How to beat writer’s block

beat writer's block

We’ve all been there. Those long minutes and hours staring at a flashing cursor and a blank page, feeling unable to do anything about it.

If you’re running a small business, you probably have a long to-do list and no time to sit and stare. Writer’s block can easily put a swift (or not so swift) end to your blog writing ambitions.

As copywriters, we have to beat writer’s block. Our clients won’t be impressed with us if we tell them “sorry, we can’t meet your deadline, we couldn’t think of anything to write”. Writer’s block is about as good an excuse for missing deadlines as ‘the dog ate my laptop’ would be.

Here’s how we beat writer’s block:

 

1) We just f***ing write

First drafts are never good enough to be sent to clients, but they’re always good enough to be edited, redrafted and polished until they are. Having bad words on the page is far, far better than having no words. Bad words can be edited into good ones, no words can’t. After all, no-one ever talks about editor’s block.

 

2) We set manageable goals

Writing is just part of our job. We’re also editors, managers, marketers and administrators. So when we’re trying and failing to beat writer’s block, we’ll make a start on the writing, and then do something else for an hour. In that hour, inspiration usually hits,. We can go back to the page with clear head and eager fingers.

We’ll also sometimes use the Pomodoro Technique to get words on the page. This means choosing a short time slot (20 minutes works well) and committing to writing flat-out for that time. When the timer buzzes, it’s time for a break. It works because 20 minutes an easy amount of time to commit to. And it’s amazing how much you can write when you focus for 20 minutes.

 

3) We don’t write up against a deadline

Deadlines can be great motivators. But writing right up against them is often difficult because it’s panic-inducing. If our client is paying us for our work, we want it to be our best work, not something we knocked up in an hour because we promised we’d get it to them by 10am. Deadlines mean you’ll get something done, but it’s not likely to be great, because you’ll be writing through fear.

 

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Alice is a copywriter, editor, writing coach and founder of Purple Content. She’s been writing copy for businesses since 2009, after escaping a life of project management. She lives by the sea in Brighton and loves salty air, candlelit pubs and dystopian fiction.