When it comes to writer’s block (or copywriting block, as I’ve been experiencing for the last couple days) sometimes all it takes is time. But sometimes a break from writing — and perhaps the creative process in general — just isn’t enough. In times like these, a few tried-and-true tips may be just what you need to get over the hump. Here are some of my favourites:
1. Think of copywriting as a regular job, and less as an art. This one comes from Stephen King’s On Writing, a hugely influential book over the years as I’ve tried to hone my craft. To paraphrase King: If we think of ourselves as laborers, as craftsmen, it’s easier to sit down and write. We’re just putting words on the page, after all, one beside another, as a bricklayer puts down bricks.
2. Follow a copywriting schedule. This tip goes hand in hand with the preceding one. If you set aside time to write — even if what you churn out isn’t perfect or polished — you’re already ahead of the game. After all, words on a page are always better than staring at a blank screen. And words on a page are also better than writer’s block.
3. Brainstorm. Another pearl of wisdom, and a skill we all probably learned back in junior school. When I am struggling to write, I often take five minutes to jot down anything and everything that comes to mind. And then, with a fresh sheet of paper, I take the time to focus these thoughts by trying to come up with words that succinctly articulate these ideas.
4. Use a thesaurus. As a writer, my thesaurus is my dearest companion. Especially when I put tip #3 into practice. I use a thesaurus almost daily. I like to think of it as my secret (although now, perhaps not-so-secret) weapon. It can also be a useful tool to beating writers block. Just open a thesaurus to any page, pick a word, and write, non-stop for three minutes, about that word.
5. Set deadlines, and stick to them. Easier said than done, I know, but deadlines are key to helping you work to your potential. At Marketing Breakthroughs, deadlines come up quickly — a blessing in disguise, as it keeps us writer’s at the top of our game. We don’t have time for writers block!
6. Multitask. This may seem counter-intuitive, but working on something else — even another writing project — can go a long way to overcoming writers block.