Tips to overcome writer’s block

Have you ever faced a situation where you don’t have enough topics to write on your blog? Or even worse – you have a topic in mind, but don’t have enough stock information to get started and expand it into a decent post. And finally the worst scenario – there’s no motivation or drive (internal or external) to continue posting!

Writer’s BlockIf the above description explains your situation, you are suffering from what is known as the ‘writer’s block’. I had written a short post sometime back on using the skribit widget to get rid of writer’s block. In this post I would like to share some methods that I personally use to keep writing continuously – well, almost.

How and where to find topics

There are a number of sources from where you get inspiration and find next set of topics to write about. The following are some of the sources that really work for me:

  • Forums: Forums are great places to get inspired and I can give you my word on that. For a list of webmaster, technology, online business and blogging forums, please read this post on high page rank forums. You may need to actually sign up and be active in two or three forums, that deal with your niche area, to effectively use them as sources of ideas
  • Other blogs in your niche: All big blogs in your niche plus ten or fifteen emerging blogs would form a good source of ideas
  • Sign up with news letters of major niche players and echo system partners: For example, if you are dealing with a Make-money-online blog, you need to sign up with major ad networks, affiliate agencies (say Google, YPN, Commission Junction) etc to receive updates from them. What they communicate to you, could be your next post topic and hence don’t blindly opt out of any free newsletter
  • Try to carefully analyze the comments: If you read between the (comment) lines, you will get to understand what your readers really like and build more on such topics. Even following comments on other blogs can be inspirational. Also, while commenting on other blogs, just think whether whatever you are commenting could be the crux of your next post!
  • Google Analytics: The topics related to the most popular posts and more page views are what you need to write more about. So do not forget to do research your GA data
  • Twitter: I do not tweet extensively, but of late I have started following and reading some good bloggers’ and online friends’ conversation. If you evesdrop you will definitely get to know some hot (and cool) topics to write about
  • Other than the above sources any other media like TV and radio can also be great sources to draw inspiration from
  • Reading is the key: Usually you need to read a lot (Newspapers, magazines, blogs…) to write a little – say 90% reading and 10% writing should produce the right balance!

Keep your raw-materials ready

Once you have several topics with you, instead of keeping them in your mind, you may need to store them somewhere. I keep a little text file that has all my short listed topics (sometimes even actual future post titles). This text file even has the list of topics stored according to the cateogories – categories being your actual blog categories.

In addition, I keep a Microsoft word document that has the next couple of topics to be posted in a draft form. This document also includes drafts and already posted articles (as an additional backup mechanism, just in case). My drafts usually include bullet points, reference site URLs and subtitles.

I also keep pictures, logos etc that might support my future posts in the same folder where the above two documents reside. Now when it is time to post the stored drafts, all that takes me is roughly 45 minutes to 1 hour to expand the idea, proof read it and post it on to my blog. I hope many of you are using similar processes for your blogging activities, as well. If not, please try it out – It really works for me!

Time management

How do you prepare for a day where you have no mood to write anything new or don’t have enough time? Very simple, whenever you have time (e.g. weekend) to browse around and edit, you keep stocking your topics, keep adding bullet points to your drafts, and keep expanding one or two drafts into posts. Fortunately, the WordPress platform allows the posts to be scheduled so that you can even plan for the next three or four posts. It is always ideal to be ready with at least the next two posts that will appear on your blog. The only reason to change the schedule is when very important announcement posts need to be posted ahead. This happens very rarely.

Having the posts prepared and scheduled, also gives you a lot of time for other editorial-webmaster related activities such as comment moderation, ad management, replying to emails etc. It also saves your blog from being ignored during your vacation or illness time or other emergencies.

Other ways to save time include the delegation of tasks – such as comments moderation, proof reading, searching and finding related topics, preparing images etc. In this regard, I get a lot of support from my wife who is a co-author here as well.

If none of the above works…

On a real bad day, if none of the above tips work, try to come up with a filler post or a five-minute bail-out post. Opinion posts or survey posts can be great fillers that can keep the readers really engaged as well. However, it is a good habit to keep even opinion post topics in your little text file of topics. And it is not a good habit to come up filler posts too frequently!

Hope these tips were of help to you. Please do not forget to bookmark this post using the links below if you found it interesting!

Happy Blogging!


  1. I often take a browse through article directories to destroy my writers block.

    Danny Cooper’s last blog post…November Case Study – Blog Contest!

  2. Comments can be a really good source of inspiration. Whenever I come across an idea from anywhere I make a quick draft in WordPress with a link and a little bit of info. I currently have over 70 drafts – I won’t end up writing about all of them but it usually keeps me from not having something to write about.

