Writer’s block hits most writers on a periodic basis, and it often feels like a…
Writer’s Block? Take Your Blogging On The RoadWhat’s your No. 1 productivity killer?
The most common answers involve distractions: email, Facebook, Twitter, instant messages, and anything else you can compulsively check throughout the day.
It’s so easy to watch your Twittery timeline fly by while your to-do list stays full.
But for me, and for many fellow bloggers, there is a demon far more powerful than the common distraction.
It can attack at any time and make you feel as though there’s no end in sight. The more you try to fight it, the worse it becomes. Yes, friends, I’m talking about our common enemy. Writer’s block.
If you write, you’ve undoubtedly read an article about overcoming writer’s block. I promise, this won’t offer the age-old solution of taking a break and doing something else.
Not only is it cliched advice, but it’s not particularly effective, either. Taking a break to do something else means one of two things. First, it can mean switching to an administrative task, such as correspondence or website maintenance.
Take Your Mind Off of It
Second, it can mean taking a full break to make some food, walk a few miles, or generally distract oneself with something else. Yet neither of these has ever helped me cure writer’s block.
Maybe the advise has helped you. Maybe you can clear your head while performing mundane administrative tasks. I can’t. In fact, the mundanity of the tasks necessarily puts my focus back on my writing. Taking a break often isn’t a practical solution, either.
After all, time spent walking is time not spent coming up with new ideas. Sure, maybe the walk will provide clarity. But if it doesn’t, that’s wasted time. I’d have been better off remaining in front of my monitor trying to overcome the problem facing me.Still, the change of scenery advice can have merit. It’s the passivity of merely taking a walk that I find unproductive.
There needs to be some kind of active participation involved, or the change of scenery will amount to nothing more than Twitter or Facebook.
It will be just another distraction that keeps you from the work that needs doing. So instead of doing something else, why not just change up what you’re currently doing?
Inspiration, It Can Hit Anywhere
All you need is a smartphone, and the number of internet writers I’ve met who don’t own one is almost nonexistent.
Why a mobile phone and not your laptop? There are a few good reasons why the mobile phone will provide you with a more complete change of scenery.
For starters, it switches the screen size drastically. If you work on your laptop and then take your laptop to a coffee shop, you’re still staring at the same monitor.
Even if you use a desktop at home, the laptop monitor isn’t too far removed from it. Switching to a smartphone screen is a radical change that could change the way you think about your writing. No longer is there a massive void staring you in the face.
Even with the biggest smartphones it’s only a four-inch void.
Slow Down, Get Your Thoughts In Order
Another reason — and this is why I prefer smartphone blogging even to tablet blogging — is that it changes the way you type. Odd as it may sound, that physical change from the home row position to thumb typing can make a difference.
Seriously, give it a try at your desk. It really does change the way you think about your writing. You’ll necessarily slow down your brain so it doesn’t outpace your thumbs.
You’ll also eliminate any unnecessary words and maybe leave out a few necessary ones. Heck, you might even let a typo slip by. But that’s OK. It’s not as though you’re typing up a final draft.
Mobile blogging has become quite easy on modern smarpthones. All three major platforms have WordPress apps, and they’re all regularly updated. That means you can do your composing right inside the app.
Everything you type gets saved as a draft, so it’s ready for you to review when you return to your home monitor. The apps also contain plenty of WordPress features that let you do pretty much anything.
When you become an experienced mobile blogger you might even write your final drafts on yours — I’ve written plenty of articles on my new BlackBerry Dakota* and have posted them right from the device, complete with tags and images.
*You might know it as the Bold 9930. Personally, I never understood why BlackBerry didn’t just name their devices. They’re much easier to follow with names.
Next time you’re staring at your monitor with no idea what to write next, don’t go through the typical cycle of type, delete, type, delete, type delete.
Get Up and Go Somewhere
Just make sure to take your smartphone with you. Looking at that little screen and typing with your thumbs can create an entirely new environment that can help you beat writer’s block. It’s a surprisingly effective way to change things up while remaining productive all the while.