A GREAT WRITER STRUGGLING WITH SELF-DOUBT AND WAYS TO PUT IDEAS ON PAPER - THIS IS WHAT WE CALL WRITER'S BLOCK.
And just after I write this very sentence - I stop and stare into nothingness for a couple of minutes, then start scrolling my LinkedIn feed, which is modern workplace equivalent of opening and staring into a fridge - because I’m not sure what to write next.
Writer's block is not something only great writers get, it is very common for mere mortals like you and me to suffer with it too - writer's block. No matter how good your copywriting is, there will be days when your creativity is blocked and there seems like there is nothing you can do to shake the block off.
IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM
As copywriters we have to face many different challenges - most of the time you will face a strict deadline, in 99% of your articles you will have a list of keywords to include in your article and you’ll have a list of things to promote.
Your creativity gets limited, with so many boxes to tick and a tight deadline to work with it, it makes it a bit harder to shake the block off. Copywriters have less creative control over what they write, as they are paid not for their thoughts but for smart and elegant usage of words.
LET YOUR CREATIVITY FLOW
Focus is very important for a copywriter, but sometimes I find that letting yourself go for a bit can be helpful. The other day, I was supposed to write a blog post for one of our clients, I ended up with a great in-depth article on identifying differences when presenting log lines and high concepts for scripts. It was a great but not what was asked for. However, those ideas were buzzing in my head and by writing the piece I got it out of my system. Once that was done, it was easier to concentrate on the main article. My point is that if another idea is not letting you concentrate on what you are supposed to be writing, the best way to get it out, it is to write both.
MUSIC OR NO MUSIC?
There are so many blogs online giving suggestions on how to get over writers' block and one thing appears on almost all of them; turning the music on is very helpful and it definitely is, but there are moments that a song can take your focus away. Sometimes a quite room is better and if none of this works, just shut the computer down and get your pen and paper out. You will be amazed how helpful old-school handwriting can be.
DON'T LIMIT YOURSELF TO WORKING HOURS
Don’t expect to just sit down and get the writing done like you would with any other task. Keep thinking about your next topic as much as you can when driving, or when you’re on the bus, preparing meals or cleaning the house. Do it during the tasks when you can let your mind roam free and get ideas. By brewing the article in your brain, it will be easier to put it on the paper when your deadline is near.
It is not copying or plagiarism, reading about similar topics can be very helpful and can give you good ideas, your own ideas, not copied ones. For me, reading can be a great source of inspiration and can help come up with new ideas. Sometimes that is the only way to shake the block off
JUST KEEP PRACTICING
Writing is a craft and practice makes it perfect. You cannot just rely on being super talented and do it without hard work. The more you write the easier it gets and yes, you will still occasionally struggle with copywriter’s block that will make you doubt everything you write and make you helplessly stare at the blank page, but that’s how it is.
And finally, if nothing else helps, do what I just did - write about the writer’s block. Everyone has different techniques to fight it and all of them are useful. No matter how many blogs there are out there about it, your tips are still valuable for someone staring at the scary white page.