Every week, Boost brings you insights straight from the writers in our Creative Network. Writers share tips on how to inject more creativity into ads, best practices for writing ad copy, and more. This week, Dylan Barmmer, pen name “wordisborn” who has been an active writer in the Network for over five years, shares tips on overcoming writer’s block.
They’re just two little words. But those two words carry tremendous weight. In fact, they can feel so heavy, a writer almost feels him or herself sinking…just looking at them.
This dreaded disease has been around since men and women first learned how to convey thoughts into written expressions. And writer’s block can seemingly strike at any time, for just about any reason – from procrastination to perfectionism to timing to fear.
And as the old German proverb goes: “Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.”
Once writer’s block settles in, what can a writer due to shake it? How can he shrink that wolf back down to puppy size? Or better yet, how can she make him run away, for good, with his tail tucked between his legs?
Are there any time-honored, true tips to knock that infernal block right off? Turns out, there are. And we’d like to share a few of them with you now.
1. Go for a walk: If you’re feeling stuck, there’s a lot you can do that’s more productive than simply sitting there, staring blankly at your computer screen or notebook. Getting up and going for a walk is one of those things. Walking can aid greatly with thinking, putting you in a free-flow state. It can also recharge your batteries, get you out of your own head, and re-oxygenate your brain with some fresh new outside air.
2. Eliminate (or at least reduce) distractions: The closer to solitude you can get, the more productive you can be as a writer. So why not eliminate – or at least minimize – some of your distractions? Noise is distracting. Other people are distracting. Phones ringing and the TV blaring are distracting. Chances are, you can remove at least one of these distractions from your current equation. If so, do it. Now.
3. Listen to music (classical can be especially good): One distraction that might not really be a distraction? Music. Just like walking can put you into a flow state, so can listening to music. Especially classical music.
4. Read someone else’s writing: Writing is not easy. Not by a longshot. And if you’re being tasked with writing something original, memorable, or exciting, it can be a particularly daunting task. So get out of your own head – and stop obsessing over your own voice – for at least a little while. Reading someone else’s writing can offer a nice change of pace. Pick up a book. Read some inspiring quotes. Get inspired by another writer. Or writers.
5. Freewrite: Write something. Anything. If you’re writing…well, then you don’t really have writer’s block, do you? Don’t judge what pours out onto the page (or the screen). Just sit down. And write. Just do it. Go for it. Let it rip!
6. Play: Writing can be fun, and certainly can offer an escape. But it’s also work. Especially when you’re getting paid to do it. So step away from work for a moment. And play. Have some fun. Be a kid again. Don’t get caught up in “work mode” too much. Balance is key.
These are just a few of the tactics, tips, and techniques you can use to chip away at that writer’s block when it slams down upon your lap (and laptop) the next time around. Of course, like anything else in life, you’ve got to put ideas into motion. And practice. Practice. Practice.
If you’re looking for more practice to become a great digital ad writer, why not join the Boost Creative Network? A 1,000-strong, global network of handpicked writers, we’ve collaborated to deliver more than 250,000 compelling ads to a wide range of brands – and optimized more than $1 billion in digital ad budgets. As part of our powerful network, you can supplement your existing income and hone your digital ad writing skills – and you can do so from anywhere, at any time. If this sounds like something you’d like to explore more, click here to apply today!