Today’s post comes from Deirdre Breakenridge, a past contributor and marketing expert. You can read her last post here, and then learn how to tackle writer’s block below! Learn more about Deirdre at the Pure Performance Communications site.
I can always tell when the summer months are near … writer’s block comes creeping in. I’m not sure if it’s because there are so many activities going on between work, family and extra curricular fun, or if it’s because I’m feeling slightly overworked and ready for a long vacation. In any case, I find myself with a lot on my mind, none of which translates into a compelling blog post, eBook or a creative writing assignment. How can this be possible?
Well, it is and it happens to the best of us. If you’ve ever experienced writers block, then you know it can be frustrating, especially if your job is solely focused on writing or even just in part. In either case, here are my tips to combat writer’s block, so you can get your creative or business writing back on track.
#1. Clear your mind. Doing a brain dump of all the tasks you have to do, or removing from your mind anything personally or professionally weighing you down, truly helps to raise your creative energy. Really clearing your mind can open up your thought process so you start writing again.
#2. Don’t think about a perfect completed piece. Rather, just do a stream of conscience on a topic you like. Sometimes, I just do my own little brainstorm on a white board or in Evernote software. The outcome is nowhere near a finished product, just phrases and thoughts that come to mind. Doing this solo exercise allows you to see the potential of the topic and how you can take your thoughts further in a more structured manner.
#3. Take a mini staycation. It would be great to book a trip to an island or European get-away every time you feel bogged down with the weight of the world, which prevents you from writing. However, it’s not realistic. But, a little, mini staycation, at your home, is the perfect way to take one morning, an afternoon or even a whole day to rejuvenate. I’ve done this before and it works wonders. My staycation means taking time to do things as if I’m on vacation … morning meditation, bike riding, massage therapy, swimming and some shoe shopping. By the time I’m done, I can’t wait to write.
#4. Read a great memoir, novel or fiction book. Knowing that writer’s block occurs as the summer-months roll in, I start ramping up my reading. Since early May I’ve read Wonder, The Slave Dancer, The Mindful Woman, Becoming Ginger Rogers, The Jewels of Allah, Five People You Meet in Heaven, and now I’m devouring the pages of Reading Lolita in Tehran. I’ve also been writing daily and the words are coming more quickly than I can get them down on paper. Of course, I’ve also sprinkled in some great business books (Stand Out, Leave Your Mark, How the World Sees You, and The Hard Thing About Hard Things) in between.
Writing is a creative process, even business writing. You must have clear thoughts and be able to frame out a compelling story for your audience. So, the next time you feel like you’re in a writing slump, try these four tips to see if they get your writing jump-started and back on track.
What are your tips for writer’s block? Let us know in the comments below!
Deirdre Breakenridge is CEO of Pure Performance Communications. She is an adjunct professor at NYU, a Lynda.com author and the host of the Women Worldwide podcast show. Her most recent book published by FT PRESS is Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional.