As an Aniblogger, writers block can often be your biggest obstacle and your worst enemy. Whether it be out of laziness, a busy schedule, or just a lack of ideas or motivation to write for your blog, it always finds a way to creep on you at least once in a while. I suffer from it. You suffer from it. We all suffer from it.
But today on the Listless List, in a follow up from my previous post, I’m going to share 5 tips that I think may be of use to help you, my fellow Anibloggers, overcome your writers block.
These are the things I always do when I find myself out of ideas, or unable to find the motivation to write, so I hope they’ll be of use to some of you. And as always, I’d love to hear your own suggestions and what you do to overcome your writers block, so feel free to let me know below!
5. Create a journal/document for brainstorming ideas
It’s the oldest trick in the book, and you’ve likely heard this advice time and time again throughout school and other periods of your life where you had to be creative, but brainstorming works. It works really well in fact, and when it comes to inspiring yourself to write and come up with new ideas, it’s one of the best things you can do.
But rather than just sit and think up tons of ideas on a gigantic piece of paper, take it a step further and dedicate a space solely for all of these crazy, spur of the moment thoughts. Buy a journal, or create a document on your computer, and throw all of your wacky thought experiments in there one after the other.
It may sound like such a minor thing, but I’ve found having a dedicated place to direct my brainstorming to be far more effective than simply writing it down on a scrap piece of paper or up in my head where they’ll be forgotten less than a couple of hours later.
Personally, I write all my ideas on my “Notes” app on my iPhone, and I frequently add to it on my commute to work every single day. Currently, I’ve got around 50 ideas for posts, and just opening up that note and seeing all of those awesome ideas really gets me motivated to write. Where do you think the idea for this post came from?
Give it a shot!
4. Listen to some music before and while you’re writing
This is one that may be hit or miss, but I personally find that it works wonders.
Listening to music is one of the best ways to affect your mood and get you “in the groove” so to speak. There’s nothing that boosts your motivation more than listening to an inspiring melody that gets your blood pumping, or nothing more relaxing than some atmospheric symphony that puts your mind at ease and gets you in the “zone”.
Of course, everyone will have their own preferences as to what gets them there. Find what kind of music gets you into the mood you need to be in to write, and keep it on in the background as you work.
Personally, I tend to go for instrumental music, or something that doesn’t require my full attention to appreciate so that I can write while it’s on. I’m not exactly going to listen to Coheed and Cambria’s Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV while trying to piece together an editorial, that’s just insanity.
I tend to listen to Anime Soundtracks, or my arguably all-time favourite album, Gomba Reject Ward Japan by Five Starcle Men, which is a chaotic mess of bizarre noise, tape loops, overdriven guitars, vapid melodies and teenagers screaming about “yellow frog legs” and being a “spaceman and human at same time”. It may sound like the most distracting thing in the world, but it’s some excellent background music and it’s trippy and melodic enough to keep me in a relaxed state free from all distractions when I write.
Find something that puts you into a similar relaxed state of mind, and you’ll be one step closer to overcoming the obstacle of writers block.
3. Check out the work of your fellow content creators
The work of your fellow Anibloggers and Anitubers is another great way to inspire yourself to get to work, and checking out the efforts of my fellow content creators is something I always tend to do whenever I feel myself slacking off, or struggling to write about something.
Not only is reading or watching the work of your fellow Anime fans a nice break from the stresses that come with writing, but it’s also a way to put you in the mindset of:
“Wow, that thing was really interesting. Maybe now, I can go make something just as interesting as that!”
And that’s all it takes, really. Consuming analytical content, or reviews, or whatever it may be, about Anime, is one of the easiest, most entertaining and most effective ways for you to motivate yourself to make similar content from your own perspective.
Go check up on your favourite blogger and read some of their most recent blog posts, or tune into your favourite YouTuber and power through a bunch of their latest videos. It works wonders. Trust me.
2. Block out all distractions
If there’s anything out there that’s the most guilty of causing writers block, it’s all those pesky distractions out there in your room, in your home and in the world outside. Whether they take the form of your Playstation 4, the latest Anime you’ve decided to start watching or your significant other *glares at girlfriend*, they can often be the biggest cause of your procrastination… Even if you love them more than life itself… (sorry girlfriend *goes back to watching Netflix and eating chocolate with girlfriend*).
…I’m back. Where was I…?
Ah. Right. Distractions! They’re bad, and you should do everything you can to block them out where possible.
Turn off Crunchyroll, ignore the video games and dedicate an hour a night to writing. It’s a small amount of time, but in the long run it makes a world of difference and it’s worth every minute.
Don’t let your distractions get the better of you!
1. Just write
This may seem like a bit of a cop out for my final piece of advice, but it’s honestly the best piece of advice I can give.
Just write stuff. Whether you feel it’s coming together or not, even if you don’t know where your piece is going or what you really want to write, just put your thoughts down and practice.
You’d be surprised how many of my biggest and, in my opinion, best posts started out as a bunch of random, incoherent thoughts about some vague subject before coming together to form an actual piece. And they only became something because I decided: “just write it down and see where it goes”.
So even if you’re struggling to find the motivation or desire to write, just write something. You never know what it could turn into by the end.
Hopefully these tips will be of use to some of you, even if some of them are fairly obvious or have been brought up before. Let me know what you think and thanks for reading!
And remember: don’t let writers block get the better of you.