coming out.
I want to share several tips today that have worked for me. I hope you’ll find them useful. For these tips, I will largely use the example of writing but they are applicable to any scenario. Simply think of the tips in terms of what you’re creating.
1) Be in your flow environment
My first tip is to be in your flow environment. The concept of flow environment is something that I share in my Anti-Procrastination Program. It’s a term that I came up to refer to an environment where you can easily enter your state of flow and that supports you in entering that state of flow.
Flow here refers to a highly-energized, highly-inspired state where you’re in that zone of creating. A flow environment can differ from person to person because it depends on what inspires you to create. For me, my flow environment is tranquil, serene, has light, and gives me that personal space to get into this zone of writing. A huge bonus is if this environment is in a place of nature and I can be right in front of a forest or a garden where there is a lot of greenery. Just seeing all these, it helps me in creating very high consciousness content. That’s because being in nature, it helps me connect with the universe. To remember that there are all these different people out there, and to connect with them in terms of spirit and energy.
As opposed to, say I’m in a very constricted environment and there are a lot of noises, disruptions. It affects my writing in the sense that when I write, I write with no holds barred. I don’t have any barriers erected. What helps me write my best material is by not having any personal barriers, be it mental or emotional.
So if I’m in an environment where there’s a lot of noise or disruptions, this energy and stimulus will seep into my consciousness. This will naturally reflect in my writing. I may feel, okay, I [can] write quite a volume of material even in situations where there is a lot of disruptions. But then when I review it later on, I will feel that this material is not up to par. Maybe there are certain elements that are a bit fear-based, and this fear could be energy that’s derived from the environment that I was in.
So what really works for me is being in nature, being in a place where there’s tranquillity, it’s quiet, and it doesn’t feel congested or tight in terms of the aura. This is why I went to Ubud because I needed to get some peace and quiet away from congested Singapore. My month there turned out to be one of my most productive periods ever in the past few years. I was able to get a lot of material written. I was able to come out with new ideas on what I want to do next and think macro, think long term.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that you get a flight to a different place. I mean, if you can, that would be awesome, in that it helps you with your work, and [if] there’s going to be a very positive return for the costs incurred, then that’s going to be worth it. For me, it was really important that I can get into that state where I can create content for you guys. So, you guys are my number priority.
But let’s say that this is not possible. Then you can look at the area you live. Are there any places that are a fit for your flow environment? Your flow environment can be different from mine. But let’s say if your flow environment is nature as well, you can see if there are parks or quiet places or beaches where you can go to, where there are not so many people? Or let’s say in your own environment, how can you manipulate, tweak, change, your place into one where you can easily get into this state of flow?
The point here is to be aware of what induces you and gets you into this state of flow. And then, to make that happen in your reality such that you can easily get into the flow of writing and creating whenever you want to.
For example, Maya Angelo. Her flow environment is one where she’s by herself. She would often book a solo visit to a very small hotel room, in the middle of nowhere. Nobody knew where she was going, nobody knew where it was, and then she would stay in that hotel room, like the whole day, just writing, scribbling, on her own notepad. Then she would just get so much work written. This was how she wrote her books, some of which were best sellers. And that’s for her.
So different people can have different flow environments. The point here is you want to know what is your own flow environment and then, make it happen.
My questions to you:
- What is your flow environment?
- What helps you get into this state of flow?
- What is a place that would inspire you to create?
- What is a place where you just feel no restraints, no limitations, and you can easily write, create, compose, draw, whatever is the mode of creation that you use?
Then, think about how you can make this a part of your reality. Are there certain changes that you can make to where you live? Your lifestyle, anything you can do to make this a constant part of your world so that you can easily create from now on?
2) Move on if the topic isn’t working out
My second tip is to move on if the topic isn’t working out. I know that there can be times where you are writing something and it’s not just working out. It’s not working out because no matter how you try, there are no words coming out or at least whatever you’re writing they are just crap. Like they are just nonsense and not what you want.
I have experienced that countless times. What I’ve learned is that when you insist on writing something that just isn’t working out, like you have tried days and weeks to complete that material, and it’s not going anywhere, trying to press on becomes a tremendous waste of time.
