Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Take a sample of something you’ve worked on before that’s similar to what you’re trying to write. It doesn’t even have to be something you’ve actually published. The example could be something you simply working on before. It could be an article you never finished, or a short story you just never felt was worth publishing.
The idea is that the example is the same type of thing you’re working on, whether it’s an article, story, or other assignment. Heck, the example doesn’t even have to be something you’ve written. It just has to be along the same lines.
For example, say you’re trying to write a sales pitch. But, you really don’t know where to start or what points to make. Just by having a sales pitch in front of you, even if it’s something you haven’t even written, your mind will automatically process it. If you ask some famous writers, they will even admit that they’ve written pieces that were inspired by a magazine clipper or random brochure that they picked up. Giving your brain something to start with is very important.
The other way to do this is to have writing templates that you work from. If you’ve written a successful article, for example, that you can plug other ideas into, why not work from that? Of course, templates are very, very popular, and you can find templates for just about any type of writing anywhere. With things like sales pitches and articles on similar topics, templates can be very helpful. With stories, people have even done this. Just try not to keep writing the same thing over and over again!
Whatever you decide to use as a writer’s block aid, whether it’s an example or a template, the most effective way to use it is to have it in your direct line of sight as you work. Print it out if you have to, although having it open on your screen in another window is also useful. The idea is to use that visual aid to help spark your brain to create ideas surrounding that template. Of course, you may have to go back and clean it up. But, it’s always better to start with something. Find a good example or template each time you get stuck writing and watch the words flow!