As writers, we know there’s nothing worse than a tapping pen or a blinking cursor – when your mind is buzzing away with thoughts, but your fingers are frustratingly still. To help you beat those blank page blues, here are five of our favourite tips…
1. Plan to perfection
You can’t always craft great copy off the bat. In fact, it usually takes a lot of planning to get right. A phrase we live by is “say it straight, then say it great.” Write down the message you want to get across in the plainest, most simple terms. Then, flex your creative brain and inject some life into your words.
Or why not try a different tack? Draw a bubble diagram or plan in whatever way works for you. Sometimes getting the ideas on the page, however messy, helps.
2. Write in white
Something that can really get in the way is your own self-criticism. The perfect first draft doesn’t exist – so stop trying to write one. An odd but useful trick to solve this problem is to change the colour of your font to white so you can’t see it. Your editing brain will turn off when you do this and will allow you to write some free-moving, unfiltered copy. And while it might not be flawless, we usually find some nuggets of gold in amongst it all.
3. Work backwards (or sideways)
In our experience, the opening line, paragraph or page is often the hardest to get right. You could waste precious time coming up with a perfectly pithy opener, when you could be writing some great stuff elsewhere. Be less rigid in your approach and start at the end or in the middle. Chances are, you’ll find it much easier to come back to whatever you were struggling with.
4. Change it up
Sitting at the same desk for hours on end usually doesn’t get the inspiration flowing freely. So switch up your scenery. Go for a walk, put on some music or move rooms altogether. If moving isn’t an option, then work on something else for a while. Varying where (and what) you write can refresh your thoughts.
5. Write regularly
If you haven’t written for a while, it can take time to get back into your stride. The answer? Write a little. Write a lot. Write when you fancy it. Write when you don’t. The main thing is to write as regularly as you can. This way, writing will become a habit. Even if you don’t like what you’ve written – a page of average copy that can be edited is a lot better than no copy at all.
6. Talk it through
You might not have the luxury of working with a team of writers, but just explaining your thoughts out loud can set them straight in your head. No matter what the subject is, just give someone a call and chat through your approach. You never know, you might even get some useful advice.
Occasionally, copywriters can fall into a rut with their own writing. No matter how hard you try to avoid it, every copywriter has words and phrases they overuse. Something that can help shift the writer’s block is reading another person’s writing. Read the copy from your favourite brands and try to reflect on why you enjoy them. You might come up with some surprising results.
Still need that blank page filling? Just drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on +44 (0)1225 731 373.