A guide to using AI tools to beat writer’s block

Reduce writer’s block using AI

What is writer’s block? How can AI help beat it? Finally, what content AI tools can I use and how should I use them?

Writer's block is a struggle every writer faces. When your living depends on writing, you are required to create and generate engaging content - and when your own standards are high or exacting, you can be especially prone to it. 

Everybody has to write at least a little every day, whether it is just a few text messages or an email, or a new chapter in a novel; and everybody will, at times, struggle to get going.

Picture this: you are stuck and staring at a blank screen, or an insertion flashing up at you from your phone, letting you know it is ready ... even though you are not. You have the idea of what you are going to say, the points you have to make and have been running them through your mind over and over, putting your case forward, winning the argument. But that insertion point is still blinking up at you. 

This is writer's block. It is not that you do not have anything to say, and it is not that you do not have the ability or do not care about the assignment. You just can’t break through the wall - literally, the block - to actually begin. 

People sometimes refer to this phenomenon as a dearth of ideas. Nothing could be further from the truth. For one, it is usually the contest of too many ideas to have clarity on how to begin. You just need something to kickstart your writing, and then you can get back on track as soon as you are through the barrier. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help create that in the same way it helps humans all the time. 

Why content AI can help beat writer’s block

The mistake people make with content (and other) AI is that they think it somehow replaces human ideas. This is wrong: AI mimics commonly made decisions, just as any form of training teaches you to perform actions reflexively. Creativity will always come in the part that you “can’t teach” or “can’t coach” - it is the exact opposite of what can easily be mimicked. 

Have you ever asked someone to repeat something back to you so you can go into editing mode? Or throw together a quick first draft? Or just dumped all your notes down into a document?

Think of AI tools the same way; they help give you something to do and something to work on to get you moving on a journey that will eventually break through the creative barrier of writer’s block. 

Stop thinking of AI as some magical tool (no disrespect to AI) - think of it as a spell check: it gets you going - but you are still going to be copy-editing that article. That activates a different part of the brain but gets the whole thing warmed up and prime creative condition.

How to use Content AI to break writer’s block

Writers can fight the block in many ways, but the principle remains the same: use content AI tools to do things other than the specific writing that you cannot quite start. 

AI is a technologically advanced method of saving you time, using probability and computational power to help you get somewhere faster. You start with a prompt and you end with final copy. 

AI tools can help writers with various elements, such as:

  • News: You can use keyword monitoring or social listening tools like Google Alert or Social Sprout to help you find the latest trending news,
  • Headlines: You can use tools like Sassbook or Copy.ai to help you generate headlines that match your topics and SEO goals,
  • Facebook Ads: Run your ads almost automatically by using AI tools like AdEspresso or Zalster,
  • SEO-friendly web pages: hit all the correct keywords for your target audience by using tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush,
  • Copywriting drafts or social media captions: You can develop a rough structure developed by AI, such as Jarvis or Writesonic.
  • Collating information: Finish your research faster with search engine and a brainstorming partner like ChatGPT, for instance. Machine learning tools without search engine functionality, however, often lack the updated information, making them less accurate. Always recheck facts, anyway.

The writer needs only to do one thing — feed the AI tool prompts. You can start by choosing any templates and putting in the main details about what you want to write, and then you can research writing styles and see which one suits your needs. You can enforce styles manually with any document search and replace function

Here, AI serves as an inspiration well on which you can paint your own ideas, or shoot off to fill in the gaps. Suddenly, you are being an editor, and not a writer, and that in turn lends you an objectivity that may help your writing improve very quickly. 

In addition to overcoming writer's block, AI can help you become a better writer. You can start with a basic template and then improve if your content sounds awkward or unclear. AI can help you refine your content to make it more pleasing for readers.

Nothing can replace human creativity: it never stops pushing forward, but if you think of your brain as a source of energy within a given day, then AI is a tool that conserves power, allowing your brain to switch to higher function thinking (i.e. creative thinking). 

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