Have a Great Workday! Breaking through writer’s block
Learn how to break through writer's block so your healthcare marketing messages can shine with our 10 go-to tips.
As a healthcare marketer, you’ve got messages to share. It’s part of your job, of course.
So you sit at your desk, adjust your chair and prepare to write. You stare at the screen, fingers poised above the keys—and start typ….
Wait, what just happened? You didn’t get far. You didn’t even get started. That’s writer's block—and it happens to the best of us. But who has time for it?
Write on! 10 go-to tips to get unstuck
No matter how hard you try, you’re never going to squeeze the words out of your keyboard by holding a staring contest with your blinking cursor.
Instead, try one or more of these strategies the next time you encounter a writing roadblock:
- Walk around the block. Don't think about writing. Your best option, if possible: Take a quick walk outdoors. Breathe in fresh air. Let your mind wander. A funny thing about your brain: It feels like you're taking a break, but your intuitive subconscious can be busy processing, making connections and helping you find those elusive words. Aerobic exercise in particular is good for creativity.
"Don't waste time waiting for inspiration. Begin, and inspiration will find you." —H. Jackson Brown Jr.
- Just write something. Some call it freewriting. In her book, “Everybody Writes,” Ann Handley calls it the ugly first draft. Give yourself 15 minutes to write something, anything. It doesn’t have to be good, so don't stop to weigh every word. Sometimes that's all it takes to open the gates. And as any wordsmith knows, great writing is almost always in the rewriting anyway.
"Writing about writer's block is better than not writing at all." —Charles Bukowski
- Write the ending first. Maybe you can’t get the intro figured out. But what about other parts of your draft? In the interest of time, perhaps you could skip ahead and work on the middle or even the end. Come back to the beginning part later.
- Look for inspiration. Perhaps you need to write a promo about a new service line or benefit program. Look at well-done ads in magazines for strategies. How are they appealing to consumers? Or maybe you're ghostwriting a letter from your CEO. Read previous missives, and think about how you might improve upon them to fire up your creativity.
"Writing is a struggle against silence." —Carlos Fuentes
- Go old school. Try crafting part of your piece with paper and pen. Freeing yourself from the screen= may spark the ideas and vision you need to start writing.
- Revisit some of your previous writing. Pick something you wrote that you felt good about. See? You know how to do this. You might just need to be reminded that you’ve got this!
“Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence.” —Ernest Hemingway
- Work on another project. Chances are, other writing projects also need your attention. If you’re hung up on one piece of writing, try shifting your focus to another project instead, if possible. You might find that you’re over your writer’s block when you revisit the first piece.
- Change your scenery. Sometimes writing from another location can help you get unstuck. Take your writing outdoors, if possible, or to another room.
- Ditch the distractions. Sometimes distracted writing can masquerade as mired writing. Try turning off any social media feeds that may be vying for your attention. Shut the door to your office to tune out noises.
- Enlist the power of a firm deadline. Is a writing task hanging over your head with a loose time frame? That can make it too easy to dither and delay—until suddenly it's urgent and you're really scrambling or it just never gets done. Give yourself a deadline to complete a first draft, and block off time to work on it. Then set it aside and give yourself a new deadline to go back to it and polish it up.
"The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair." —Mary Heaton Vorse
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Here’s one more way to deal with writer’s block: Leave the content writing to us!
Coffey's writers and editors can help you deliver your healthcare marketing messages in a clear and compelling way. And when you team up with us, you can get access to large libraries of health articles. To learn more about Coffey’s solutions to your marketing challenges, contact us.
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