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How To Get Out Of A Writing Slump
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Writing slumpWe’ve all been there–for the life of us we just can’t get up the motivation to write, and it feels like “I’ve written about everything that I can possibly write about.”

If you’ve been submitting articles for any length time you’re bound to go through a period where it’s just plain HARD.

Why do we fall into slumps?

I can think of a few reasons:

  • We’ve been writing in the same way for so long that it just becomes mechanical (and boring) to us.
  • We’re tired (mental health day anyone?)
  • We’ve lost touch with our target market, perhaps working in the ‘back office’ so long that the bond of rapport has deteriorated.
  • We’re not challenged. We’ve reached some of our initial goals and are wondering “now what?”

Whatever the reason, it’s just natural to get into a slump sometimes.

This happens with professional writers too, so consider it a merit badge that you’ve been writing long enough to actually fall into a slump!

How Do You Get Out Of A Writing Slump?

The bright side is that you can get out of a slump rather quickly. You may have been sluggish in the writing department for some months, and then with a change in perspective, you can feel your energy return in a matter of hours.

I’ve been in a writing slump more than once, and I’d like to share with you some of my top tips for rekindling the passion for writing.

Change your word count goal.

If you’ve been writing for any length of time, you’ve probably developed a method of writing, certain rules that you follow whether consciously or unconsciously. By intentionally changing your ‘rules’ you can breath fresh air into your writing sessions.

If you’ve had the habit of writing 700-800 word articles, then change your target to something lower.

Give yourself the goal of writing a 400 word article, a 500 word article, and a 600 word article.

By changing your word count restrictions, you will automatically have to adjust the way your mind works as you write.

This is a method that has worked for me, and I found myself playing the game of streamlining my articles. It’s hard to explain, but for some reason this is invigorating.

The end result article will look very different than what you’re used to seeing yourself create, and that in itself can rekindle some excitement for writing.

I have always tended to stay away from the shorter articles, but now I’m seeing that there are some perks to both medium length (which I usually write) and the shorter ones. I think that my shorter articles are more hard hitting (just the facts, ma’am!), whereas my regular length articles are more elaborate and thorough. There are positives to both lengths.

Remember though: The same quality standards apply for a shorter article as for a longer one.

No matter what your article length, it must provide educational information that is helpful to your target market. I’ve seen some short articles that offer barely any information at all, and I had the impression that the author was just trying to gain the backlink and wasn’t really interested in offering valuable content.

With some thoughtful planning, it is possible to write an informative, helpful, high quality short article (and I classify a short article as being 400-600 words).

And likewise, if your habit is writing short articles venture into the land of longer articles. Flesh out your ideas, challenge yourself, offer more meaty information.

Use a different writing formula.

Do you always write ‘How To’ articles?

Do you always write ‘Top Tips’ list articles?

If we ‘always’ do anything it can get boring after a while. It’s simple enough to change things up though.

Here are some different article formats that I encourage you to try:

  • The interview article: Interview someone in your field and turn it into an article.
  • Reader (or customer) question articles. You’re the expert in your articles, so why not just take a frequently asked question that you get, and turn it into an article? Here’s an example: When Will My Backlinks Show Up In Google?
  • The Top Mistakes article: Sometimes the best way to learn is to see what NOT to do. Top mistakes articles also tend to catch readers attention because they run counter to the popular ‘Top Tips’ articles. Sometimes we’re not so hot on learning new things, but we are definitely motivated to avoid disasters. Here is an example: 5 Popular Reasons Why Articles Are Declined

There are many different ‘formats’ for articles that can change the way you think and get your creativity flowing again.

Don’t forget about ‘How To’ articles and ‘Top Tips’ articles–if you don’t usually write those types of articles, then switch things up and write a “Top 10 Tips…” article or a “How To Do Such And Such” article.

Get CRAZY Ambitous

Are you a ‘one article at a time’ type of writer?

For many years I was–I would schedule my writing days and would easily crank off one article for each writing day.

But recently I thought, “Maybe I can do more. Maybe I can do MUCH more.”

When you start to think like that, you start to get excited.

I started developing writing goals for myself that were much more challenging than I’d ever had before. I started ‘batch processing’ articles (a method I learned from Darren Rowse at Problogger).

Batch processing articles involves writing several articles in one day. I can write 4 articles a day now, and I find that writing successive articles helps me get into a writing groove that enables me to write faster.

And it’s a huge lift to get all of my writing for the month done in just 2 days.

So, get ambitious. Set yourself a goal to write several articles in a day.

If you get into a writing groove and end up producing more than 8 articles, then that’s great–you’re AHEAD of the game for next month.

It feels good to be ahead doesn’t it?

Predictability Is The Enemy Of Creativity

Oftentimes all we need is just CHANGE, any type of change. A change in writing location, a change in the time of day when we write, a change in the type of articles we write.

All of us need a change now and then, and I think you’ll find that you’re back in the groove by just making some slight tweaks to your writing approach.

What about you–how do you get out of a writing slump?

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15 Responses to “How To Get Out Of A Writing Slump”

  1. Thor holt says:

    Stronger coffee! Oh and a 3 month sabbatical trip round Europe and America helped freshen me up to write again ;-)

  2. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Thor,

    Yes, we all need a sabbatical trip (and stronger coffee)!

  3. a colleagial edit: “How to Get Out OF a Writing Slump”

    Write every day. Have/Reflect on peak/unique experiences. Interview others about their lives/journeys. And, of course, more and stronger java and trips to Europe or elsewhere. I’m all for that!

    Thor, Baby, you payin’? ;) Cheers!

  4. Excellent article as always and I enjoy brain storming with friends while at Happy Hour that do not know the topics I write about in articles…gives a fresh look from a different perspective!

  5. Olivia says:

    The timing of finding this article was amazing. It’s just what I needed.


  6. Dean Shainin says:

    This is a no-brainer but I like to remind writers that when you get into profit it can be very wise to outsource your writing because you get much more leverage. I’ve been burnt out for several weeks and get inspired if I know someone else is also helping.

    Thanks for the great article. I’ll forward the link to my members…


  7. Mandy Allen says:

    A long walk in the fresh air – love the other ideas though and will certainly try them out.

    Enjoy the journey.


  8. Elda Titus says:

    You’re right on… and I needed the pointers.. I was in a slump also.. need to look at things from a different angle. Thanks

  9. Naomi says:

    Excellent article! I’ve been suffering from “writing slump” for the past week or two, and this article gives me HOPE that it will once again pass. Of course, my current state of lethargy could be blamed on the fact that summer has arrived here with a bang, and these 100+ degree days are enough to make anyone slump!

    Again, enjoyed this article and will put some of your suggestions to use . . . soon!!

  10. Ricardo A. says:

    Great article!

    Once again, I’m glad to have read this one. Which is one of the ways I find effective in stimulating creative ideas for writing articles, which is read what others have written.

    “Iron sharpens iron” so it is said.

    Of course, the European trips sure sound cozily appealing. But for now, I’ll just take my extra cups of coffee and take some cheap breaks – like taking a brisk walk ;)

    Cheers everyone!

  11. A very comprehensive post about the right attitude and behavior pattern for bloggers! Thank a lot.

    I think developing a regular habit to write for the subscribers is also very helpful. I’d like to insist on this as once people are used to receive your posts in certain frequency or days, they should be there.

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  13. [...] example, I wrote this post (later turned into an article) called How To Get Out Of A Writing Slump and realized that several of the topics included in that article were worthy of articles of their [...]

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