Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

How to overcome writer’s block

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You might wonder: What would a guy (me! 😱🙄🤔) who blogs 15,000 words per month have to say about writer’s block?

It’s true that I hardly ever sit in front of my computer and don’t know what to blog about. Ever really. I usually have to prioritize what I want to blog about. Too. Many. Ideas 💡. 

But there was a time when I had writer’s block. And then I stopped thinking of myself as a writer and more of a storyteller and the writing became easier. 👍 I no longer had to live up to writing superstars – as long as I shared a story that helped people or that people cared about I got five stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. It’s a bit about framing and mindset. So let me share when I had writer’s block and then how I  routinely overcome it. 

Writer’s block happened in these instances. I’ll then immediately share my solution. 

1 – I was overthinking things.

 Is this the right friendly voice or whatever the alleged brand voice that nobody uses is supposed to be? Will this be worded in the way the boss likes?  Thinking = good. Overthinking = bad!

Related reading: Who is actually your audience? Hint: Shouldn’t be the boss

Solution: Figure out the best workflow. One that doesn’t put you through Approval Hell! Get buy-in first. Devise a plan to avoid the nit-pickers. Don’t get me wrong here: There’s a difference between nit-pickers and tough editors. The latter ones make things actually better – now. And the former just change things on preference and often to justify their involvement. (I’ve actually had an editor tell me this before. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for transparency.)

Write for your actual audience. 

2- I sat down without a plan. Here’s a keyboard. Please write something.

That hardly ever works. Probably the reason why many make an outline first. I do outlines too. Usually in my head. For example, I wrote this post in my head while driving to the gym and while lifting. I then wrote it on the stationary bike on my phone. 

I used similar strategies as a journalist. While driving back from a crime scene I would organize the story in my head and then just kind of spit it out and write it. 

The actual content writing doesn’t that long but the process to get there can take some time. And while that process can run simultaneously to other things if it doesn’t happen we can easily end up with writer’s block. 

Solution: Thinking time matters. Account for it in your content writing process. You might also need some time to uncover unique facts and details if you are ghostwriting for somebody else!

3 – I picked the wrong time of the day

I write, edit, workout much better in the morning. That’s why I blog in the morning. Same with editing. Or going to the gym. There’s a better outcome when I do those things early. I’m really good at sitting on the couch in the evenings though. 🤔😜

Solution: Only create content at the most productive time or close to it. Don’t use this as an excuse though. I also can’t usually blog in the morning because I’m in meetings and things like that. So I moved blogging to early morning. Before the kids are up. Close enough! But it cuts into what used to be known as sleeping time.

4 – There is no story there 

Most of my stories and decisions on here are self-motivated. No bossy editor tells me what to produce next. My call. But there are situations out there where editors demand stories because they are demanded from them – for example. 

Sometimes it’s hard to push back but creating CRAP (Content Really Annoying to People) doesn’t help anyone. People won’t consume it. It won’t show results and can even kill a content marketing strategy. “See, it’s not working.” ➡️Because we created stuff without an audience-centric purpose!⬅️

Solution: Get away from that editor. Okay, not always an option. Ask questions:

  • Why are we creating this?
  • What’s the goal?
  • What’s going on that is unique or new?

As long as you can get the boss to answer these questions that can help us get something halfway interesting. 

Writer’s block wrap 

Those are the top 4 things that have caused me writer’s block. Today, it’s rare. One last more tip that works for me. I do this:

A story happens that I think (not overthink) people might care about  – I produce and then share it. 

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Got other issues that lead to writer’s block for you? Facebook Messenger me here and I’ll try to add solutions to other problems shared later. 



Disclaimers: The information provided in articles is for informational purposes only and not personalized advice. It's accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time it's published. Enjoy and best of luck telling the best stories in your organization and life!

Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I’m Christoph Trappe.

I’ve written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs.

If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I’m always happy to chat!

Thanks for reading!

– Christoph
ctrappe@christophtrappe.com
319-389-9853

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