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Is There A Scientific Explanation for Writer’s Block And How Do You Overcome It?

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writer's blockExperiencing writer’s block when there’s a looming deadline is a blogger’s worst nightmare.

Nothing is worse than staring at a blank computer screen after hours of squeezing your brain, trying to come up with words, phrases, and sentences that actually make sense.

When you don’t know what to blog about, it’s very easy to blame it on writer’s block.

Writer’s block–real or product of a writer’s imagination?

Does writer’s block really exist?

People view this differently. For many, this is just an excuse creative people, like writers, use when they feel too lazy to write. These people don’t believe that it’s an actual condition that hinders writers. Others simply think of it as lack of inspiration.

Bloggers, especially those who write a lot of stuff on a regular basis, are more likely to run out of inspiration. It’s not surprising because if you had to churn blog posts and articles all the time, you’d eventually run out of fuel.

When that moment comes, you’re most likely to miss a deadline or turn in a mediocre work that your boss will not love.

And that’s when “writer’s block” is used as an excuse.

But is it really okay to blame “writer’s block” when it’s not even a real condition?

Is there any scientific truth about writer’s block?

The closest thing we can get as a scientific explanation for this condition is the findings of neurologist Alice Flaherty. An article published on ScienceBlogs.com in 2006 revealed that Flaherty did a study on hypergraphia, a condition that causes an uncontrollable compulsion to write (won’t we love that?).

frontal and temporal lobe of the brain where writer's block occursThis condition makes an individual’s brain to overflow with meaning (ideas, concepts, etc.) and causes them to spill the content out by writing. Turned out that this is due to unusual activities in the temporal lobe–the area in the brain responsible for giving meaning and significance to language–that saturates the brain with so many ideas.

This led her to discover some things about writer’s block. During a bout of writer’s block, which is the complete opposite of hypergraphia, an writer’s temporal lobe is in super active mode, meaning there are lots of ideas, but the frontal lobe–the language center–has reduced activity.

That means the mind is flowing with ideas but it cannot, literally, find the words to express them. That’s why you feel you know what you’re going to blog about but can’t think of the words to express them.

While this findings can give us a little insight on what really happens when we experience “writer’s block” it’s still does not provide concrete evidence that it’s a legitimate, mental condition that affects our ability to write.

Regardless of whether it’s really a condition or just a better term for laziness or unpreparedness, we can’t ignore the fact that a lot of us experience that.

We don’t really need to know if it’s something we can use as an excuse to clients when we fail to meet deadlines the way we would when we experience allergies, anxiety attacks, or even flu because it’s not going to work.

Clients are most likely to think that you were plain lazy or didn’t have the time to work on the blog (or article).

Ways to overcome writer’s block and start writing something

overcome writer's blockThere are several ways to overcome writer’s block. That’s the great news.

When you already know what you need to write about but can’t find the words, here are some things you need to do:

Create an outline. An outline will help you plan your blog well. You’ll know exactly what you need to talk about in certain parts of the post. It makes writing easier because you don’t have to write continuously, which is where most writers struggle.

Do a lot of research. Research is the key to any successful blog post. You can’t come up with something worth reading if you don’t know anything about the topic. Look for lots of information. You’re more likely to easily write about something you know much about.

Don’t start at the beginning. Ever found yourself stuck at the first sentence but already know how your body is going to look like? Sometimes, we need to not start at the beginning. The lead or first paragraph is always crucial, which is why it’s always hard to write, and it’s possible that our subconscious is keeping us from getting started because it wants us to compose something extraordinary.

Step away. Most of the time, when we force our brains to spill words it doesn’t happen. One of the most common ways to overcome writer’s block is to step away. Turn your computer off and watch some T.V. Go out for a walk or talk to someone. Play a video game or shoot some hoops. You need to get your mind off it so you can focus more. The idea will come when your mind is relaxed.

In case you have absolutely no idea what to write, here are some techniques that can help:

Come up with a how-to post. This is a sure-fire way to get you writing. You won’t need to do a lot of thinking (creatively). Just present the facts and list down the steps on how to do something. Before you know it. you’re halfway the 500-word requirement.

Create a different spin on a post you find interesting. Think of an insightful post and try to give it a different angle. This works well because you already have a topic and the details. All you need to do is present it in a different way, using your own words.

Stir the pot. Controversy is great for blogs because it engages readers. Try to present a different view on a certain topic. Present an argument. Challenge someone else’s opinion. Since you’re writing about your opinion, it should be easy to do. Just make sure that you don’t come off as offensive. Be objective in your arguments and back them up with information.

