Stuck on what to write about your brand? Need help figuring out how to beat writer’s block? You would think it’d be easy to come up with the words to describe your biz but often the opposite is true.
Just like novelists experiencing writer’s block, you can feel blocked when sitting down to write your brand copy.
It comes down to two things: fear and pure procrastination.
Fear may sound like a strong term to use here but that’s really what it is. Even now when I start with a new client or have a large writing task looming, sometimes a small part of me still hesitates in starting – what if what I write is weak? What if it’s not what the client was hoping for or they don’t think it’s clever enough? (It never is and clients are always happy with the end result, but the writer’s block is real.)
Ready for a breakthrough? Here’s how to beat writer’s block when writing copy.
01. Make a list
Sitting down to write a sales page is intimidating. Starting with a list isn’t. List out everything you want to include in whatever chunk of copy you’re working on and go from there. After you have all the main points down, you can go back and begin organizing the information flow, filling in the details and crafting the actual copy.
02. Pick up a pen
There’s something about sitting down in front of the computer and blinking at a blank screen that feels unnatural. If you’re stuck staring at a screen, step away and pick up a pen and paper instead. Jot a few notes down, scribble some doodles then start writing. You don’t need to write the whole thing down on paper if you don’t want to, but use the pen and paper to get you started before switching back to the computer.
03. Say it out loud
Can’t write it down? Record yourself saying it out loud instead. It may feel silly at first, but recording yourself can help to break through the awkwardness of writing. (This is also helpful when proofreading your work.)
04. Switch up your surroundings
Start to notice when and where you write best and try to recreate the scene. Do you work best when there are no visual or auditory distractions? Do you like to listen to certain music? Do you prefer to write while lounging on the couch or sitting at your desk with a fresh cup of coffee? Organize your surroundings to support getting you into the mindset to write or, if you’re still stuck, change up your surroundings and move somewhere new. Maybe a different setting and change of scenery will spark a new idea.
(Just be careful not to use this trick as a procrastination tool instead of a jump-start…you don’t actually need the setting to be just right before you can start writing!)
05. Set a timer & just start
When all else fails, set a timer and just start doing the dang thing. Whatever you come up with doesn’t need to be good, the goal here is simply to break through the initial hesitation and begin writing. Set a timer for 15, 25 or 30 minutes and force yourself to write until it goes off. You can even tell yourself that you only need to write for the allotted amount of time to make it feel more manageable. Chances are, though, that once you get started, you’ll already be finding your flow and continue writing after the buzzer.
There are other ways you can break through the writer’s block (like dream journaling according to this article from the New Yorker). What works for you?