Let’s face it: sometimes writing sucks, and we’d rather be doing something–anything–else. Or we just don’t know what to write.
So what do we do? We either a) procrastinate, b) outsource it, or c) “white-knuckle” it (use willpower) and squeeze the words out of our brain like a wet dishrag.
Well, if you must write it yourself … and you must write it right away … here’s a quick way to beat writer’s block without white-knuckling it. A lot of this depends on the kind of writing … but for the most part, this should be enough to get you out of your funk:
First: understand that willpower is a depletable resource; we only have so much of it at any given time–and it runs down like the power bar in a Mario Brothers game.
Don’t white-knuckle it. The key is to do a few simple, effective things that condition your brain to think the writing isn’t such a “threat” to its own selfish comfort (and by the way, that’s usually the answer to getting almost anything done).
Second: get up and move around for a few minutes to get some more blood flow to the brain. This is more powerful than you may think.
Third: ask yourself why you’re writing this piece. What will be the consequences of writing or not writing it? Write these consequences down and keep the list near you while you’re writing. This will help focus you.
Fourth, write down a reward for finishing. Something you will really enjoy afterward.
Fifth: check out some relevant books on the topic. Or articles. Or background material. If you’re writing an advertisement of some kind, check out similar ads online. Something, anything that can get some ideas flowing. All you really need is one idea to latch onto.
(and frankly, the problem may be simply that you haven’t done sufficient research).
Sixth: write down the ideas that come to your head as you’re reading. Stupid ones … great ones … whatever. Give yourself 10 minutes to write down as many ideas as you can.
Seventh: now, if you haven’t noticed … you’ve already started writing. Congratulations–you’ve beaten writer’s block. Examine your list and find your “idea(s).” Keep writing. Don’t edit yourself either. Just write. Edit and restructure later.
Now, if you still can’t get it together, please do yourself a favor and email me 🙂