It’s not news to most content marketers that writer’s block can be a pain in the you-know-what. Anyone who writes professionally can relate to the frustration associated with trying to come up with new, interesting, relevant and time-sensitive content for your key audience(s). For most content creators, taking a break to let a creativity-block pass is usually not an option. So what do you do when you’re on deadline and feeling overwhelmed? Developing a toolbox of tricks to beat these content blocks is a must.

Over the years I’ve discovered a few ticks to help me get in writing gear. Some of these I learned from a content experts and some I discovered in a desperate moment working on a deadline.

Step Away – If you’ve just run out of steam, and no original thought is coming your way, it may be time to step away. Now, this doesn’t mean you should take a long vacation (although that might be tempting), it just means go do something else inspiring that has nothing to do with the project you are struggling to complete. I’ve found even a 10 minute break can get me back in the groove.

Forget grammar – In her post ‘27 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block,’ Henneke Duistermaat recommends forgetting about grammar. You’ll have time to go back over your work after you’ve written a first draft, so don’t waste time trying to meticulously punctuate and use proper grammar on the first draft. Let’s yourself write loosely and it will flow more smoothly.

Turn up the tunes – Warning: this technique does not work for everyone. But, if you work in an office setting, as I did for years, it’s necessary. Constant distraction can be the most aggravating and unescapable creativity killer. Plugging in a pair of headphones, turning up your favorite go-get-’em tunes, and literally tuning out the office drama can be a life saver.

Talk to one person – Many content marketers live by this rule, and for good reason. Talking to an imaginary fan, customer or client is one of the most helpful ways to create relevant content for your target audience. It also helps beat a writing block. It’s easier to think of what you need to say to one person, as opposed to a broad and allusive crowd.

Change the scenery – Not everyone has the luxury of being able to switch up where they work, but if you do, heading out to a coffee shop when you’ve been working at home all morning, or leaving the office to work at home may be just what you need to get into a content creation flow.

Outline – This is one of those pieces of advice that many content creators and marketers are  tempted to ignore. “There’s just not time,” or “I do better when I just write,” are some of the common excuses I have used. But, I have found that whether I’m working on a marketing strategy, or just a blog post for a client, an outline can really get the ball rolling from a creative standpoint. It’s just filling in the blanks once you have a framework, so take a deep breath and outline!

There are many other interesting and fun ways to conquer a content creation block, but these are the ones I use most often. Let me know what techniques you use. I’m always looking to expand my bag of tricks. Oh, and happy writing!