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These five tips courtesy of our director of editorial content, Tim Morral.
Writer’s block is real. Even though we can’t see it obstructing the creative channels in our brains, it’s just as real as you or I. And I know it’s real because I’m having it right now, sitting here trying to pick the best way to start this blog post. I could go with a snappy one-liner about how we, as writers, can overcome our cognitive black holes. Maybe I should choose an extended metaphor about how writing is a David and Goliath tale where we only have to find our adversary’s weakness. Or perhaps I should just stick with what I know best, and open with an impressive quote or surprising statistic.
Writer’s block, this crippling inability to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), is an ordeal that every writer goes through. Why? Because we struggle with options.
Comedian Aziz Ansari pinpoints the phenomenon when he writes, “[people are] turning their early 20s into a relentless hunt for more romantic options… and you have a recipe for romance gone haywire.” While Ansari is referencing love in a digital age, the same debilitating feelings pervade our ability to sit down and write. Like 21st centuries lovers, we lust after the perfect sentence, the perfect word, the perfect story to engage our readers. Then, we get lost among all of the options.
There are a lot of words in this world, and sifting through them all can be enervating. This is when writer’s block takes hold. However, the boundless options that writing offers is an exciting, albeit exhausting chance. When we find that right word or phrase, we’ve bested the beast; we’ve proven that language is an opportunity, not a burden. More importantly, we’ve found a way to make writing benefit our clients.
No matter how inspired I may feel, though, at some point writer’s block will creep back in to my creative psyche. The next time that happens to you, try these five tips for getting over writer’s block:
There’s no shame in going back to the drawing board. There’s nothing wrong with asking questions, revising and taking a little more time to get things right. There is a problem with creating content that has holes because you didn’t know where to start. This is especially true when writing for clients, whose PR dollars and business leads can, in part, depend on thoughtful content with targeted messaging.
While getting over writer’s block is easier said than done, hopefully these five tips can help you get started. Do you have any tips of your own?