Nothing is more frustrating for content creators than staring at a blank page. It feels like you're being taunted by that blinking vertical bar.
So what do you do to write past your writer's block?
The answer is simple: Writing warm ups.
I don't mean doing lunges or crunches. Writing warm ups are prompts and techniques that will ease you into writing.
After reading this post, you'll have plenty of writing warm up prompts to get your ideas flowing. You won't be intimidated by a blank page again! As a bonus, we'll also list multiple ways to look for new content ideas.
Ready to start flexing your creative muscle?
But First, Why Do You Need Writing Warm Ups?
Writing warm up exercises help you jumpstart your writing process. For one, it helps get your fingers moving. Second, it puts your writer's brain at work. But more importantly, these exercises help you get out of your creative rut.
Writing warm ups aim to …
Remember, you're not expected to produce a publishable output. The whole point of these warm up exercises is to flex your creative muscle so you'll be ready to work on bigger writing tasks.
In a minute, you'll learn about different writer's warm up techniques. But before that, we'll dive more into the benefits of writing exercises.
Sharpen Your Writing Skills
Practice makes perfect. That's what we often say. And this is true for writing as well.
Sharpening your skills doesn't only involve grammar and information exercises. It's also important to spend time on creative writing exercises. This allows you to ease into writing much quicker.
Writing habitually allows the ideas in your head to flow easily. You can write your thoughts on a page faster. That's how you sharpen your skills.
For one, writing prompts allow you to explore your own voice. They also allow you to look at different perspectives without fear of judgment. Use these prompts to find your voice.
In fact, you can explore different subjects to get your brain in gear. As a result, you're more confident when writing your opinions.
Clarify Your Thoughts
Staring at a blank page can be intimidating. Especially when you have a deadline looming in the background. So sometimes, you end up with muddled thoughts and ideas.
Writing warm up exercises will help clarify your thoughts. So you can focus on one idea at a time without feeling obligated to create a publishable material.
For example, perhaps you're a digital entrepreneur who needs to come up with a viral campaign. You start by writing a short story about your target customer. Or you can write about their hobbies and interests. This allows you to put your focus on the right subject.
Or if you're a copywriter who needs to create a Facebook Ads headline. Start by writing headline variations. They don't need to be perfect. Gather your thoughts and turn them into words on a page.
Be Open to New Ideas
With writing prompts, you can be as creative as you want to be. You can build worlds that don't exist. Or write about different situations and characters.
How is this beneficial?
It helps stimulate your imagination. In doing so, you'll be more open to new ideas. Focus your thoughts on other things so you can discover alternative solutions.
Let's say you're a content writer tasked to write about a topic you're not familiar with. Writing exercises will help stimulate your creative muscle. This allows you to look at the topic from a different perspective so you can come up with more innovative ideas.
Whether you're a content creator, creative writer, or copywriter, the writing warm ups in the next section will help you get started.
Fun and Creative Writing Warm Ups
for Content Writers and Copywriters
Here's a reminder before we start with these writing warm up techniques:
Don't spend too much time doing these warm up exercises.
You can pick one warm up and do it for less than 10 minutes. Don't feel pressured. No one expects you to produce a perfectly written outcome.
Practice Automatic Writing
Automatic writing is also known as freewriting. It’s a warm up process where you write anything that comes to mind.
With this exercise, you can write without a filter. The aim is to simply get past your writer's block or any resistance.
This exercise doesn't need feedback. This means …
So how do you start?
As a tip, you can choose a topic and set a time limit. A 2- to 5-minute mark works great. Remember to write continuously until you've reached the time limit.
If you find your mind wandering off-topic then write about it. Even if the topic becomes nonsensical and incoherent. Simply put the words on the page.
Here are a few warm up writing prompts to get you started:
You don't have to stick to the initial topic. The prompts are there only to help you get started!
Jot Down Successful Ads On Paper
Gary Halbert, a copywriter, and direct mail marketer, suggests taking a successful ad. Then copy it word-for-word on a piece of paper.
This exercise eases you into writing.
Can't I just type them on my computer?
The simple answer is no. You need to write it down in your own handwriting. Why?
When you write things by hand, the neural activity in certain parts of your brain is activated. In fact, according to a 2017 study, long-form notetaking integrates more sensory-motor skills.
Additionally, writing by hand allows you to slow down. You can focus on what you're writing and connect with the words. This leaves a more lasting impact on your brain.
As an added benefit, studies have proven that handwriting helps improve memory and comprehension.
Write Different Headline Variations
Not sure how to start your blog post? Or are you having a hard time writing the perfect headline copy?
Writing headlines can be pretty intimidating. In fact, you might find yourself stuck trying to come up with the right one.
So if you're having a staredown contest with a blank page, try writing "draft" headlines. This takes the pressure off.
Write a few headline variations. The goal of this writing warm up exercise is to get your creative juice flowing. So don't worry about getting it right the first try.
Here's what you need to do for this warm up:
Try not to over-analyze your headlines. Be as creative or emotional as you want to be.
Allow yourself to write terrible drafts. You'll realize how liberating that feels.
After this exercise, I bet you'll have some interesting drafts. Use these drafts to help you get started.
Skip the Intro
"The introduction needs to be catchy!"
"It should hook the readers!"
"It's the most important part of your article!"
These intimidating thoughts keep running in your head. So your fingers freeze on your keyboard.
If you’re having trouble getting started, then skip the introduction!
Create an outline for your blog posts instead. Then start from there.
Simply go back to your intro once the scope of your article is clear. This allows you to properly set the tone and let your readers know what to expect.
Here's a few writing exercises you can do while skipping the intro:
List these details down so you can get them off your mind. As a tip, write these details on top of the page.
Suffering from writer's block?
Lucky for you, we have a few tips on how to look for new content ideas. We'll get to that in a minute. But first, here's a writing warm up to flex your creative muscle.
In this exercise, you'll need to look at your blog categories. Choose one and write content ideas for that category.
No, you're not going to write a full-blown article. Instead, simply write content topics or ideas. In doing so, you're opening up your mind to possibilities.
This exercise takes the pressure off from committing to writing a publishable article.
Simply brainstorm. Be excited about your content ideas. And ease your mind into writing.
Writer's Block? Top 3 Ways to
Look for New Content Ideas
What is the secret to coming up with new content ideas fast?
From social media, to blog comments, to books. Content ideas are everywhere!
In this bonus section, we'll show you the ways to look for new topics.
Follow Trends in Social Media
Start by looking into your audience. For instance, tap into your social media followers.
This gives you an idea of what type of content or topics they're currently leaning into. Your followers are a great source of ideas.
You can also directly ask your followers. Use the poll stickers on Instagram Story or the poll feature on Twitter.
Quora is full of content ideas. It's a general forum where people ask a variety of questions. This gives you an idea of what your audience is asking. From there, you can come up with lists of topics.
To get started, simply type the topic that your audience is interested in.
For example, you're in the digital marketing industry. You can then type certain keyword phrases into the search box. Once done, you'll find questions that you can write about.
Tap Into Answer the Public
Answer the Public is a search listening tool. It’s especially useful if you don’t have a huge audience whom you can tap into for ideas.
Simply type in your topic or niche. You will then see the top questions being asked about that particular topic.
Take a look at these questions. Then create content for some of them. This is a great resource for podcasters, content writers, YouTubers, and other content creators.
What Are Your Writing Warm Ups
to Flex Your Creative Muscle?
It's natural to suffer from writer's block from time to time. But it's your choice whether to stay stuck or move forward.
The writing warm ups we've listed above will help keep your creative juice flowing.
And when you're feeling stuck, consider our tips for coming up with new content ideas.