Anyone who writes for a living will, at some time or other, be afflicted by the curse of writer’s block. Here’s some excellent advice from Shear Creativity about what to do when it strikes…read more here
Writer’s block. It strikes at the worst possible time making what would be a simple, fun exercise an exhausting one. It is exacerbated by stress, and often, leads to endless hours of frustration and hundreds of pages of useless copy, discarded for eternity. At least we don’t use typewriters any more, right? Copywriters back in the day must have been the leading cause of deforestation and global warming (as if advertisers needed any more blemishes on their reputation).
So what’s a wordless wordsmith to do? Here are some ways to cure the linguistically challenged.
1. Misdirection. Try thinking of topics completely irrelevant to the task at hand. If you’re supposed to be writing about the social consequences of performance monkeys (what more can you say?), start from a different angle. Maybe it’s sandwich making, Disney princesses or firefighters. Sometimes the most random approach results in the most interesting, creative outcome.
2. Move and Shake. Get up. Go do something. Anything that will distract you from ruminating over those darn performance monkeys! Clean your office, go for a jog or call your grandma – she misses you! Once you allow yourself to relax and step away from the computer, the creative juices will start flowing once again.
3. Ask someone else. A different set of eyes, ears and brain cells can make a world of difference, and having a conversation can provide a fresh perspective to the problem. Experts tend to be TOO involved and often lose sight of what they have to offer – give someone else a chance to think for a change.
4. Research. What are other people saying about performance monkeys? Maybe you can build off someone else’s idea or maybe their opinion will spark a thesis of your own. Gathering as much information as possible will allow you to view the problem holistically and give you a more knowledgeable outlook going forward.
5. Wait until tomorrow. If you have the option, nothing beats getting your beauty rest. Who knows? Those performance monkeys may come to you in your dreams with just the right story… or maybe when you wake up, rested and refreshed, you’ll have the energy to tackle that writing once and for all.
6. Write exactly what you know. Right now, you think nothing more can be said about the social consequences of performance monkeys. So say that. Tell us what led you to believe that, and speak honestly and openly. A candid piece will come naturally, and even if it’s not your final draft, it will get your writing gears running smoothly.
7. Or, you can just write about writer’s block. That’s what we did!