10 Tried and True Ways To Smash Marketing Writer's Block

10 Tried and True Ways To Smash Marketing Writer's Block
Wendy Thomas - Thu Jul 30, 2009 @ 05:52AM
Comments: 35

It happens to all of us. Some call it writer’s block, some call it procrastination, and some simply call it lack of motivation. Whatever you call it, you know what it is, that lull in your work, those times, when you are stumped on how to continue writing what needs to be written. Photo credit: declan TM

At a recent Way North Writers, NH meeting (writers who are interested in the business of writing) members ranging from new writers to professional published writers offered the following suggestions to keep motivated when the writer’s muse has temporarily left the building.

  1. Embrace the saying: If the desire to write is not followed by the act of writing then the desire is not to write. If you want to write, then “just do it.” Sometimes tough love is the way to success.
  2. Write a To-Do list each morning before you start work. It helps to clearly identify the steps of each task you need to accomplish (and what better feeling is there than crossing off a list item?).
  3. Get together with like minds, a discussion with a group of others interested in your topic could spark ideas that are lying just under your mind’s surface.
  4. Take a quick walk or break from your desk to clear the mind cobwebs. A good dose of oxygen to the brain can help clarify even the toughest idea.
  5. Keep a notebook with you at all times and write down story ideas as they come. Elevators, stoplights - good ideas don’t normally wait for a convenient time to arrive.
  6. Read other articles and comment on them. Use them to think about comparing or contrasting your experiences to what is being discussed.
  7. Try using What if? to get an idea. What if this article were aimed at a different audience, how would it change?
  8. Use a little bit of your bravado, after reading something ask yourself, if I had written this, how could I have made the message stronger? How could I have made this article better?
  9. Create a mini-boot camp. Dedicate a specified amount of time to write, declare your goal and then report your progress to someone else. Accountability is a great procrastination smasher.
  10. Lastly, if you find yourself procrastinating, think of what a $500,000 writer would be doing. You can bet she would be sitting butt in chair and fingers on keyboard. So get to it.
Comments: 35


1. Jonathan Kranz  |  my website   |   Thu Jul 30, 2009 @ 06:41AM

Great advice! I think we can also learn from Bob Dylan, In his memoir, Chronicles, he tells an interesting story about what inspired his extraordinary songwriting streak. When he came to NYC, he intended to hit the folk scene as another interpreter of other people's songs -- especially Woody Guthrie's. During the day, however, he hung out in the newspaper archives of the NY Public Library, immersing himself in newspaper reports about the Civil War and its immediate aftermath. Dylan says the stories he found -- plus the rich rhetoric and imagery of the time -- were what sparked and fueled his songwriting.

Immersion in something outside of ourselves -- I think that's one of the secrets of creativity...

2. Heather Rubesch  |  my website   |   Thu Jul 30, 2009 @ 07:00AM

My tried and true technique is sweat and then shower. For some reason the combination of doing some kind of physical activity (running, yoga, pilates, etc) followed by a shower usually clears any mental fuzz and I start spewing ideas literally while still soapy so take a note pad and pencil (doesn't run like ink) into the bathroom and lay it on the sink when I step in the shower. 9 times out of 10 this works for me. Good thing I telecommute!

3. Diane Autey  |  my website   |   Sat Aug 01, 2009 @ 04:42AM

I just wrote about this in my newsletter:

Avoid the Block—Build It
The way to never experience writer’s block is to “build it.” Here’s my process:
• Gather all relevant sources and go through them, one by one, entering key information into a document (just brief statements or sentences in no particular order).
• Go back through and copy and paste similar information together. You will see a logical flow developing—maybe chronological or by level of importance of statements in descending order.
• Proceed to write the communication, connecting the thoughts together.
• Always write the headline/title last, after you have the full topic in your mind. It will come to you easily when you can see all of your points with their supporting evidence.

4. Wendy Thomas  |  my website   |   Sat Aug 01, 2009 @ 07:30AM


Good advice. I like the part about writing the headline/title last. I've seen too many writers blocked by headlines that were decided too early and that missed the mark on the document's message.

Headlines, titles, and even introductions are often the last polished pieces that you should add to your paper.


5. Wendy Thomas  |  my website   |   Sun Aug 02, 2009 @ 01:49AM


Love the Bob Dylan story. Inspiration can come at anytime from anywhere. the challenge is to make sure you are ready to receive it.


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