We now live in a digital world and our thoughts are often based around short comments on LinkedIn, a team member profile on your website or 280 characters for a twitter update.
But what do you do when your creativity deserts you? How do you stop procrastinating and draft a longer piece to publish on LinkedIn, re-write copy for your website or write a compelling press release about your success?
You’ve overcome the first hurdle and moved beyond the blank page, but just when you need inspiration and motivation, you find yourself sinking under a pile of drafts and rewrites, with little prospect of ever finishing the piece satisfactorily.
Never lost for words
It’s what we do for a living, yet it happens to us too. We always argue that our clients prefer to correct than create copy, as no one knows their business better than they do and a few amends will make it their words. And once we get going, the deadline keeps us on track.
So, before you decide your only option is to give up, or use something you’re not happy with, try these tricks to get you going.
Admit you’ve a problem
When trying to draft the right words, the best way to resolve a problem, is to admit you have one. Tell yourself that you’ve reached an impasse and you want to stop writing.
Recognising your current efforts are not working allows you to focus on how to move forward.
Determine the problem
Try and decide if you are struggling because you cannot find the right words or if it is your ability to make it into an engaging story.
Forget the robots and SEO demands of writing for the internet, you still have to write for humans first. Pinpointing your problem will reveal it’s not a big issues at all.
Strip it right back
Pick up a pen and grab some paper. Hand-writing the major points that need to be included in whatever you are writing will help refocus your attention and refresh your imagination.
Strip back the words to only these needed to convey the message and then add those you need to knit it all together.
Shrug and keep going
Writers will often hit a problem early on and it will stall them completely. Do not stop. If you’ve hit a block with one aspect of your story, move on to the rest and get that down on paper.
Each time you get stuck, shrug and keep going; as you write a solution to the initial problem may reveal itself.
Come back later
When all else fails, stop completely and do something else. Ask another member of your team to review your progress so far, or delegate the task to someone else and correct their attempt if necessary.
Returning to the project days or weeks later can help you get it finished.
And finally, give up completely
Sometimes there really is nothing to do other than walk away from it. Your thoughts may be taking you down a cul-de-sac from which there is no return.
What seemed like a good idea for a blog or LinkedIn post, has ended up criticising clients, demeaning the efforts of your own business or depicting you as mean-spirited know-it-all. In these circumstances, walk away and shelve the project.
We would only ever advocate arching your thoughts, rather than hitting delete as you can always revisit these part-rendered missives to inspire your future copywriting efforts. By then you may understand how better to complete the story to your satisfaction.
And of course, if all else fails and you really need good copy drafted that projects the right image for you and your business, you can always call on the services of professional writers, who can neither afford to get stuck or walk away. We create, you correct. Simples.