Shouldn’t web content writing be easier than this? You should be writing, but you’re fresh out of ideas. Your inspiration is emptier than the heart of a Wall Street banker. Your well of creativity is dry, bone dry. ‘Why does my brilliance escape me?!’ you cry, as if someone could hear your melodramatic pleas. Well, my friend, it looks like you have yourself a bad case of clever-words-escapes-me-itis (i.e. writer’s block). Don’t worry, it’s not contagious. Step away from the computer, slowly. Take off your copywriting hat. Now try one of these tips to jolt your creativity:
1. Wash the Dishes
Ever wake up at 3 am with the most dazzling idea? “That’s it!” you say, as you shoot out of bed. “BBQ chicken popsicles! That’s how I’ll make my fortune.” There’s a reason your most zany and creative insights arrive in moments of rest. Your mind needs to re-coup. It needs to make sense of all that stimuli being thrown at it. You can’t squeeze blood out of a stone, and you can’t squeeze ideas out of grey matter. You know what they say: What you resist persists. Don’t force it. Take a break and get clear. Why not wash a few dishes? Watch the bubbles as they cascade down that spaghetti-spackled bowl. Feel a warm wave of clarity wash over you, much like the sudsy water splashing against your hands. If all else fails, you’ll have a tidy place to come home to. You could also try vacuuming your room, folding laundry, cleaning the bathroom, or mopping the floors. Above all else, try to relax! Give your brain a timeout.
2. Pet Your Cat
Your furry friend usually calls the shots in this regard. Why not keep him guessing? Your kitty may be delighted with an impromptu afternoon petting. Usually the feline will decide when it’s an acceptable petting time. But why can’t you wear the trousers for a change? Remember, if Mr. Boots purrs, you’re doing a good job. If he lashes his tail and stares at you with pointed ears, you’re doing an unacceptable job. If kitty squints his eyes and tucks his ears back, run for the hills! Mr. Boots is in attack mode. Maybe it’s time to start writing again?
3. Do a Jig
Did I tell you that my Great Granddad was Irish? No joke. Here’s a quick lesson on how to do an Irish jig:
Step 1: Hop on your left foot while raising your right foot out in front of you. Keep your toes pointed.
Step 2: Continue hopping on your left foot. Move your right leg (with your knee bent), behind your left foot. Place the right foot behind the other foot. Transfer your weight onto your left foot.
Step 3: Switch to hopping on your right foot. Simultaneously, bring your left foot behind you. Place your left foot behind your right foot as you raise your right foot. Step down onto your right foot.
Step 4: Raise your right foot and bring your left foot behind it. Step down again onto your right foot.
Step 5: Bask in glory. You just did a jig, and it wasn’t bad! Now, shouldn’t you be writing?
4. Do Some Googling
Google something ridiculous like “magical bunny refuge.” See what pops up. Maybe you’ll get an idea or two. What sites consistently inspire you? Can you read some Hemingway or the work of other writers that you admire? All things creative build upon what came before. Don’t copy other writers (never do this!) but let their words infuse your consciousness. Let their work transport you to a different mind-space completely. Good ideas don’t fall from the sky. Submerge yourself within other creative works to catalyze that same ingenuity in yourself.
5. Take a Walk in the Rain
You know what they say, Vancouver, “Save it for a rainy day.” Rain is such a colossal part of our city’s culture and identity. And there’s plenty to do when it’s raining! Heck, this is when the city comes alive. Grab your wellies and umbrella. Take a stroll and feel the cool drops of rain on your face. Sense the wind blowing away your stagnant thoughts, much like the stale air around you. Now, don’t you feel refreshed and ready to write again? (Ahhh, I love a good walk in the rain).
6. Make Friends With Your Inner Critic
You know the drill. You picture yourself in a room with your boss or your most demanding client. You purse your lips slightly, ready to enlighten with your words. Instead, you utter something so twistedly insane that you shock even yourself. You turn three shades of purple. You slither out of the room, scraping together what dignity you have left. The tirade continues in your head. “You’re such an idiot!” you say to yourself. Relax, be nice to yourself. It’s just you and your computer. Stop playing out old dialogues like a broken record, over and over again. Make friends with your inner critic and turn your worst enemy into your greatest ally. It’s much easier to be imaginative when you’re not afraid to fail or look stupid.
7. Hire a Professional Copywriter/Editor
As I mentioned in a previous post, Is it Time to Hire a Marketing Writer, Vancouver? writing is hard for many people. The people who enjoy writing are making a living as professional copywriters/web content writers (or word ninjas–doesn’t that sound more fun?) Some of us need a bit of help, and there’s no shame in that. So, what’s any self-respecting business owner with writer’s block to do? First, try one of the above tips. If nothing budges, maybe it’s time to outsource your marketing copywriting? Hire someone who’s skilled with words and your content will cease to reek like a forgotten peach pit at the bottom of your garbage.
Writer’s block doesn’t have to derail your content marketing efforts. Take a break. Do something crazy. Get some housework done. Pet your cat. And have some fun while you’re at it, OK?
About The Author
Content brought to you by Tanya Roberts, a Vancouver-based online marketing consultant that specializes in slick content strategy to rock your website traffic, build your brand, gain leads, and increase sales. Tanya is an experienced marketer, copywriter/editor, freelance writer, internet/online marketing consultant, and social media specialist. You can also find Tanya on Google Plus. Results matter; here are a few of mine.