CEO Sundays: How to Make Your Writer’s Block Even Worse

By November 23, 2014



Of all the things you did in school, creative writing was probably your worst subject.

“I can’t wait to never do that again,” you thought. After all, unless you’re J.K. Rowling or Stephen King, there are much easier ways to make money.

But in the tech world, blogging is one of the key channels for marketing, customer outreach, and SEO. It gives you the opportunity to connect with relevant audiences, educate prospective customers, and gain some traction in search results.

Unfortunately, cranking out blog posts can feel a lot like a chore, and you probably spend more time staring at a blank screen than actually writing. Writer’s block can be painful, but there are a few surefire ways to make it even worse:


1. Stay in Your Office

The easiest way to make blogging more difficult is to simply stay in your office. Staring at those same people and those same four walls robs your brain of any possible stimuli that could spark creativity. Bonus points for blogging from the dark dungeon — aka your windowless home office.

And make sure you don’t travel for business — ever. Expos, trade shows, and conventions that aren’t local are a waste of time and money because anyone who knows anything about technology lives within 15 miles of your city, right?


2. Ignore Industry Trends and Online Resources

Your vacuum is working just fine. Your approach and perspective is really the only way to do it right, so there’s no need to waste your time getting new perspectives or inspiration from industry webinars and thought leaders. Your industry associations publish new research findings every year, but combing through all that to pull out interesting, blog-worthy insights will probably take more brainpower than you care to muster.

And what possible value could following these trends provide for your customers? It’s safe to say that most customers prefer one solution that never adapts to their changing needs. Staying informed on industry trends via industry sites, publications, and forums can only introduce new ideas and approaches for your blog and customer service. Who needs those?


3. Decline Internal Meetings

The worst part about working in the technical field is dealing with those non-technical noobs in sales and customer support. Listening to your co-workers forces you to find ways to relate your vast pool of knowledge to different audiences and situations, which is a complete waste of time.

What benefits are customers getting from our solution? What questions are they asking? What are their biggest pain points? What unique challenges are stumping your staff?

There’s no possible way any of those questions could help you come up with good blog post ideas.


4. Avoid Talking to Customers

Back-end operations aren’t customer-facing for a reason. Listening to complaints all day isn’t your job. In fact, everyone else should be listening to you.

Besides, everyone has the same aches and pains. Once you’ve solved one, you’ve solved them all. Soon, life devolves into a repetitive story arc where you’re buried in trouble tickets.

Rather than using that workload to feed your blog and connect with people around the world experiencing those same issues, it’s easier to hit happy hour after work to make sure you “leave the office at the office.”


5. Cancel Your Subscriptions

There’s nothing better than sitting in front of a monitor, putting on some headphones, cranking up the volume, and getting in the zone while coding. If you work in this industry long enough, you run out of movies, TV shows, funny web skits, podcasts, and other online content.  Whatever you do, don’t waste any more time on industry articles or podcasts. Just get on Facebook instead.

Especially don’t go out to a bookstore to pick up a book about your industry. There’s nothing those so-called “experts” can teach you that you don’t already know. Plus, real bloggers push out all that content by never researching anything — ever.


6. Clutter Your Workspace

Another great way to feed your writer’s block is to clutter your mind by cluttering your physical surroundings. Productivity tools like focus booster and FocusWriter? Nah. You don’t need ’em. You also shouldn’t organize your web searches or research tools. As a writer, you don’t need discipline or order. You can just ride that creative wave over any obstacles you encounter.

Blogging isn’t easy to begin with, but it can be made more difficult with the proper effort in all the wrong places. Instead of treating creative writing as a carefully planned business process, slack off and shoot from the hip as much as possible. Meanwhile, your competitors will waste their time impressing your potential customers by consistently producing valuable, informative blog posts.

So tell me: How do you make blogging harder than it has to be?

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