Even for a full-time content creator (that's me!), writer's block is real. As I type this out, in fact, the tail end of a sinus infection and distraction of my toddler's noisy toys (anyone else SUPER sensitive to noise while they work?) are causing the wheels of inspiration to turn about as fast as a turtle on the highway.
So if website titles and email subject lines and social captions and blog posts and product descriptions are not on your list of favorite marketing tasks, I sympathize. For a non-writer who doesn't even enjoy writing very much, the struggle with writer's block has got to be THE. WORST. And yet, for any business owner, writing is part of the gig. Can it get easier? Absolutely.
Here are my favorite tips for overcoming writer's block, fit for both pro content creators and the reluctant wordsmith who just wants to get out some decent marketing for your business.
Find new topics in your unfinished thoughts
I'll start with my favorite way to spark inspiration, especially when I need a fresh topic or theme to unpack on a blog or email campaign. This is probably my most-used method for generating ideas. When I'm stumped for new topics to cover, I'll read back through previous blog posts, my website, social accounts, etc., for unfinished thoughts that I can turn into whole posts on their own.
Not others' stuff, just my own content, because I track best with my own ways of thinking and writing. Within a couple minutes, I can uncover a thought that I've never really unpacked. Usually it's a point in a blog post that I wrote three sentences for or a fleeting thought in a social caption. When I see it, I'll think; bingo, there's your next topic. The best part? I've usually thought it through at least a little bit whenever I brought it up previously, so the train of thought is already tracking for a larger, deeper dive into that point.
Activate creativity through activity
Now, before you assume I'm going to try and turn you into a runner, here me out on this. Yes, I'm a runner, and I personally get a lot of inspiration from running. I formulate leadership teachings for work while I run. I process through topics while I run. I came up with my one and only tattoo while running. Running is my thing. When I'm doing burpees at the gym on the other hand, nope. Nada. My brain can only handle getting through those burpees.
You have an activity that I guarantee encourages your creativity. Or maybe it would if you gave it a chance.
Here's my challenge to you: Whether it's yoga, walking, cleaning, driving to an appointment, gardening or browsing the aisles at Target, let your creative wheels spin. Don't assume those are activities that are separate from processing through your marketing content. Many times, those are the perfect activities for getting in the brain space to create. They have to be activities you can put on auto-pilot though. So if it's a new yoga flow or an appointment you've never been to before that you need to actually pay attention to the gps to get to, this probably won't apply.
Bonus tip: bring headphones (even for one ear if you're driving or have littles to attend to) and play some soothing music. The kind that helps you focus. This may turn a mundane chore into a set-up for your imagination to soar.
Reverse-psychology the pressure for length
GAH, okay, I know I said my first tip was my favorite but I really love this one too. Who are we kidding, all three of these are gold to me. I would go crazy-writer-lady without them.
Anyway, this one is gooooood because it works. every. time. Do you often face your content pieces with the nagging thought that they have to be long? Like, your next pdf download should be 8-10 pages. That blog post needs to be at least five paragraphs? Your social plans have to stretch out over a week, two weeks, a month? Shoot, that email campaign needs to cover 6 months, which means it needs to contain at least 12 emails!?
Ladies, I am here to SET YOU FREE. What if, this time, your pdf download was simply one page? Your blog post was only a couple paragraphs? Your social plan is simply a single post? That email campaign is a strong, yet simple introduction email. Does that take the pressure off? Does that help you get past the overwhelm and into writer's mode? I bet it gets you there quicker than what you were originally telling yourself.
There's no faster way to kill my marketing content mojo than the overwhelm of length. That voice that says I need to chain myself to the desk chair and pour over words for the next 76 hours. So I do reverse-psychology on my own brain. I tell myself; Hey, Lindsey, this time let's just do something short and sweet. Just sit and write something for a few minutes. That's all.
And you know what happens? I sit to write something for a few minutes, which puts me in the right head space, which turns into a desire to write and create a little more, which, before I know it, turns into a lot more content than I expected from myself at first.
Girlbosses, we can be our own worst enemy when it comes to putting pressure on ourselves. Give yourself permission to simplify, shorten, or even skip something this time around. No one works well under too much pressure. Especially when it's an assignment you don't really enjoy to begin with.
Are you feeling freer yet? Have you found any of these to work for you? I'd love to know! Leave your comments, friend, and let me know how you get past writer's block, whether you're a content queen or a words-averse boss babe ;)
Of course, if you could care less about ever writing another marketing word again, I am for hire, and I do offer free 15-minute consultations to help you decide what your content needs or if it's time to turn it over to a pro.
Now it's time to go put my own tips into practice. Have a great week!