Create an infographic. An infographic is great because it summarizes everything you need to say and it does not require you to write lengthily. The key here is creativity. Make sure you can create images that will catch attention.

Make a survey and present the results. This is an effective way to write about something totally unique. And all the data you need is right there. Just ask a question to your audience. It can be about anything that concerns them. Compile the results and come up with your interpretation.

It does not matter what others think of writer’s block because all that matters is how you deal with it. You must learn to deal with it. It should not impede you. You have the power to control your mind and what you can write. Hopefully, these tips can help you continue writing even when you don’t feel inspired.

 

 

 

 

Irwin creates awesome content for various businesses online. He blogs about writing and other stuff, like Survivor. He also contributes for a lifestyle magazine. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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How Do Blogging and Fitness Relate?

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I spend 3 hours daily honing my mental and physical fitness.

In truth, you can and will succeed online following simple fundamentals from a generous, detached energy. No need to be fit to go full time blogging. But if you feel bad because your body feels bad and your mind fears losing it all, have you succeeded? I do not believe so.

I wrote an eBook sharing my daily regimen to explain what many of you readers want to know: how do I do it all? I am no blogging god. I am just human. But I write and connect quite a bit. People wish to know how I wrote 100 plus eBooks in addition to all the other stuff I do while circling the globe. Well, blogging and fitness are 2 peas in a pod for me. Both play a big role if you desiring leveling up and feeling good predominantly as you enjoy the ride.

Blogging and Fitness

Let’s say you wake up on a Monday morning as a full time employee who blogs part time. Feeling terrible and dreading work, why write and publish a post? Too busy. Do it later. Put off the post until tonight. But you feel too tired that night. Repeat this cycle for 3 months. 90 days passed. Still no blog post. Why? You filled your mind with fear and pain. Manifesting as blogging loss, backburnering the post for 3 months indicates fear in mind. Why fear? 100% of the time, fear dominates minds of people who spend zero time on mental fitness, never meditating or doing deep yin yoga or observing their thoughts and feelings. Most of the time, these same folks dominated by their own fears never commit seriously to being physically fit through exercising.

Feel good by caring for your mind and body. Vibe higher than fears crippling most bloggers. Imagine the above scenario with one difference: you devote 1-2 hours daily exercising and raising your energy via mindset training. Devote 30 minutes to power walking and 30 minutes to deep yin yoga. On waking that Monday morning, either a blog post idea finds you and you write the post, or after a few uncomfortable moments and feelings, the idea flows to you and you write the post.

I cannot explain this process logically because it flows 100% emotionally, feelings-wise. Visualize yourself in moments you feel really good. All seems possible. Ideas flow to you. Opportunities flow to you. Why? Feeling good magnetizes you to freeing, success-promoting ideas. Being fit mentally and physically is the easiest way to feel good most of the time. Plus in those moments you feel bad mentally and physically, you face, feel and release the bad feelings, quickly, because you feel mentally and physically fit, predominantly.

Gratitude

Being fit naturally alerts you to the success-promoting idea of gratitude. Gratitude builds blogging success because seeing every penny of income, every blog comment and all interest in your blogging courses feels awesome to you. Feeling awesome inspires you to blog for years generously. Blogging generously for years makes you successful.

Corey at the Good Oil Marketing retweeted my blogging course recently. I feel grateful he spread the word for me considering he is a successful, high level marketer. I feel these feelings and build on my success because I feel grateful. I feel grateful because I trained my mind and body to feel good, through being fit daily, in order to tune into appreciation easily.

Get fit.

Don’t quit.

Be a successful blogger by being mentally and physically fit.

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Why Doing this Works Better than Asking for Business Referrals

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After I released my flagship eBook – How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging – I noticed something neat. My sales increased 12 fold the day I published a guest post for a highly successful blogger.

Seeing this spike clued me in to the quickest, easiest way to increase business: help people for free. Being generous improves skills, increases exposure and expands your business. Greater traffic and profits follow generous bloggers because helping people for free helps you be skilled and see, two qualities in every prospering blogger who reaps sweet blogging profits.

