Just stop the fighting. And start writing.
It’s war. And we’ve all been there. Not bloodied, armoured fighting. It’s a cold war. Between yourself and the blinding page. Staring back at you. Blankly in the face. And the more you stare, the more guilt-ridden you feel. And the more reasons you find something else pressingly urgent to do. Anything. Clean. File. Or do some online shopping. And, when you reach that level, you know it’s time for action.
If this sounds like you, stop procrastinating. And just start writing.
But I know. Sometimes it’s easier said than done. Procrastination and writers' block can stem from something as simple as an email response, a short sales letter or a new CV. To something more menacing and frightening for many professionals: Writing that arduous professional tender or request for proposal with the ever-looming deadline. Eeew. Now, that makes sense.
Whatever your business copywriting block, here are five quick ways to help you take off your unnecessary armour and write. And keep writing. Until you can remove your sunglasses (not a great look indoors) as your page finally fills with words.
1. Changing your writing position
Most people write sitting at a desk. “Well, yeah,” you say. But there are other options. Like standing up. Yep. Better for your posture. Better for your digestion. Better for weight loss (about 50 more calories per hour, if you’re into stats). And just, well, different. It’s amazing what it does to your flow of creative juices. Give it a try.
2. Changing your environment
Chronic procrastinators, beware! This solution isn’t the green light to go crazy and sip coffee, swim or stare at the horizon for hours. But, have you ever thought of writing somewhere out of the norm? Taking your laptop to your favourite café (with free WiFi of course), finding a sunny spot on a beautiful headland or a cosy nook in your local library, or quiet, tree-filled spot just outside your office. It’s amazing what a different view and environment can do.
3. Writing nonstop for 20 minutes
Get out a timer or use your phone. Set it for 20 minutes and go for it. Write like there’s no tomorrow. And don’t stop. Write anything that comes to you. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It won’t be. It’ll probably look like a dog’s breakfast when you finish. But getting started is half the battle. And here’s another tip. When you’re on a writing roll and can’t think of the right word or phrase, just use TC – To Come. Instead of wasting time thinking, come back when editing your first draft and nine times out of 10, the right word will pop into your head. When the timer chimes, stand up and move around for two minutes. It’ll improve your engagement with your business writing task and concentration. And get the creative juices flowing again. Keep doing this until you’re done.
4. Breathing, often
When super stressed (think seriously close deadline and still a ton of words to be written) many people, me included, forget to breathe. This tightens shoulders. Stiffens your body and you write like you’re wearing a suit of armour that’s three sizes too small. So relax. And breathe. And ask yourself what you want to say. Feeding your brain with oxygen calms your mind and helps organise your thoughts like the clarity of a flawless diamond.
5. Rewarding yourself
What’s in it for me? Everyone needs a reward – from toddlers to 90 year olds. And, as professional business copywriters, that’s what we’re meant to be good at – finding the carrot to dangle at prospects. So, dangle a carrot in front of yourself as a reward for finishing your business writing task. For me, it can be as simple as spending some time playing with my ultra-cute dog, Molly, or taking her for a much-needed walk. What floats your boat? Maybe it’s food, a great coffee or spending time with your bestie? Whatever it is, promise it to yourself and see how much faster the page fills.
Well, what are you waiting for? Try some of these solutions to curb writers' block. You’ll pick up that pen or get those fingers dancing on your keyboard before you know it.
If you suffer from chronic procrastination and writers' block when it comes to business copywriting, call Belinda Findlay, at Write Angles Communication on 0419 603 359. It just so happens that she's an experienced business copywriter, so she loves to write for businesses. And would love to write for you, too.