Sometimes I have an article that I have tried to write for several days, if not weeks, and it’s just not going anywhere. I feel like I need to complete this article before I get to my other to-dos. Because I’ve spent days and weeks trying to write this, it makes me more frustrated and determined than ever to complete this piece of work. And I’ve found that it just doesn’t work out in the end. Maybe I can get that piece completed, but maybe that would take up another three weeks of my time.
Sometimes, if something is not going anywhere, then maybe it’s not just the right time. Of course, this is assuming that you can change the kind of output that you are creating. It’s not like you’re working for a newspaper column that insists that you must complete that topic by a certain deadline. So this is assuming that you can make that call to change topics.
So I have countless drafts in my WordPress dashboard. These drafts are topics that I have tried to cover and it wasn’t really going anywhere. Then, I decided to move on and try a different topic or something else that’s inspiring me or I feel excited to write about. When I do that, I get that vibe and inspiration to write this topic that I have put aside after a few months. When that happens, I will come back and continue that, or sometimes rewrite that entire thing because then I realized, Oh, the direction isn’t where I really wanted to go. That’s why I was stuck with it. When this happens, the completed article is so much better than whatever I had written before. Because there were new experiences that I gained along the way, like from writing some other material or doing some other things. This helped me write that article that I was stuck in.
So sometimes if something is not working out, maybe it’s not just the time to write it.
Let’s say you are writing a book. If you are writing a book, it’s a little bit different in that you can’t really be jumping from one book topic to the next, especially if you already have an agreement with a publisher. What I found is, when writing a book, if it’s a non-fiction book, you don’t need to write it in a linear manner. A book has many chapters. So you can jump from one chapter to the next if you’re not feeling the vibe for a particular chapter now.
This is what I did for my book, 10 Rules of Super Productive People. My first rule is about goal setting. Goal setting, this topic is so overdone in personal development. It was important for me to write it in the way that would resonate with all kinds of people, in all stages of their growth, be it whether they are a beginner or they are seasoned in personal growth. Because of that, I wrote that chapter last in the entire book. I completed other chapters first and this allowed me to get a better overall picture. By the time I moved back to rule number one, which is the first chapter, I was in this position where, Okay, I have a big-picture view of the book. I know how I can write this chapter in the best way that encompasses all the other things that I’ve written.
So here it’s about recognizing that creativity comes from setting as few limits as possible, if not no limits at all. When you try to erect barriers like insisting you must do this and you must do that by this deadline etc., you are setting a lot of barriers for your creative energy to flow. You make it very hard to tap into your true spirit, your own inner energy, and to enter your flow zone, when you’re putting all these guidelines on what you should do, what you must do.
I recommend allowing yourself to have free reign. Allowing yourself to move from topic to topic, to experiment different things, to recognize that sometimes there can just be ideas that you try for a while and if they don’t fit with you, it’s totally okay to move on to something else. That’s fine. That’s part of creativity. There can be things that you embark on that don’t work out, and this is the part and parcel of the process. Along the way, even if you try something and you don’t continue on with it, you actually learn. It all helps you when you create that next piece of material later on.
3) Recharge yourself
My third tip is to recharge yourself. Recharging yourself means honoring yourself. Honoring your needs, making an effort to ensure that your tank is always full. What do I mean by that?
Here, “tank” refers to your energy tank. Let’s say you’re driving a car. A car would have a petrol tank. What happens when you try to drive your car with an empty petrol tank? Can the car move? Of course not, right? The car is only going to be stuck there while you try desperately to try to maneuver the car and then press on the pedal and accelerator and so on.
That’s because there’s no fuel in the tank, there’s no petrol at all. Here it’s the same thing in that we have an energy tank too. This energy tank is what allows us to get by our daily activities, to create output, to get things done. When we have an energy tank that’s constantly low if not zero, we won’t have that ability to do things. We can still force ourselves to get things done but the output may be really low quality.
This is especially important when you’re a creative and creating content. If you are coming from a place where you have lousy, low-level energy, that’s constantly murky — murky because you’re not honoring your needs and you’re doing things that you dislike — that is going to translate into your material.
So here it is important that you honor your needs. Know what are your desires, your preferences, your boundaries, the things you like to do, things that motivate you and inspire you so that you can constantly work on these things and fill up your tank and recharge yourself. This means not pushing yourself to work when you feel very drained, not forcing yourself to embark on projects that you don’t like or you hate, not forcing yourself to do things that you absolutely dislike.
