Dealing with Writer’s Block
Many Americans, as well as their global counterparts, suffer from the affliction of writer’s block. According to the good people at Wikipedia, writer’s block is “a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown.”
This condition, first identified when early humans began using hieroglyphics to communicate, is truly a scourge for many. Even professional writers, and even those prolific to the point of publishing hundreds of articles, press releases, and websites each year, live a life plagued by writer’s block.
I live with writer’s block on a weekly basis, and I typically publish, for myself and on behalf of my clients, more than 10,000 words a week. Thus, I must have some methods for overcoming these creative droughts.
As soon as I feel a lack of inspiration, I have to walk away from my writing assignments and work on other tasks, like strategy, emails, phone calls, contracting, and other aspects of my job. The best gift you can give to yourself, once you feel the block coming on, is to let yourself off the hook.
Be Flexible with Your Deadlines
To be able to give yourself a break when writer’s block besets you, your project management must leverage flexible deadlines. That doesn’t mean begging your client for more time; actually, it’s the opposite, as you must give yourselves earlier-than-real deadlines that you can push, as needed, to allow yourself more time to feel inspiration.
Ride the Wave
Thankfully, creative professionals do regain their mojo quickly. It’s important to ride that wave of inspiration and not only knock out what’s due, but also get ahead of the game and complete some tasks well ahead of their due dates. This is yet another method, in addition to earlier-than-deadline scheduling of tasks, that lightens your load and makes it more flexible in terms of time to accomplish.
Phone a Friend
Whether you’re working in a creative shop like I do or within a team at another kind of business, it’s important to get help when you need it. I’ve found that sometimes it’s good to swap assignments with my teammates, in order to help both of us stay fresh and avoid burnout. And sometimes, I just need to chuck an assignment over the fence to my neighbor and leave an IOU hanging in the balance.
Bring in a Mercenary
Even though most of us took 12 -14 years of classes requiring us to read, write, and comprehend the English language, many just aren’t good at writing proficiently, sustainably. When you’re honest with yourself and realize there are other lanes in which to exert your expertise, the next step is hiring out the work. Your time is infinitely more valuable than struggling in front of a blank Word doc for hours on end, especially when someone on my team can get that writing task, whether it’s an article, guest op-ed, or social media campaign, done in a fraction of the cost and with tremendous return on investment.
Perhaps you should contact us today, put your mind at ease, and make writer’s block a relic of your past.
About the Author
Brian Castle is Parklife’s Founder.