Chip Off The Old Writer’s Block

Writer’s block can cripple your daily output (if you let it). Let’s face it, we all have our productive and not-so-productive days. A professional copywriter is expected to perform at a fairly consistent standard to satisfy clients, colleagues and other stakeholders. There is an unwritten expectation that when you do endure a creative slump you make up for lost time. Writing is, after all, a discipline.

You lack discipline

Wordsmiths that care about their content will do the extra time when called upon. Is that a fair expectation in this digital age where parents are juggling copywriting briefs over family obligations?

‘At least one parent usually worked some hours from home in 63% of couple families where both parents were working. Some parents worked from home to balance work and caring responsibilities, while for others it was a way to catch up on work or meet deadlines.’

Blowing out project hours is not an ideal trend. But neither is working beyond your capacity. Setting realistic expectations with all parties concerned is the best way to avoid burning out.

Set yourself up for success. Here are some helpful tips for powering through a rough day/week/month.

Spotify While You Workify

Thanks to the almighty cloud, and the Swedish, the commercial music distribution service Spotify lets you listen to all sorts of tunes while you endure your daily grind. Sure, the trial version will pester you with advertising but then there’s the oh-so-sweet premium option for those willing to shell out to rock out.

The world is a noisy place. And it’s easy to get distracted.

Rather than let nature sabotage your work ethic, listen to a film score, or better yet, Neil Hawker.

Saturating your ears with jazz, funk—whatever—does amazing things to your creativity and can help you overcome writer’s block. Do try it.

Take a Break; Have Condensed Milk

Rot your teeth with Nestlé’s finest and let the sugar flow through you. If you’re diabetic, or prone to experience unpleasantness as a result of excessive sugar consumption, then leave the condensed milk alone. That’s more sweetness for Word Tweak.

This room is reserved for free thinking

Sometimes you just need to languish, undisturbed, in your mind palace for a little while. Constantly stressing over the same details will ruin your chances of being productive. Step away from your work area. Take an early break. Take a late break. Everybody break, break, break, break, break.

Try Something Else

Quit. Embark on a new career. Alternatively, look at your queue and play with another project. We tend to to-and-fro between multiple projects each day because it’s refreshing to think about different industries and ideas.

The brain likes to be nourished. So nourish it with variety.

When you return to the dreaded task you’ll be looking at it from a fresh perspective and you might even discover a new angle of attack. Or you might be better off job seeking.

Set Achievable Goals

We touched on this earlier. Setting achievable goals is all about realistic expectations. This can be as broad or defined as you want it to be. You might be looking down the barrel of a deadline and you can smell the cordite.

When a deadline is about to immolate your face

Break down your lofty targets into bite-sized objectives. When you fixate on the small things you won’t be stressing about the greater whole. Instead, you will find yourself becoming more organised and better positioned to provide regular and realistic updates.

Celebrate Success

Is stress gripping your thoughts like a vice? How can something tangible hold something intangible? That was a terrible metaphor.

Let’s try again (minus the flowery tripe). It’s easy to forget about everything you have accomplished to get to where you are. Don’t let your achievements and sacrifices all be for nought.

Reflect on your #winning moments and rekindle that creative passion. A positive outlook can do wonders when you are staring at a blank page and a blinking cursor.

Celebrating your successes can also help stop you from publishing horrible figurative language.

What do you do to overcome writer’s block?


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