Copywriting for the Web: Writer’s Block, Breaking Down the Wall
Air sea rescue mounted a desperate operation in the form of a spoon but the sodden remains of said biscuit are yet to be found.
Biscuits and writer’s block…?
As I searched desperately for the crumbly castaway in the murky abyss of my coffee cup, it occurred to me some things in life are universal.
Those who partake in the time honoured tradition of biscuit dunking run the risk of sullying their mugs with fallen biscuits. Biscuit density and quality is of course a factor. At the end of the day though, it doesn’t matter whether you are rocking McVitie’s or Tesco’s own brand, we are all prone to losing a biscuit here and there.
Superman’s Achilles’ heel was Kryptonite. Dunkers face the risk of biscuit breakage. So what is it exactly that sends a collective shiver up the spine of the copywriting community?
In a nutshell: writer’s block! There I said it. It’s not a dirty word, its nothing to be ashamed of; it’s something all copywriters must battle from time to time.
Walls are made to be broken…
As with biscuit breakage, there is no scientific formula to excavate your person from the shadows of the writing block wall.
Having worked in the writing trade for the best part of a decade, the Writing Block Monster only rears its ugly head occasionally nowadays. Even so, when the beast does transpire in all its ferocity, I still struggle getting coherent thoughts down on the page.
With web copy deadlines on the horizon, it’s easy to panic. But don’t, this is what the sharp-toothed blockish partition in your mind wants.
It feeds on a diet of fear, so make sure it goes to bed hungry.
Here are a number of methods I find useful in shepherding my mind back to the righteous path of web copy:
1) Come out with your hands up and step away from the keypad! Take a break, have a biscuit (careful if you’re dunking). It may sound overly simplistic, but give your eyes and mind a rest.
2) If your web copy deadline permits, why not leave it till the next day? Things always look different in the morning. Even though you may have temporarily stepped away from the project your subconscious will continue processing information. This will help iron out those creases in your mindscape.
3) Talk to a friend, family member or colleague. Use them as a sounding board to bounce ideas off. I often find fleshing out web copy ideas with others triggers that much need inspiration to keep the Writing Block Monster at bay.
4) Read material related to your web copy project. Not only will this count as research but it could help you view the work through a more positive prism.
5) Rearrange or rewrite the outline/draft for your web copy endeavour. Like a Rubik’s Cube, fiddling often helps the pieces fall into place.
6) Don’t bang your head against the wall. It’s hazardous to your health and you could end up chipping the paint.
7) Fuse your mind with the things you find inspirational. For me, that’s films, literature and music.
The fall of the writing block wall…
Some things are built to last, the writing block wall isn’t. How you scale the wall will depend on you. But scale it you will.
In most cases perseverance and self-belief should dissolve writer’s block faster than a biscuit in a sea of coffee. On the odd occasion, it may take longer.
Whatever the case, just stick with it and remember: unlike mermaids, submarines, goldfish and Olympic swimmers, biscuits don’t like being left in water for too long.