Top Three Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

It usually comes without warning, carrying the same air of desperation that comes when you suddenly experience an onset of insatiable hunger at 4 pm, right before that two-hour long work meeting. It has the same feeling of frustration that arrives when you can’t—no matter what—seem to run your 10K in under an hour. And it has that same feeling of regret like when you can’t close the sales deal, despite your most brilliant pitch.

shutterstock_110330690Ah… good ‘ole writer’s block. It’s undoubtedly one of the most crippling incidents that can happen to writers, marketers, journalists and creative people.

Perhaps the largest issue is we oftentimes can’t predict the onset of writer’s block. It simply comes out of nowhere. It hides quietly for much of the month, waiting to pounce during our most vulnerable, crazed time. It’s relentless. And, of course, it’s unwilling to leave any time soon.

So how do you defeat the big, bad writer’s block monster?  By considering the following:

  1. Take a break: Of course it sounds counterproductive and clichéd, but taking a quick respite is perhaps the one key ingredient missing in your deadline-driven, “I have to get this done by noon” day. When our brains are constantly taxed to originate compelling leads, riveting syntax and brag-worthy analogies, we can’t perform. Simply put our brain short circuits, and what is left is oftentimes a bunch of jargon that makes even you groan. As a marketer, your responsibility to majestically tell a story unfortunately never stops. So when you’re stumped, take a break. Walk outside and eavesdrop on a conversation to see if it can bring your story fresh perspective. Turn on the radio to see if a catchy lyric gives you an idea for a lead about your company’s brand new product offering. Browse Facebook or Twitter to turn your brain off for just a second. You will be amazed at how refreshed you feel coming back to the story.
  2. Get inspired: As a marketer, maybe your inspiration comes from feverishly checking your competitor’s website to see how that company is breaking into the 30-45-year-old consumer retail bracket. Or perhaps it comes from taking a walk to the sales department to hear about what your prospective customers are hoping to gain when they book your company for photography services. Whatever your form of encouragement is, find it. Many marketers find their motivation from conversation—as they are verbal creatures. So if you are experiencing a bad case of writer’s block, head to the cubicle or office next door and find that person who will inspire you to crank out some new verbiage.
  3. Ask questions: Pitching questions is oftentimes a great way to get inspired. Looking for a new entry for your company’s blog? Try polling your customer care representative about the question he gets asked the most from disgruntled callers and write a post answering that query. Or, hit up your colleague at a manufacturing company to ask about how he keeps assembly line and plant floor blog posts interesting. Trading tips and asking questions is a surefire way to get the left side of the brain active again.

Feeling motivated? Good, time to open up the laptop.