You’ve been sitting at your computer for a good hour. But you’re not typing. In fact you’ve written very little. Do three bullet points count? You’re staring into space; ironically looking at that picture on the wall – the one with the motivational quote. You’ve picked up your phone to check your notifications so many times you’ve lost count.
The clock is ticking…
That blog / article / press release / web content / column / LinkedIn post / social media content* is not going to write itself.
But you can’t seem to write that first sentence. The one that really matters!
It won’t be long before your web designer / publisher / PR / marketing agency* is chasing you for the copy.
You’re going to miss your deadline.
This is not helping cross things off your to-do list. It’s getting longer by the second. Why oh why did you say you would write it yourself?
*delete as appropriate
The phenomenon is called writer’s block. If you’ve struggled with it, reassuringly, you’re not alone.
I’ll be honest with you. Even as a copywriter, I experience it from time to time too. The difference between you and I is that I have some techniques up my sleeve to manage it.
So what is writer’s block?
According to Wikipedia, writer’s block is a slowdown in creative ideas or an author’s complete loss of ability to produce new written work.
I’m not going to tell you how to overcome writer’s block (there are tonnes of blog posts already out there on how to do that). So if you don’t class yourself as a writer, my professional advice would be to find someone you trust to do the writing for you.
There are two reasons why the copywriting profession exists:
To help people who don’t know what to say or how to say it.
We’re really good at our job!
Professionally written copy speaks and pays for itself. I’ve seen clients gain multiple bookings and lucrative new contracts from a single blog post I’ve written for them. You just need a copywriter who’s brimming with ideas and can write in the appropriate style and tone of voice for your business. And they must have the skills to get to know you and your customers.
Writer’s block versus the ideas engine
The ideas engine wins every time.
From the first conversation with a new client my brain starts to whir. You’ll often find me shouting, “hold that thought!” as I scribble down an idea so we can return to it later. It’s usually something the client says that I think would make a fantastic blog post or a really engaging piece of social media content.
If we work together over an extended period I can really get to know a client’s business. This usually leads to loads of ideas for a longer-term content strategy. Best of all, the client doesn’t need to worry about any of it as I’m self-sufficient and just get on with the research and writing.
The garden of creation
I’m writing this post in my garden. It’s not sunny but it’s warm enough to feel cocooned in my writer’s paradise. I don’t know why, but my thoughts seem to come more easily and freely outside.
There’s a fairly large holly tree in the middle of my garden. I love its five unusual trunks where two different types of holly bush have combined.
Stay with me…
The holly tree’s many branches seem to come from anywhere and everywhere. They’re a bit like my content ideas. Sometimes they come out of leftfield, but somehow they all combine to form a single shape – a content plan. I have years of content writing experience and know what works and what doesn’t work.
So my advice, if you’re suffering from writer’s block is…
Let the professionals deal with writer’s block
Don’t waste time trying to battle through writer’s block. Next time you hear yourself telling someone you’ll write that new web page yourself, stop for a minute and ask yourself if it’s truly the best use of your time.
Or would it be a task more suited to a proven and experienced copywriter?
Oh, and if you decide on the latter, you can contact me here. But please don't call me Holly!