Part 2: How to beat writer’s block
In the previous part of my blog I described writer’s block, or rather what I call writer’s blur.
As Philip Pullman, author of ‘Northern Lights’, so matter-of-factly explained: “The fact is that writing is hard work, and sometimes you don’t want to do it, and you can’t think of what to write next, and you’re fed up with the whole business.”
Many authors suggest taking a walk, having a bath or even cooking to beat this feeling, but with deadlines looming and content flooding in, this advice is frankly useless for PR copywriters.
So how can we quickly and effectively beat the blur?
- SILENCE THE PERFECTIONIST: While every piece of finished content must be perfect, your first draft is for your eyes only. Start writing, even if it is unbearably awful, because it is easier to correct and critique a piece of terribly written content than to write perfectly from scratch. Give yourself something to work with and then the perfectionist in you can step in to refine it later.
- AWAKEN THE READER: If you are stuck then spend five or ten minutes reading. The reading material should ideally be of a similar style to the content you are working on; this will help you to find your voice. The other approach is to read something inspiring by your favourite author to remind yourself why you got into the writing game in the first place.
- MOBILISE YOUR TEAM MATES: Every now and then, your writer’s blur may be due to insufficient information or briefs, or simply crossed wires when it comes to the most important messages. If a writing task is daunting you then get to the heart of what it’s all about by talking talk to your team mates and getting a clearer picture of what is needed.
- MIX IT UP: Intersperse shorter, simpler tasks with longer, more complicated writing to keep yourself fresh. If you are struggling with one particular task then don’t be afraid to switch to another. Miraculously, your subconscious will continue to work on the previous task and it will seem a lot easier when you return to it.
By following these steps, I have avoided writer’s block simply by keeping going and never running out of steam. After all, “writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all.”
Natasha Redcliffe is the English Copywriter of Cicero & Bernay Public Relations. An independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai and offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. | www.cbpr.me