Copywriter's Block

 


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Get Rid of Your Writer’s Block!

Writer’s block is horrible, especially when there’s a deadline looming. It really is a nightmare for someone who is supposed to write large chunks of text on a daily basis. I don’t often get it, but when I do I use several techniques to help shake it off.

In the past, I used to try everything to get rid of the dreaded block; hanging upside down, kissing a frog (with tongues) at midnight, slapping myself with a wet fish, gargling water, gargling vodka…but none of it worked (- though I did get myself an interesting reputation).

To make matters worse, I believe there are two kinds of block that can fuzz up your brain:

  • There’s the kind where you have to write 2000 words and now that you’ve got through 500 of ‘em there’s nothing else to say.
  • And then there’s also the kind where you have a blinking blank-screen that’s not going to get filled any time soon.

When I was at university I used to get them both quite regularly, and I learnt to deal with it the hard way!

The “blinking blank-screen block" is the easiest kind to quash. But please be aware that it won’t go away on its own; you can make three cups of coffee and it’ll still be there waiting, staring at you…

Writer’s block tips

I’ve written it and I can think of no more! 500 words into my 2000 word document and it’s no good. There really is nothing else to say.

Ah, but this is an easy kind of block to beat. Read through what you have written, I know, you’ve done it a million times by now, but – do it anyway. Underneath, list the points you have made in the order that you have made them. Highlight the most important points and brainstorm from each. If you’re trying, you’ll be able to think of several extra ideas. Now to make it better, link the ideas you have come up with, with the ones you already have to improve the structure. Add the highlighted bullet-points to the work you have done and there, you’ll be able to expand. Just fill out the points and make sure they link nicely. 500 words soon becomes 2000.

The other kind of block

If you know what you want to say, but can’t get it out on to the page, you should bullet-point a structured list. The page is no longer blank and you can work from anywhere you like. Write the conclusion first, if it helps.

If you still can’t write you should find a similar article, short story, news-report (or whatever) that you have written before. Take a random few sentences and mix them up to create new meanings. You’ll have a mess, but it’ll be a starting point and often gives you that creative spark that whirrs your brain back into action.

You can do the same with quotes. Find a useful quote relating to your article. Introduce it, talk about it – and there – you’ve started writing. It’s as good a way in to a writing-piece as any and it doesn’t require too much effort.

Alternatively, get someone else in to help. Ask them to write the first sentence and take that as your starting point. They may well come from an angle you weren’t expecting, and this is often all you need to jolt yourself into action. And, if you need to, you can always go back and change the first sentence later.

Adrenaline can help too. You often hear of students leaving their essays to the night before the deadline. The adrenaline helps them get the essay text out the way. However, I wouldn’t suggest that you do this; there are often issues with quality and coherence. But, if you do some mild exercise you can get the blood pumping, the endorphins flowing and, if it’s a competitive sport, the adrenaline rushing. It will, believe it or not, help you think more clearly – and your block will have disappeared, along with any lethargy.

George Chilton is an experienced Advertising and SEO copywriter at Herds of Words. He has fourteen years experience as a magician and public speaker and can be contacted at george@herdsofwords.co.uk Or come join the herd at HerdsofWords.co.uk - Freelance Copywriters .

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