Have you ever sat down to write, and you seem to lack the ideas to write about or you simply have lost your creative power and thus the interest? This is part of what could be described as writer’s block, a condition in which an author is either unable to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown.
If you happen to be in this state or have often experienced it, do not despair, it is not the end of the road in your writing career. In this post, I will explore ways through which, we, writers can manage and overcome writer’s block (s). Just Keep on reading.
Categories of writers
There are many categories of businesses that rotate around writing and providing such content that is always felt as “fresh” by the consumers of information. Based on the business category so are the writers. Specifically, writers can be categorized into bloggers, content writers, affiliates, and freelance writers, among others. Writers in these categories are supposed to provide accurate and compelling information about any of the fields of their specializations, on a regular basis.
This calls for not only being good at typing at high speed but most importantly, for always being creative such that the content is always “fresh’ to the respective target audience!! However, this oftentimes is not the case, sometimes you may come to write, and ideas disappear, yet on another occasion, you feel you have no interest at all! Then anxiety sets in, and you start to become nervous as to what you are going to provide your audience. In the worst-case scenario, there could be a complete mental breakdown, which may take a long time to clear. In this instance, the writer may be out of work for either many months or even years.
All of these compounded situations that block a writer from fulfilling his/her obligation to their clientele is what is collectively described as writer’s block.
Writer’s block (s) manifests itself: a) in the difficulty of the writer’s experiences in coming up with original ideas, and b) in the time taken to produce work. Notably, Writer’s block should not be solely measured by time passing without writing, rather, it should be measured by the time passing without productivity in the task at hand.
So, what is Writer’s Block (s)?
Simply stated, Writer’s block/“creative inhibition” or “creative block, can be defined as either a temporary or lasting failure to put words on paper. It can be experienced temporarily by every writer for as short as only for either a few minutes or a day or two. However, it can become a real problem when either the writer is not reaching targets or when he/she feels incapable of completing a piece of work.”
In other words, an author is either unable to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown. The condition ranges from difficulty in coming up with original ideas to being unable to produce work for years.
Does Writer’s block affect affiliates?
Before answering this question, let me, first of all, give an overview of how affiliates operate in getting the product to the prospective customers and then link the customers to the merchants. Notably, the merchants, who are the producers of the various products/services/brands may not connect well with the prospective buyers, for various reasons: i.e., the products/services/brands may simply have not been presented well to the understanding of the prospective buyer to get a conversion (buying), or the merchants’ scope of reach to the prospective buyers is so limited, regardless of the fact that the products/services/brands are what the prospects are looking for!.
This is where an affiliate marketer comes in to bridge this gap and promote the merchants’ products or services such that traffic increases at the merchants’ website/online shop and converts into buyers. In essence, the affiliate helps the merchant to increase sales, who in turn, pays the affiliate a commission for this work.
It is in this very aspect of promoting the products or services or brands of the merchants that the affiliates display their creativity in writing good informational content, product reviews, as well as buying guides, that will not only provide information necessary for the prospect to decide to buy but more importantly to know why a particular brand is better than another of the same category.
These tasks require that affiliates spend most of their time researching the products, services, and brands in the various niches and write accurate and easy-to-understand content that provides: a) in-depth information about the product/services/brands; b) review of the particular/specific products/brands/services that the prospects may be looking for; and c) in-depth buying guide that would help prospects to make informed decisions, especially when choosing among similar products or brands.
Achieving these tasks require that the affiliates are always in a clear mental state that allows them to be creative in order to produce well-written content for their respective audiences. Remember, this must go on for days, months, and years!! So to maintain this state of mind is not a joke.
Unfortunately, there are times when words cannot simply be written, and even creativity simply flies through the window and one wonders what has become of him/herself. If you have ever experienced this, surely, as I have sometimes been, then join me to explore more about what could be the causes of this block. Why does writer’s block happen or What causes writer’s block? What can be done when it occurs, and what steps can be taken to prevent it? From here to the end of this post I
will endeavor to address these three questions. Continue reading.
What are the causes of writer’s block?
There could be several causes of writer’s block but for simplicity, I will broadly categorize them into two, namely, Block due to lack or loss of creativity by the author [that may originate within an author’s work itself] and Block due to adverse circumstances in a writer’s life.
In the first category, the writer may either run out of inspiration or become distracted by other events, while in the second category, the blockage may result from such adverse circumstances in the writer’s life including physical illness, tissue damage in the brain/stroke, depression, the end of a relationship, financial pressures, or a sense of failure.