A large set of bloggers goes in another direction. Some ask for business referrals from trusted blogging buddies to drum up business. Feel free to take this route but know referral fishing is an ineffective way to drive profits because of two clear reasons:

  • referral-seeking seems to be time-wasting
  • referral-seeking rarely inspires trusted bloggers to take clear, business-building action, for you

I know 20 plus web developers. A few trusted blogging web developer buddies have reached out to me, seeking referrals. Two issues arise:

  • the referral seeker has no idea if I know bloggers needing web development; non-targeted campaign
  • I already know 20 plus developers, trusted buddies all, so I could never choose one to refer to someone if 20 seem qualified

Top Bloggers Become Ruthlessly Effective with their Time

Versus seeking referral business by asking blogging buddies if they know someone requiring your service, spend 20 minutes to write and publish a quality guest post for a blogger in your business niche. Instead of pitching 1 human, show off your web development skills for free, via a guest post, for 1,000 people. Do you see what I mean? Leverage. Do not ask for business. Serve for business. Although time needs pass and generosity needs inclusion in blogging business-building, helping for free is the quickest, simplest way to increase blogging business because you reach large, targeted audiences of clients with your attention and energy versus asking 1 person for business in non-targeted, ineffective fashion.

12 Times Daily Sales

I recall the day vividly, 5 years ago. I created and launched Blogging From Paradise. Before writing 100 plus eBooks, I wrote one. I did drive some sales through my blog but guest posting woke me up; why not leverage my presence and grow business by helping people for free, via different platforms? Eye-opener for me. Instead of asking, I gave. How easy? Giving freely is the easiest way to get freely. I observed a 12 times daily sales eBook increase for good reason that day: helping people generously through sites other than your blog is a simple way to grow your blogging business.

The simplest, direct, effective way to grow your business is to help people for free. Asking for referrals leads to a client or customer here and there, but full time bloggers are not in the “here and there” business as far as growing your venture. Pro bloggers drive steady profits through their blog by being generous on their blog and on other platforms.

Be helpful for free. Publish posts. Submit guest posts. Run a podcast. Broadcast live on Facebook. Help people for free to help people for pay. Versus untargeted referral-seeking, this is the effective way to grow your blogging business from a generous, genuine energy.

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Why Does It Take Time to Be a Successful Blogger?

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Successful bloggers implore you: it takes time to succeed.

I advise following your fun, helping people generously, trusting the process and seeing the blogging journey through. I mention in my eBook how time saving tips make your journey easier.  But in the same regard, this journey takes time. Impatient bloggers weed themselves out. Generous, patient, persistent bloggers succeed. Sometimes, successful bloggers realize not the time element and how it works, and never explain in detail why it takes time to succeed. Why do you need to be patient? Why does it take time to succeed? I uncovered 3 reasons why it takes time to be a successful blogger.

1: It Takes Time to Practice a Skill So You Become Really Good At It

Today, I can write 10 to 20 blog posts daily if I so desired. I could easily create 20 videos daily.

10 years ago, I could write 1 blog post weekly and feared doing videos, to where, I never recorded videos as a newbie blogger.

Generous practice plus time made me prolific. Nobody gains skills in 1 day. Humans gain skills practicing 1 craft daily for months, then years. I love basketball. A handful of NBA players disclose how terrible they played after picking up a ball for the first time, 5 or 10 years, prior. Patient, persistent practice and time polished their skills to the point they became successful enough to go pro. Blogging is no different. Successful bloggers practice daily for years before being skilled enough to become a pro.

2: It Takes Time to Gain Big Exposure

Gaining big exposure for success takes time. Every creative act expands your presence a little bit more but those little bits add up over time. New bloggers blind themselves to this concept, believing 1 day and 1 blog post gives them successful exposure enough to make money and gain clout. Nope. Time reveals persistently generous bloggers because getting massive exposure requires months to years of generous, patient, persistent service.

No human can begin blogging at 8 AM as a new blogger and land a Forbes appearance by 12 noon. Nobody knows you. You have no exposure. Humans require time to create and connect in enough spots to gain success promoting exposure. Relax. You are on the way. But allow for time and generosity to leverage your presence. Time is required to be seen in many places.

3: It Takes Time to Uncover and Feel and Release Fears

Do you want to know why I wrote this post? I uncovered this reason a few moments ago. I noticed one income stream yield lesser amounts over the 2 days prior and felt a tiny but palpable surge of fear. Aha! I got you. Feeling fear, I released it and proceeded. I blogged for 10 years. I still feel tiny fears if an income stream yields less money, day to day, based on my expectations. But I needed to face this fear to make more money. New bloggers generally have deep fears concerning money, success and freedom. It takes time to feel and release fears concerning making more than $1 a day until you vibe at the $100, $1000 or $10,000 monthly – or more – level of blogging income.

Time unearths fears for feeling and releasing, to reach the next level of blogging success.

Be patient.

Time is a great blogging ally.

All you need flows to you over time.

Generously create, connect, follow your fun and nudge into fears.

Success is yours.

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