Mar 16, 2011 Staff

Using Deadlines to Overcome Writer's Block

Content marketers can face the biggest dilemma that any other writer encounters, writer's block. Paul Wolfe doesn't use the term "writer's block". Instead, you refers to the inbuilt resistance to sitting down and writing, and talks about how to overcome it.

Resistance is an internal force that all content creators have to overcome to produce their work on a regular basis. It stems from our tendency for self-preservation, which causes use to try to maintain the status quo. Resistance to writing manifests itself in many ways:
  • Finding non-urgent tasks to do before you commence writing.
  • Suffering from self-doubt.
  • Slowing down writing with persistent editing and re-editing.
  • Coming up with another, potentially better idea in the middle of writing.
The best way to overcome this resistance is to set deadlines. Deadlines allow us to make writing the new status quo, and thus, necessary for self-preservation. For it to work, the deadline has to mean something. It has to be unbreakable. If you write a popular blog and you commit to publishing on a regular schedule, missing that publishing deadline will result in feedback from your readers.

To create your own unbreakable deadline, find a way where the result of not meeting the deadline is worse than meeting the deadline. Pre-selling a product can accomplish that. Post your publishing schedule. Create other penalties for missing the schedule. Trick your ego into feeling punished for failing to publish.

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Published by Staff March 16, 2011