The Burnout Conundrum: Get Yourself Out of a Bad Writer’s Block

July 12th, 2010 by | 7 Comments

Image by lazebeamz

We’ve always said that in order for a brand to succeed in the social media marketing space, it needs constant presence online. An integral part of any marketing campaign involves having to consistently develop content for your brand’s site or blog on a regular basis. While you’d find the ideas merely fermenting at the back of your mind waiting to be fleshed out, you’ll encounter moments when the creative juices simply fail to jettison out into the online space and you find yourself staring into nothingness.

Failure to follow a publishing schedule means letting down your existing demographic and a great disservice to both the overall campaign and the brand. To prevent this from happening, we’ve listed some proven cures to alleviate that funk—and a few tips I personally follow when my head just won’t cooperate.

Take a Break

Image by TerryJohnston

Just when deadlines abound and time refuses to halt, writer’s block conveniently strikes. When this happens, simply take a breather. Lean back on that comfy chair, close your eyes for a few minutes and clear your head. But if that doesn’t work, your mind may need a little more substantial rest. Sleep it off of if you really can’t work out the blogging schedule, perhaps a power nap would do wonders.

Personal note:
The idea here is that the mind and the body are in a bad, unproductive fatigue and rest is sorely needed. Unfortunately even a caffeine boost won’t help. Dr. Michael Breus, aka the Sleep Doctor, recommends something he calls a Nap-a-latte which combines the benefits of sleep and coffee. What you do is chug down a cup of Joe and then take a 15-minute nap. The nap flushes down the sleep pressure and the caffeine picks you up when you eventually wake up. I do this when in the funk and it really does works for me, try it out and maybe it’ll also work for you.


Image by Matriozka

Consuming some other forms of media other than those required for work can help jog the mind. Whip out your MP3 player and hit Shuffle, grab a really compelling book you’ve been meaning to read for some time, go to the movies or watch something truly engaging on TV. These can be burnout killers and you can also pick up some ideas for the content you’re working on. In any case, make sure that you have a pen and paper handy so you can scribble down ideas as they come.

Personal note:
Seeking refuge in other forms of entertainment can surely help. For instance, listening to discussions and inherent humor on podcasts like The 404, Buzz Out Loud and Tech News Today helped me a lot in the past, the debates and issues helping me back on my feet. Also, in a recent bout of writer’s block, I re-read some old comic books collecting dust in my study and as I was reading each panel, a nice idea struck me which I later wrote about as the blog post What Comic Books Taught Me About Social Media.

Break Out

Sometimes, taking a break means stepping away from the computer and your cubicle and getting out of the office for a few minutes. The eyes need something else to look at instead of the menacing glow of the computer screen and then perhaps your head can start producing creative juices again. You can go to the local park, stare at the horizon on your building’s rooftop or you can even drive around the city for a few minutes. A change in scenery and the fresh air can really help, as long as you won’t take too long and too distracted to even go back to the office.

Personal note:
There are times when you can feel a burnout approaching your week. You can find a way to wind down a bit on Fridays like hanging out with your buddies in a bar for a drink or two, watch a local band play or maybe sweat it out on the gym or a basketball court. You can also use your weekends for out-of-town trips; fishing in the city’s outskirts, a camping trip—anything to get your mind off work. Also, if you can, try staying away from any technology that will remind you of your computer and work which means no TV, mobile phones and MP3 players. These can help freshen you up for the coming week.

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