While the first category may produce mild to moderate effects, the latter may result in prolonged blockage or even total collapse of one’s writing career. For this post, I will concentrate on the first category, and show how an affiliate, blogger, content writer, or freelance writer can manage or unblock the writer’s block, should it be discovered to block the way to the advancement of his/her business career. Continue reading, please.
Causes of writer’s block among affiliates
There are several causes of writer’s block among affiliates, but the following may be the most common, especially, among newbies.
1. Lack of confidence in writing:
Perhaps you are a beginner in affiliate marketing and you have discovered that writing content is the core of your business. Then you weigh and evaluate yourself as a poor writer. Moreover, English or any other language of communication in your business is not your first language or you simply remember how it gave you hard time during your school-days!! These and other reasons may lead you to lose confidence in your writing ability and hence block your writing.
If you are in this type of block, stay calm and understand that you are not alone. I, personally, have gone through this and have since discovered that no piece of content can be written perfectly the first time. There will always be room for improvement. Simply prepare your draft content as your ideas flow. Then once you have put all of your ideas in writing, go over the draft once again, polishing it up as you go along. Once you have contented yourself with your work, invite a friend and ask him/her to also read through it.
Then address any of the comments that have been made and then go on to publish your post. You will discover that your writing is improving more and more as you continue writing, hence your confidence grows in tandem.
Another strategy to improve your writing, and hence raise your confidence levels, is to continuously be a reader yourself. Read other people’s works and learn how they write their content. Reading and writing go hand-in-hand. These two are like bread and butter, each complementing another. Practice them and you will inflict a big blow to writer’s block emanating directly from the lack of confidence in writing.
2. Unrealistic expectations:
The concept of affiliate marketing the way it is presented appears so easy and as a business option, it is so enticing to join that a newbie may think that it is simply projecting banners and links of merchants’ products/services/brands on his/her affiliate website and then buyers click on them and go and buy and he/she earns commissions! Period!!
Soon he/she will discover that not only is he/she supposed to promote products for a commission, but has also to provide both information content for just knowledge to the audience, and product reviews that should help prospective buyers to make relevant buying decisions, which should later convert into the commissions that formed the core of the business projections.
Once these requirements are realized, affiliates may discover that the volume of data one has to review to produce good content is big, which may translate into failure to reach the unrealistic goals set for the day or week or month. This, in turn, may create pressure as deadlines pass and no tangible results are seen, hence a loss of inspiration, and thus a block in writing.
If you are faced with this type of block, what should you do to unblock it? Continue reading, please.
First and foremost, this is not the end of the road!! This blockage is one of the simplest to resolve. But how? Start by evaluating and revising expectations by conducting a task analysis, and realistically looking at each of the tasks to see if you were realistic in your original goals. What will you do next?
After conducting a thorough analysis, you will find that you were unfair to yourself in the tasks you had earlier set in order to achieve your writing goals. If this is so, then do the following:
Break down writing projects into discrete and manageable tasks, with each task achievable in the set time. In so doing, make sure that you establish realistic expectations for each of the tasks.
For instance, you should not draw such a schedule of say, 6 hours of uninterrupted writing. Break up what you want to accomplish within the six-hour period into specific tasks, giving each task its time to be finished. Inter-space such tasks with breaks where you may relax a bit before resuming to write. In other words, I find a Pomodoro strategy very good in getting tasks accomplished and on time.
After you have solved this problem of setting up unrealistic goals, you also need to assess writing conditions. Sometimes, failure to realize our set goals could be linked to the environment in which we perform the tasks set. Is my environment conducive to my writing career? Am I frequently interrupted? Then, if a “No” is the response to any of these questions, then ask yourself, how best can I improve upon it?
The general agreement is that these conditions would not be conducive to productivity. It is thus advisable that you try to create a quiet and comfortable location for writing, ideally where you will do nothing but write.
3. Lack of Motivation:
What is it that motivates you to continue writing? Can such a motivator be available every day 24/7? Do you feel, sometimes that you are in the mood of writing anything? You may ask yourself what has happened to you!! Perhaps any of these may be some of the causes:
As an affiliate, you may find out that most of the posts are never indexed in search engines, thus resulting in poor ranking and thus poor traffic to your niche website. In a nutshell, it may appear that all efforts are being drained to wastebin. This could not only demotivate/demoralize the writer but may also lead to a decline in creativity, which will, in turn, contribute to the loss of morale to continue to generate content, hence blockage in writing.
