As communication professionals working in the marketing, public relations and social media spheres, we write. A LOT. Press releases, pitches, ad copy, oh and that tweet from your favourite brand that you just liked? Yeah, you can thank a communications professional for that. Writing is a necessary skill that we perform on the daily and need to have in order to succeed. So isn’t it ironic that after writing countless pieces of material that when it came time for me to write my (first!) blog post for ChizComm I suffered from writer’s block?
It happens to the best of us. You sit down in front of your computer with a blank document open full of potential and the words just won’t come to you. But the work needs to get done. So how do you drill through that cement block in your brain that has plagued writers since language became a thing? Here’s a few tips to help get those creative juices flowing:
Even in the most creative fields falling into a daily routine can be a pitfall. If you’re going through the motions or only focusing on the mundane, the unused parts of your brain will slowly drift off to a peaceful sleep. And a sleepy brain is an unproductive brain. Take a break and get stimulated. Do some jumping jacks. Do a Sudoku puzzle. Listening to a song that gets you pumped up. Do something that wakes up the senses and engages your mind in a different way. Once the blood gets flowing, the words will soon follow.
There’s an old adage “if you want to write better, read”. Reading other written works will provide you with inspiration in more ways than you know. It will help you be more informed so you can develop your own opinion. It will help you discover new styles that you might not have been aware if. It will also help improve you own vocabulary. So if you’re stuck give yourself permission to open a new internet tab and read that article you’ve been meaning to get to.
This is easier said than done. I mean isn’t the whole point of this blog post to help you when you can’t write? You need to remember that the brain is a muscle like anything else. In particular, the Wernicke’s area of the brain is responsible for our ability to communicate ideas through the various forms of language. Like most muscles, if you don’t use it you lose it. Keep the Wernicke’s area strong with writing exercises. Word puzzles work well. Try picking a topic that you’re passionate about and writing a short paragraph on it. Or, take five minutes to catch up on your correspondence. Sometimes all you need to do is give your brain a little warm up and a reminder that it knows how to write.
Writing is a process that takes time no matter if you’re writing a 280-character tweet or the next great novel. The good news is that you’re not entirely at the whim of the muses in order to finish your masterpiece. So go forth and write!