This is different from knowing there are times when you need to do the hard things that may not feel comfortable but are necessary to help you grow. The point here is to work on honoring yourself and your needs so that you’re not walking around with some empty tank and that is going to affect your ability to get things done.
I shared in my How to Say No podcast that I had such a hard time learning to say no and I kept saying yes to every single thing. That just deprived myself of my needs and preferences, like having the space to do the things that I want. In the end, that made me so miserable. This is precisely an example where I failed to recognize my needs and to recharge myself and to fill up my tank. So that was a tremendous learning point.
Subsequently, when I learned to say no, and I shared these tips in my How to Say No podcast, that was the start of me learning to recharge myself and to fill up my tank, which allowed me to get into that flow state, and to do what I love which is creating material for you guys, connecting with you guys, and helping you to grow and be your highest and best self.
So think about it.
- What inspires you?
- What energizes you?
- What motivates you to keep going?
- What do you love doing?
Work on these things. These are what I call the 1-Ups in my Anti-Procrastination Program. When you surround yourself with these 1-Ups, you’ll find that your energy level becomes higher. On the other hand, you want to get rid of the things that drain you, so that you can preserve your energy and use them in the things that matter.
4) Avoid comparing yourself with other creators
My fourth tip is to avoid comparing yourself with other creators. It is so easy and convenient for people to compare themselves with others. It doesn’t matter what field you’re in.
- Maybe you’re a YouTuber and you create videos. It’s easy to compare with those top YouTubers, and just thinking, Wow, they have so many views per video! Why don’t I have these many views or subscribers?
- Or, it could be blogging and you’re looking at other bloggers. Or say you’re a coach and you are looking at other coaches with these professionally-looking websites, where they have this huge team helping them and doing all these different things for them, and everything looks so flashy and fancy.
- Or, maybe you could be an artist and you look at all those professional artists with their professionally produced artwork. They even have accolades and so on.
So whatever domain you’re in, there will always be people who are supposedly the top players in the field. They could be getting a lot of recognition and a lot of views, a lot of popularity. When you look at them, maybe you feel discouraged. Discouraged because maybe you see a gap between the quality of what you’re creating and what they are creating. Discouraged maybe you’re seeing they have so many viewers or readers, so much recognition, popularity, and you feel you have none of that.
Here, it’s important to stop comparing yourself with these people. There’s a difference between comparison and benchmarking.
Benchmarking is seeing what others are doing to get positive ideas to help you create, become better, and to improve.
Comparing, specifically negative comparison, is when you are just looking at other people and from these comparisons with others, you feel negative about yourself. That prevents you from being able to create, to be productive, to continue with your work. This is what I call negative comparison.
You want to stop doing that because creativity, true creativity, is formless. It doesn’t come in an explicit shape, size, manner, or style. When you compare yourself with other people, you box your own style, energy, ideas, and creativity into this box. This box could be whatever other people have defined for themselves (whoever these other creators are).
So when you compare, that is just putting a lid on your own creative energy. Recognize that everybody is different. All of us have our own unique energy, idea, and spirit, that is up to us to express in whatever way we want. By constantly looking outwards at what other people are doing, we are sort of tainting our creative spirit and molding ourselves such that our material becomes more like other people.
Now, this (comparing) naturally becomes a discouraging activity because deep down, our own creative spirit, our own inner self, knows there is this thing that we want to do in our unique way. If we are constantly looking, Okay how can we do this in that way that person is doing, more of out of obligation and fear than inspiration, naturally you start to become a copy of what others are doing, and you lose your natural flair and energy.
This is where I want to share this quote by Albert Einstein: “Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” We don’t compare a fish with a squirrel and then ask the fish why it’s not climbing, right? Because a fish is born to swim! Its natural talents and abilities are to swim. Maybe there is a unique species of fish out there that can climb a tree that we haven’t discovered yet, but the point is that every organism, every being, is different.
It’s the same for you and me, all of us. We have our own unique talents that are just special. It is up to us to harness that and unleash it in the way that is unique to us. So, not compare yourself with others, very important. I think you will find that when you start focusing on yourself, how you want to express your ideas, how you want to deliver your ideas to your audience and the people that you are serving, you will find that you start getting into that flow, and you start becoming excited, again, about what you are doing.
