The worst thing for someone trying to create copy for the next email marketing campaign is a blank Word document. It seems to say, ‘Come on, see if you can beat me.’ It is the bane of many creative writers. Having a deadline only puts pressure on the author and so makes the situation worse.
If that is you then, unless you want to hire a professional writer (my preferred option, but for selfish reasons), there are tried and tested methods for overcoming what is called writer’s block.
Here are mine. Give them a try.
1/ Don’t make excuses. Inspiration is a result of effort.
2/ Know what you are going to write about. It is not only the subject but all the points that you need to cover. Preparation in this, and everything else to do with email marketing, brings results.
3/ Research the subject. Ensure you have all the necessary details clear in your mind. If you’re writing about steel, read about it. Keep a list of technical words and specs.
4/ Stick with it. Many suggest playing a game like Sudoku but my experience is that I end up concentrating on that rather than what I need to write about.
5/ Tea or coffee. These are useful for more than just their stimulant properties, although every little bit helps. It’s the habitual actions. Your mind can be elsewhere while you make it and an idea can just appear.
6/ Ask someone. This hasn’t been the unending source of new ideas that I’d hoped it would be, but the discussion it generates, around the coffee machine normally, can make you more open to other thoughts.
7/ Write something. This is rather obvious of course, but it helps. Just fill the page with thoughts, without striving for perfection. It will get your mind into the writing mode. For this article I ignored whether it should be writer’s or writers’ block until I’d completed it.*
8/ Wander. Don’t limit what you write on the subject. It is not a case of writing about something else, but if an idea starts to develop then the habit of writing takes over.
9/ Write it down. Remember pen and ink? Writing bullet points/subheadings concentrates the mind and you don’t need a wide screen to display it.
10/ Ear plugs. Many have no problem working with a noisy background. I much prefer silence. Try earplugs just once, for me.
11/ Vocalise. I think of someone on the email marketing list and ask myself, for instance: ‘So what would Mr and Mrs Jones from Merthyr Tydfil want to know.’ If you work in an office I should warn you that this can generate some concerned stares.
12/ Confidence. We’ve all written copy before so it is not as if we can’t do it. The block is all in the mind. I think of the last time I struggled to write and what came from it.
Writer’s block is nothing more than a lack of preparedness, the solution to which is obvious.
*It can be either but writer’s is preferred.