Copywriting Tip #25: How to overcome writer’s block – Part 1

Let’s talk about writer’s block. It’s a syndrome whereby the words either don’t come or they do, and they’re not very good.

I have some strategies for dealing with this. Here’s a few I use:

Reward yourself for completing a task.

Not everyone responds to this but I sure do. It’s very simple. I say to myself, ‘Just write for two more hours, or finish this piece of copy, and then you can have a massage/manicure/lunch/swim (insert your own reward). The thought of this reward pushes me through and gives me the incentive to keep going, even when every fibre of my being says ‘Stop!’.  

Commit publicly to a deadline.

I like this one, not because I am a masochist but because it works. Nothing fires me up more than the thought of missing a deadline because I hate the thought of having to ask for more time or come up with an excuse. It’s just easier to finish it. To activate this strategy, muster the courage to tell the client, in writing, that you will finish it by XYZ date. Don’t put a time on it (“I’ll finish it by 5pm”) because you just may need until the stroke of midnight to finish it. Give yourself that little bit of wiggle room.

If all else fails, and you simply can’t make the deadline, for goodness sake, TELL the client. Email them and tell them you can’t make that deadline but tell them when you will submit.

Nothing angers a client more than not knowing what’s going on. Even if the news isn’t good, clients will appreciate being kept in the loop.  

Action: Choose a piece of copy to finish and book a reward for yourself when you finish it.