I share more about how to stop comparing and you can check out my guide at personalexcellence.co/blog/comparing/
5) Do what resonates with you now
My fifth tip is to write what resonates with you now. Some of you may have read interviews of very famous musicians, singers, songwriters, who talked about how one of their songs or their albums has been inspired by a particular stage in their life. Those songs and albums would be some of the best selling material of that time.
Adele, Award-Winning Artist
An example would be Adele who is one of the most prominent singers of all time. She has won ten Grammys (as of 2016) and is one of the two singers, besides Beyonce, to win six Grammys in just one night. Adele’s songs and albums have actually been inspired by what she went through at a particular stage in her life. For example,
- Her first album 19 is based on the experiences she had between when she was 18 and 19 years old, particularly about love when she was with an ex-boyfriend. The songs were being about being cheated on, not getting what you want, and so on. So it was a sad album. But the album went on to become a commercial and critical success.
- Then, she released her second album 21 which is based on her experiences at that age, and it explored themes of anger, revenge, heartbreak, self-examination, forgiveness.
- And then, her latest album 25 would be her experiences at that stage of life, and it reflects what she was going through, that frame of mind she was in, including yearning for her old self, nostalgia, melancholia, and so on.
These albums were all based on her experiences then. It wasn’t like she trying to pretend to be someone else or she was creating a material because she thinks this is what people would want to see her do. Rather, all these were based on true experiences, true emotions and feelings. That’s what allowed her to be so authentic in those songs. I believe this is why it resonated so strongly with people, and all her three albums have been critical and commercial hits.
So when it comes to creative work, know what resonates with you. Because as a creator, you need to know your inner muse. You need to know yourself, first and foremost, to create great material. Instead of forcing yourself to create things of a particular topic or create work that looks a certain way because you think this is what people want to see, start by focusing on what resonates with you first.
Some of the Most Popular Articles on PE
For example, one of the most popular series on PE would be my fasting series. This series based on my 21-day fast back in 2011 where I didn’t eat anything, I didn’t drink anything, and I just documented my experiences, how I felt, my revelations, and so on. After that, I followed up on that series with my review of my 21-day fast and tips for fasting success.
Now, what led me to write about that series or embark on the fasting experience? It wasn’t because I knew or thought that fasting would be popular. The thing is you wouldn’t know what is popular until you have written something and then you see the results for yourself.
Rather, I was just randomly reading online and I came to know about fasting and how it is possible for the human body to survive without eating any food at all. I was really amazed by that because I was raised in this society and culture where you’re conditioned to think that you need to eat every single day or you’ll just die. So that was my conditioning when I was young. So I was really amazed by the fact that it’s possible to survive without food. Then, I read up very thoroughly on the subject and realized that there are just so many other benefits to fasting. As someone who is passionate about growth, I just wanted to embark on it as an experiment, just to see how it is for myself.
And then I thought, Since I’m doing so much research and since I’m really going in deep and I want to do it for 21 days, why not share the experience with others? As opposed to trying to write on some other topics at that point, it is best to share my experiences live as I’m going through it. And the series turned out to be one of the most popular series.
I have another series, which is my soulmate series, and it’s about how I found my soulmate. There I share my experiences of love, of how I met Ken my husband, and just how we got together, and how we eventually got married and everything. Because at that point, I was going to get married. So I thought it would be nice to reflect on my love journey before I walk into the stage of marriage. This turned out to be again, another one of the most popular series on PE. Because I guess, many people like to learn about love stories and how people come to know each other which is something that I’m very passionate about myself.
The same for many of my articles. Oftentimes, I write about a particular topic because this is resonating with me now. Because if I’m experiencing this issue or problem, or I’ve found the solution to overcome the situation, I am sure there would be tons of people going through this problem and they would benefit from the solution.
So notice here it is about tapping into what’s resonating with you now. When you are working on something that is resonating with you, it could be a problem or an issue that you’re going through now, that becomes so much easier [to create].
