We’ve all done it….stared at a blank screen, unable to think of a word to write. Here are six ways to get over that and start to type.
1) Don’t start at the beginning
Do you agonise over your intro? Of course you do – it’s the hardest part of any email, blog or article. So don’t write it when your “writing muscle” is cold – wait till it has warmed up a bit! Start writing your document in the middle and come back to the start later on.
2) Pretend you’re just writing notes
This is one I used to do regularly when I worked as a full-time journalist. There was something a bit intimidating about writing a 1500 word article that tens of thousands of people would eventually read. So I’d tell myself I was just writing notes – surprisingly detailed notes – and voila! It would somehow amazingly transform itself into the finished thing.
3) Have a writing routine
I was chatting today to someone who writes a regular blog for her business. She isn’t a professional writer, and openly admits she finds it a struggle to get started. “I have a little ritual before I write, which really helps,” she told me. “I go for a walk in the park, look at the flowers and clear my head. It somehow gets me in the right frame of mind.”
Having a routine that sends a signal to your brain that it’s time to write is a brilliant technique – and if it’s something that gets you out in the fresh air, even better. If you get fired up by some stirring Mozart in the background, or a coffee and a croissant, then that’s great too.
4) Create a plan
Remember those essay plans you used to write at school? They can work in business writing too. Scribble down the main points and then try to put them in a natural order. It will get the thought processes flowing and it's something you can refer to when you’re writing too.
5) Go and do something else
If it’s just not happening – and your deadline isn’t urgent – leave it and come back to it later.
6) Try writing at different times of day
I find I produce my best copy at the start of the working day. Some people are most creative in the evenings. Experiment with what time works best for you – you may surprise yourself.