One of the things I often get asked is:
“How do you deal with writer’s block?”
The truth is, I don’t think people really want to know how I deal with writer’s block.
They want to know how they should deal with it.
Because most people need to write things they find challenging, whether it’s a sales letter, a blog post or even just a tricky reply to an email from a client.
Have you ever been sat at your desk with the cursor flashing on a blank screen, with not a clue what to write or where to start? I certainly used to suffer from this at times, but I’ve gradually eradicated it from my working life.
And honestly, I don’t think that “blank” feeling is writer’s block. There’s no such thing as writer’s block when it comes to writing for your business. You’re not trying to craft the next literary sensation of the 21st century, are you? No one will compare your writing to Austen or Hemingway and find you lacking.
So why the struggle?
It’s not writer’s block. It’s much more likely to be one or more of these:
- Lack of confidence
- Lack of focus or purpose
- Lack of practice.
If you’re struggling to start writing, try these strategies:
1. Are you telling yourself you’re rubbish at writing? If you are, then stop. That won’t be helping you get started! Try telling yourself you’re great at writing instead.
2. Have you got clear goals in your business? It’s harder to focus on getting the right things done (like writing a blog post or sales letter or difficult email to a client) if you don’t know where you’re going and what you need to do to get there. Put some goals in place.
3. Are you mentally fatigued? If you’re very sleep-deprived then ideally you should put off writing until you’ve caught up. If that’s not possible, then set a timer and work in short bursts of up to 25 minutes and then have at 5-minute break.
4. If you’re not sleep-deprived but you’re feeling a bit jaded or deskbound, go for a walk – somewhere with grass and trees if you can. You could also try walking to a café and working there. A change of scenery can help you get going again.
5. If you need to write a lot in your business then create a daily writing habit. Figure out your best time of day for writing and whether you work better in the office or somewhere else, and then make it happen.
6. Let go of perfect. There is no perfect. Work on something until it’s good and then send it out. If you’re determined to get as close to perfect as possible, then write something, put it away for 24-48 hours and then look at it again with fresh eyes. You’ll probably spot things you want to change, so make the changes and then get it out there!
7. Switch to pencil and paper. For me, this seems to tap into a different, more creative part of the brain than tapping away on a keyboard. Every project starts with me jotting down ideas on a big sheet of paper and I have been known to write an entire website in longhand (don’t worry – I did type it up afterwards).
If writing has been a challenge for a while, you probably won’t fix things overnight, but applying at least one or two of these strategies will definitely give you a boost.
If you need help to get better results from your marketing efforts, especially with website copy, blogs and email campaigns, please don’t hesitate to give me a call on 0121 405 0071, or contact me here.