How Airbnb and Whatsapp Started
It applies even to entrepreneurship. For example, Airbnb. It is a hugely popular site that helps people find lodging, be it a simple one-room apartment or an entire apartment rental, Airbnb can do that for you. So Airbnb is making hotels have a run for their money.
How did the idea of Airbnb come about? It came about from the two co-founders who went through this problem of not having rent, to pay for their lodging in San Francisco. They thought, Why don’t we rent out our living room to some guests and provide them with a bed and some breakfast and then earn some money out of that?
So they did that. They had three guests and then they earned some money which then helped pay for the rent. That got them thinking, Hey, maybe there is some market for this. If we are in this situation, surely other people are in this situation and they have some spare capacity in their homes that they can rent out for some money. And they did that. Of course, that were trials and tribulations but Airbnb is hugely successful now and it’s pretty much the go-to place when people are going on holidays and they are looking for accommodation of a certain high quality and doesn’t have to be expensive like hotels.
Another example would be WhatsApp. Personally, I don’t use WhatsApp and I really dislike it because I think it’s very invasive. But it is one of the top communication apps today besides the Facebook Messenger. It is very useful because you can make calls be it locally or overseas without having to pay for roaming fees because it uses internet for the calls as well as the messages.
So how did the idea for WhatsApp come about? Well, the founder, Jan Koum, he was inspired to create WhatsApp after having lived on welfare when he was young. He went through days when he and his Mom, they couldn’t afford to call his dad in Ukraine. This is very simple but real problem which I’m sure many of us experienced years ago before all these communication, technology came about, when we wanted to call someone overseas, but then there would be all those expensive fees and we had to limit our communication.
The point here is that when it comes to creativity and creation, it doesn’t have to be complex. It can be just something that you’re going through now like a problem, a situation that you’re experiencing or an insight that you’re having now, and using that as a source of inspiration. It can be very powerful as opposed to trying to crack our brains to think, What is it that would be so powerful, so awesome that would be life changing for everybody?
Of course, this thinking is important. But if this thinking is causing you to be in this rut, where you can’t create anything or you’re stuck in your writing or podcasting or video creation or songwriting, that’s not helping you at all. So think about it:
- What is something that you’re experiencing now? What is a problem that you’re going through? What is an insight that you just gained in the past week or weeks?
- How can you incorporate this into whatever you’re working on now? How can you create material that resonates with you, that really connects with you?
Use this to inspire you to create new things. You’ll find that material that’s created this way is so much easier and intuitive, even effortless, as opposed to trying to force yourself to work towards a particular direction, when it may not connect with you.
6) Focus on the audience you are writing for
My sixth tip is to focus on the audience you are writing for. With the internet these days, there’s just so much noise. This noise can be just random chatter that is inconsequential or it can be criticism, negative criticism, everybody having an opinion, a negative opinion, and feeling like they need to make that heard. So this is different from constructive criticism.
I have an article on PE about empty vessels. This article is about how the times when we feel very conflicted or bothered by certain comments that people give. And then we change our existence and revolve it around all these critiques we get. It comes to a point where we can feel very bogged down, flustered. We feel like we need to change everything just to make certain people happy. In that article, I share that, sure, there will always be people who have certain loud comments that are critical. It’s important to remember that these comments reflect a very small minority of the population. Just because these comments are articulated, they are loud, and maybe they are even hurtful, it doesn’t mean that they are the most important comments that you need to prioritize.
So if you have been receiving critique, negative critique, maybe from your co-workers or friends even, and if you have an audience, from your own audience or maybe from certain clientele or dissatisfied clientele, it doesn’t necessarily mean that their opinions represent everybody’s opinions. Rather, focus on the audience you are creating, writing for. If you don’t have an audience yet, like maybe you are just starting in your path of writing, composing, or business, whatever is the work that you’re doing, imagine:
- Who do you want to create for? Who is this person?
- What are the problems that he/she is facing?
Focus on these people because these are the people who need you. These are the people you are creating and for, and it doesn’t make sense to clutter yourself with all the other noises when those people are not even who you want to reach out to. Think about who is your audience. Then, when you’re creating that piece of work, have them in your mind and use them as your inspiration as you are creating that material.
7) Make it easy
My seventh tip is to make it easy. It shouldn’t be difficult. Especially when this is something that you have to do regularly. If you feel like this is so tremendously difficult and you have to push yourself to do it every day, something is wrong. If you have to push yourself to write a blog article, every day, then something is wrong.
