Regardless of their skills or total output, even the most confident writers hit the occasional mental block every now and then. The usual culprits are fear, perfectionism and mental exhaustion. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing when you're stuck in a rut.
Tap Into the Public Consciousness
Using Q&A sites like Yahoo! Answers, Quora and Stack Exchange to see what topics are currently hot is always helpful. Compile a list of a few major themes to write about and set up Google Alerts to apprise you of new developments.
Look for a Void and Fill It
Often, it's easier to cover subjects that haven't been done to death by other writers. You can use SEO apps like the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to find in-demand topics that aren't being covered by other writers to exploit.
Do a Little Word Association
Brainstorming is a bit of a lost art that far too few writers bother with when creating content. Come up with a list of seemingly unrelated topics or keywords and try to make connections between them that aren't obvious.
Venture Outside Your Comfort Zone
Many of us fall into a rut when it comes to the sites that we peruse for research. Mix things up a bit by checking out content that you ordinarily wouldn't visit. Exposing yourself to different types of writing often jump-starts inspiration.
Start Writing & See What Happens
Procrastination is ultimately the biggest killer of creativity. If you don't have a solid idea of where you want to go with a piece, just start writing anyway. Even if you end up discarding multiple ideas or drafts, at least you'll be exercising your brain.
It's All in Your Head
In order for the preceding tips to yield dividends, it's often critical that you “reset” your brain and come back with a blank slate. Go for a run or engage in another activity, where your mind is largely on autopilot for an hour before getting to work.