Lost for words? Seven ways to get your copy flowing

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThere are good writing days and bad writing days; days when the creative juices are flowing like bacchanalian wine and days when you would be excused for thinking that your creativity had emigrated to sunnier climes.

So, what can you do to get over writer’s block when it strikes? Here are my top seven sure-fire ways to get the copy flowing and make sure you’re never lost for words again:

Tip one – Brainstorm

No matter how tidy I try to make my desk, there’s always a stack of notebooks to the left of me. When I’m stuck for ideas, I grab a notebook, take myself off to a different room in the house (or even the garden) and write down every concept that pops into my head. Some are good, some not so good. I play with word associations, connect ideas, list features and turn them into benefits – anything that helps me think my way into the mindset of the person who’ll be reading my writing.

Tip two – Create a framework

Something that helps me is creating a loose framework for the copy I need to write. In other words, I look at the key points I want to make and think about whether they need to go at the beginning, middle or end of a piece of writing. With just a few bullet points or single-word notes, I can begin to see my thoughts take shape in front of me.

Tip three – Read

My other half jokes sometimes that he ranks somewhere in my affections below the children, cat and my Kindle. His point is that whenever I have a spare moment (and there aren’t many of those when you’re a work at home mum), I spend it reading. As well as a love of fiction, I try to immerse myself throughout the day in articles and information that will inspire my own writing.

Tip four – Take a break

I know it’s tempting to sit at your desk until you’ve created something half decent but, honestly, your time would be better spent taking a walk around the block or popping round to a friend’s for a cuppa. Sometimes all we need to do is take a break to get a fresh perspective.

Tip five – Sing, loudly

This works for me every time. There’s something about singing along to a favourite song that never fails to blow away the cobwebs. It’s been my coping mechanism for as long as I can remember. I love listening to music, feeling the emotional response, connecting to the lyrics or even just the mood of the piece, and finding inspiration inside of someone else’s creativity.

Tip six – Stop telling yourself you’re not creative

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As a copywriter, I spend every day writing. There are days when I produce tens of words, and days when I produce thousands. Still, I have my moments when those nasty little mind monkeys tell me it is pointless trying to write. What do they know? In my experience, if you tell yourself that you’re not creative (that you’re better with numbers or don’t have a way with words, for example), then you probably won’t be – not because you can’t but because your mind is putting up its own powerful barriers.

There’s a fabulous children’s book called Giraffes can’t dance, which concludes that ‘everyone can dance when they find music that they love’. Writing is the same. If you find your passion and write about a topic you connect with, your knowledge and authenticity will shine through your words.

Tip Seven – Write, write and then write some more

The most effective way of overcoming writer’s block is to simply write, write and then write some more. Creative writing experts often recommend free writing as a technique for aspiring writers to get their ideas on to paper. Simply write whatever comes into your mind without pausing to think about punctuation, grammar or spelling. As you write, you’ll be amazed at how your thoughts begin to flow and the copy you were struggling to start takes shape before you.

After using any of these techniques, always make sure you go back and re-read your work with fresh eyes. This is the best way to see what’s actually on the page instead of what you thought was there. As the saying goes, write with your heart and edit with your head.

If writing just isn’t your thing or you’re still lost for words, you might want to think about outsourcing your copy to a copywriter. You’ll be amazed at how cost effective this can be for small businesses and imagine the relief of ticking your copy off your to-do list. 

Why not contact me today to find out how I can help your business?

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