Because the writing itself — it’s not like it should be peachy easy like ABC. Of course, there would be certain barriers that you have to go through, like for example perfecting/improving your writing skills, and so on. There should be obstacles. But if it is so incredibly difficult that it is a painful process each day, then something is probably wrong. You need to review your process and see whether there are certain fundamental issues making it difficult for you to create.
So for me, in the past period, I’ve been feeling pretty blocked in my writing. After I dug into it, I realized there were two big things.
One thing was my environment was off, it wasn’t helping me in terms of creating. That’s when I went to Ubud and I got the inspiration to create. I’m also now evaluating with Ken, if we can make certain changes to help me create prolifically.
The second thing was… PE’s articles, every article is sent via newsletter. Because every single piece of content is sent out via newsletter, which is in email format, I realized that I was hesitating publishing content. I became really specific about how often I should send out a newsletter, when I should create new content, and so on, because I’m worried about sending out too many emails and potentially overwhelming my subscribers. That just messed up my whole creative process.
What I should be doing is to prioritize the creation process. So it means, if I want to publish a new article on PE every day, go ahead. If I want to publish every other day, go ahead. Now of course, on the other hand, it’s important that I do not flood my subscriber’s emails. Something I’m considering is to only send out specific pieces of content via newsletters. And then maybe send out a summary digest like once a week. That would solve my concern of not flooding users’ emails.
Here what I’m doing is simplifying my thought process with regards to creation. First and foremost, writing for the blog. For the newsletter, I can set up that separate process. That really helps me because now I can focus on the key thing, which is my audience, the people reading PE. What they are looking for, how I can help them, and so on.
So for you, think about your creation process.
- Do you find it extremely difficult to create?
- If that’s the case, ask yourself, why? Why is it so difficult?
- How can you approach content creation such that you are able to easily create quality material on a weekly basis or even a near daily basis?
Maybe this requires you to re-work how you’re doing things. The point is to make it easy. Make it as easy as possible such that it’s easy for you to do it and to want to keep doing it.
Let’s say you’re creating a video and you are doing so much editing work that it makes you not want to create anything at all. If that’s the case, maybe the solution is to cut down on editing. Record your videos in the way where editing is very minimal. Or, work with someone else in the editing so you can be just recording and then there could be someone who helps you edit and then both of you can work together.
So questions to ask yourself: Are you overcomplicating the creation process? And can you make it easy?
Complicating processes is something that perfectionists are so good at doing. If you feel like you are a perfectionist, well, I have a perfectionism series, How to Overcome Perfectionism, and it’s a three-part series that you can check out at personalexcellence.co/blog/perfectionism/. There I share signs to tell if you are a perfectionist, the downsides of perfectionism, as well as eight crucial tips to overcome perfectionism.
So we have come to the end of today’s podcast. I hope you have found it useful.
Think about how you can apply these tips to help address your writer’s block. I know it can be really tough when you are going through a writer’s block as I have been there myself too. As long as you work on removing the barriers that are preventing your inspiration from emerging and to tap into what inspires and excites you, it becomes easier and easier to get into the flow of things. And each writer’s block that you experience, it really helps you understand yourself more. It helps you become better at your craft and your work. It helps you in your creative journey as you move ahead.
So don’t be discouraged. Know that it’s normal to have writer’s block. I have that myself, too. I hope you can break out of this funk and this rut soon.
If you found today’s podcast helpful, I would really appreciate it if you can leave a review and rating on iTunes. Every single review means a lot to me and it really helps others know about the podcast.
So thank you so much and I look forward to talking with you guys in the next episode. Bye guys!
End Note: Thanks for listening to The Personal Excellence Podcast. For more tips on how to live your best life, visit www.personalexcellence.co
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- How to Say No [Podcast]
- Why You Should Stop Comparing Yourself With Others (and How to Do So)
- My Fasting Experiment
- How to Find Your Soulmate (series)
- How World Icons Got their Ideas and Inspiration [Infographic]
- Empty Vessels Make the Most Noise
- How to Overcome Perfectionism (series)
- Why I Got Depressed Writing My Book: Your Guide Through Development Hell