Writer’s block is typically associated with authors or journalists, but PR professionally encounter it on a daily basis. Whether that’s from writing a new pitch, creating a new business deck, or deciding what topic to write about for a company blog (wink wink), every PR pro experiences writer’s block. It’s a frustrating moment and can make any writing assignment more difficult than it needs to be. So, for those stuck in a writing rut, here are three tips on how to break through.
Learn more about the subject
Usually, when we experience writer’s block, it’s because we can’t think of anything else to say on the subject. We’ve thought of every detail and used up all our brain power, and yet are still short of the assignment’s goal. One of the best practices I have found is to research as much information as I can on a subject and just read. For pitches, read articles written by journalists to help jumpstart some ideas you were missing. For a new business deck, research previous proposals to get a better sense of what has and hasn’t worked in the past. Reading also helps clear our minds and helps us think better, which leads me to the next tip.
Clearing your mind
When I’ve experienced writer’s block, it’s because my head is filled with too much information and I can’t concentrate. Simply taking the time to clear your head can make the world of difference, and it’s beneficial for your mental health as well. Taking fifteen minutes to walk outside, grabbing a coffee with a co-worker, or listening to a podcast can get you back in the right mindset for your writing. For those in a time crunch, even taking five minutes to do some deep breathing exercises can make a world of difference.
Read your work aloud
One thing that’s worked for me in the past is to read my work out loud. Either under your breath or take your work into a quiet room and read it out loud there. Or, if you have no shame, then, by all means, read it at your desk for everyone to hear. Let them listen in on your great work! Reading your work out loud gives your brain a chance to process what should be written next. This is also helpful to spot those tiny spelling or grammatical mistakes as well, so win-win!
Writer’s block is never a fun situation to be in, and it can happen to even those most seasoned writing pro. Even while writing this, I experienced writer’s block myself. Using these tips helped me get to where I am in this blog post. These are just my personal tips, so I encourage everyone to find methods that work best for them. This way, we’re all able to showcase our superb writing skills to our clients, colleagues, and media friendlies.
Keep in Touch
Want fresh perspective on communications trends & strategy? Sign up for the SHIFT/ahead newsletter.