Contributed by Jane Putnam
Last year on the PPBH blog, I put together a quick overview of what a PR “person” really does. A big part of the PR professional’s tasks include writing, and in my career I’ve fallen victim to writer’s block many times. However, deadlines don’t budge for writer’s block and it’s no excuse for producing anything less than top-quality work. Over the years, I’ve found these quick tips to help battle and break writer’s block:
1. Walk away. Yes, you’re on deadline, but sometimes you just have to step away from the computer, or pad of paper, and clear your mind. Even just a five-minute break to get a glass of water, enjoy some water cooler talk or step outside and take a breath of fresh air.
2. Change tasks. Put the writing aside and work on another task or assignment, even one completely unrelated to the writing at hand.
3. Seek inspiration from great writers. Read the news. Search online for reading material. Read others’ words and you’ll find your creative juices start flowing. Some of my favorite writing-inspiration sites include CNN.com, The New York Times and Mashable.
4. Make an outline. Take a step back from what you’re doing, and start at the beginning. Create a quick outline: what the goal of written piece is, key messages and other notes that you think are important to be included or that the client has requested be included. Use the outline as your map, and fill in the holes you’ve outlined in it.
What are your fixes to writer’s block? Let me know in the comments.