    Kim Woodbridge’s last blog post…Share Your Blogging Workspace

  3. I read comments and post from all over. I always like the fact the way others percive things and gives me the creativity to come up with something along the lines on someone elses suggestion or thought.

    Bruno Auger’s last blog post…Link Love for November 2nd

  4. Nihar :

    Very good points covered. I will try to follow some points mentioned above for my future posts.

    Nihar’s last blog post…October 2008 Blog Traffic & Income statistics

  5. @Danny, Article directories are a great sources to get ideas as well

    @Kim, With 70 drafts (and if most of them get to see the light) you could peacefully take a couple of months off for a long vacation :) You are definitely armed well to face the challenge!

    @Bruno, that’s a great habit to have – I mean to read through all the comments all over so that you won’t miss any connecting point – and moreover you get new topics as well

    @Nihar, thanks for the compliments – getting organized with respect to time & available resources definitely help us bloggers

  6. I’m usually ok for my blog. Maybe ‘cos I don’t update it everyday. However, as you know, I had a recent bruhaha with my freelance writing. A deadline was staring me straight in the face and I was seriously stuck. If I was honest, managing my time a bit better would have helped, so you do have a point there. Writer’s block can be all the more stubborn when you’re under (time)

    Thanks for the post.

    take care…

  7. Well said. i use some of the points u wrote above and i m making notes of the others. thanks for helping to improve my knowledge base.

    Atul Sharma’s last blog post…Elisha Cuthbert Wallpapers

  8. @2TP, I wouldn’t call yourself not blogging frequently as writers block. Because you are having other major priorities like your online freelance writing… But from your comment, it seems like once in a while you get stuck as well :)

    @Atul, you are most welcome! It would be great if you could share your experiences as well…

  9. Kurt :

    Its also a fact that on some day we can get an overload of idea to write. So the best will be to write drafts of these on the same day and then later develop them when you have a writer’s block.

  10. @Kurt, yup, keeping several almost complete posts will help… (See above: Kim, has as much as 70 of them!)

  11. moserw :

    Very good post Ajith. I have found keeping myself updated by reading news, technology news, other forums, etc. is a must indeed. You really have to read to write, that much is so true. I did write on this topic a while ago at blogger’s block – ways to deal with it and overcome it.

    Taking a break and catching up on a personal hobby such as reading, catching up on a movie, just heading out for a drive, window shopping etc. also pretty much help out. When you are down with a block, you cannot really force good content out of yourself. I have found taking a break and doing something different is better and then you can get back to blogging when your heart is in it.

  12. @Rajiv, thanks for linking your post which talks about a few more dimensions of writer’s block… I read it with a lot of interest and recommend the same to other readers as well.


  13. I found this writing tool the other day that allows you to set a word count and time limit. Then it goads you to keep on typing. I used it the other day to break my writer’s block. I always have to have a few methods to get myself writing again, because nothing works all the time. The tool is called Write or Die:

  14. @Stephan, it is a pretty useful tool :) setting the timer will definitely push you to achieve things within time. Thanks for sharing it.

    Being a programmer I have a different issue with respect to such tools and editors. As and when I keep typing in I add my HTML tags as well (to link URLs, images, to format with blockquote, bold, h2, h3 etc). So by the time, I finish typing in 200 words as reported by such tools, Actually I would have completed 150 or so… Perhaps, it’s my problem. I should type in everything first and then format I guess.

    Cheers, Ajith

  15. Meghna :

    Very well written and you have covered all points. It is interesting to see what methods people use to overcome the writer’s block and we get varied techniques. I’ll be trying some of these in my posts. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Thanks Meghna. I liked your recent guest post that dealt with this topic as well. Pasting the link here for others’ reference!

    Writers Block exists no more!

  17. I like to do an exercise called idea mapping. I draw a circle in the middle of a piece of paper and right the name of my site in it. Then I draw circles around the main one and write in the main categories of my blog. I then start thinking of topics within each category. I have six categories on my blog and I have about 5 or 6 ideas in each category. So as far as topics are concerned I have enough material to write about for the next month and a half at 6 posts per week (I don’t always publish on Sunday’s).

    Nicholas Z. Cardot´s last blog post… 5 Irrefutable Qualities of Successful Blogs


  1. […] is to schedule a number of posts well in advance as mentioned in one of the old posts here that talked about writer’s block. But if you already run out of those scheduled posts or they are kind of in draft form, you may […]

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