However, if you are a beginner/newbie and venturing for the first time into an online business, and specifically, leveraging affiliate marketing, know that your website is still new and search engines must take time to trust it. Be patient and continue to write content and publish it on your website.
You may even not know how the hosting of websites is done. Most websites are built in WordPress and one may allow WordPress to host his domain or do it through other companies. There are many companies on the world wide web, whose services include managed WordPress hosting of websites. With these, you may not get worried about indexing and ranking, but rather, about writing and publishing good content.
For instance, a company like Wealthy Affiliate can walk you through the step-by-step process of building a website, managing the registration of your domain, as well as getting your website indexed. If you are a newbie, do not waste your energy trying to learn everything from scratch. Get the services of such companies and concentrate on the generation of quality content. Other companies that offer WordPress-managed hosting include:
among others. You also need additional training in how to start and run a business online. In-depth knowledge in the creation of content that rank in search engines can be learned from such training. If you are leveraging affiliate marketing, then, Wealthy Affiliate is the company to focus on. Having been started by affiliates, themselves, they offer in-depth training that should get anyone to succeed as an affiliate marketer.
4. Obsession with the perfection of content:
This may be another cause of the complete block in writing. Whenever he/she writes, it is not good enough. Something is ever missing and changes after changes are made, with increasing frustrations. Perfectionism may finally result in loss of morale as one discovers that very little has been accomplished in a big span of time, thus a block in writing.
If you are facing this block and it is hampering your writing career, what should you do? One fact I should point out is that no one is perfect. The trait we are all born with and which can be made to good use is to try to make things perfect! Let me explain myself further.
If you have observed a toddler, you will realize that it makes many mistakes along its developmental pathway. Good enough, the more mistakes made the more it tries and sooner than later it becomes perfect for such a task!
That is the very trend we writers should embrace. As yourself; isn’t it the time to relinquish my/you/our perfectionist streak and set more realistic goals? In other words, let us give ourselves permission to be less than perfect. Tell yourself that you just want to write a first draft, and also reassure yourself that it is okay that your first effort is not great; and that you can improve upon it later. Moreover, assure yourself that it is always easier to revise than it is to write the first draft.
5. Failure to write content for both niche audiences and search engines:
This could be due to the lack of the necessary skills on how to generate content for both search engines, and the target audience. The key to writing good content that ranks in search engines is keywords.
Every affiliate should acquaint him/herself with the knowledge of how to generate long-tail keywords and how to write content using these keywords. As pointed out above, failure to generate content that ranks in search engines may lead to blockage in writing. I hasten to add that one of the causes of content not ranking in search engines could be directly linked to poor keyword optimization. When these two are compounded they result in a block in writing.
In order to understand the importance of keywords in content creation and ranking in search engines, please take some time to read about the Jaaxy keywords research tool here!!
That said, I also advise that affiliates seek to train in how to use these tools and there are many legit training platforms where they can get the training. Among the best is the Wealthy Affiliate platform. Having been started by established/accomplished affiliate marketers, it offers the best training in not only keyword research but in the whole concept of affiliate marketing and overall online business.
Procrastination is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as “the act
of delaying something that must be done, and differ it to a later time
than originally planned or expected”, is another cause of writer’s block. [https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/act]. Although the set goals would be achievable in the set time, yet they are not achieved because of pushing them forward to a future time. The writing deadlines that are not met accumulate and then frustration sets in, and creativity and inspiration to continue writing fly through the window, thus leading to a block in writing.
But why procrastinate, if this is blocking your way to productivity, what should you do? Many have blamed perfectionism as the root cause of procrastination. If this is true, then you have already found out how to deal with perfectionism. By extrapolation, you will also have solved the problem.
However, some people are so easily distracted or demoralized by any small challenge. For instance, you may be writing and become interrupted by a visitor, who may go in as far as two hours into your earlier schedule. To a procrastinator, the easiest is to relegate everything to “the tomorrow”, yet you have all the remaining time after your visitor had left.
Resolve to make sure a day’s work is accomplished on that same day. You may decide to go slightly deeper into the night and accomplish the work that was interrupted by two hours. If this becomes your practice, then this thing call “Procrastination” would have been driven forever from your writing career, and productivity will be the reward.
I have identified and briefly discussed writer’s blocks that may from time to time come to hinder the writing career of affiliates, and indeed all whose business depends on writing quality content that will serve the respective audiences better. I have identified 6 blocks but I feel there could be even more.
It is my hope that I have helped someone that experiences any of the covered blocks to employ the measures suggested, to overcome it. Any questions or comments or additions are welcome. Thank you.