We’ve all sat and stared at a blank page. Tormented by that blinking cursor. Your head full of thoughts and images you just can’t translate into words. A writer with nothing to say can’t convince a reader to take action.
It’s something anyone that has put words to paper has experienced. The more we try to force ourselves to write something, the harder it is to make the words flow.
Creating quality content on a regular basis is no easy task. The Content Marketing Institute reported that more than half of the marketers surveyed said creating engaging content on a consistent basis is a top challenge.
There may be a scientific explanation for Writer’s Block.
Researchers at Stanford University found the cerebellum, the region of the brain associated with movement, is also linked to creativity.
Participants in the study were put in an MRI machine and asked to draw a series of pictures based on action words and later rank each word by difficulty.
The prefrontal cortex of the brain (thinking) was most active for the difficult drawings. The cerebellum (creativity) was most active for the drawings the participants scored highest on for creativity.
The less the participants concentrated on what they were trying to draw, the more creative their drawings were.
The study also provided evidence of the “practice makes perfect” mechanism of brain function.
Writing is habit before an art. It’s hard to create something that’s artful without first building the muscle. ~ Ann Handley
When you find yourself hitting a creative wall, the answer isn’t to force the words to come. Instead, step away from it. Focus on other tasks or projects until you break out of your rut.
Our minds and bodies need rest. It is just as important to our survival as food and water. Without restorative breaks in our work we’re causing our own creative starvation.
Sometimes it is simply not the right time to write. Your ideas may need to percolate in your head a little longer before you try to write them down. Take this time to read, research future ideas, exercise, meditate, anything to take your mind off the task at hand. An artist will look outside the studio for inspiration.
Not posting to your blog is NOT the end of the world, the end of your business, or even a reason to have a bad day. Writer’s block is NOT creativity block. ~ Ryan Hanley
Are you trying to be creative starting at the same four walls and same distractions every day? Hit the road and work from a coffee shop, coworking space, library, park, anywhere that’s a change of scenery.
Once you’re there just start writing. Start anywhere. Say anything. Start in the middle. Write backward. Don’t think, just write. Don’t write to be good. Don’t edit. Don’t delete a single word.
The possibilities are endless, but you need to build momentum to break out of your funk.
You overcome writer’s block by writing. ~Jeff Goins
One major roadblock is striving for perfection. Wanting everything to be just right before you even put the words on the page. We’re afraid to put our ideas into words that everyone can read and critique.
Try taking a different approach to get started.
Write a Garbage Version:
The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words in a single month. You won’t reach that goal if you’re constantly editing and rewriting. The end result isn’t the finished product. It’s a first draft. Turn off your inner editor and write a rough draft to rework later.
Write For a 6-Year-Old:
Albert Einstein said “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” Don’t get mired in minutia. Explain things in the simplest terms before you start on the nitty-gritty.
Write a Conversation:
Start off like you were making an argument to a friend to get your point across. Think of the objections and questions they’ll raise and answer them. Talk it out loud if you have to. You don’t hear about people suffering from “Talker’s Block” for a reason!
Write from the Middle:
If you have just the seed of an idea, write that. Instead of sweating the headline or worrying about a killer opening, jump right into the heart of the matter.
When you need new ideas for your content marketing, you don’t need to struggle to come up with entirely new ideas. You can discover solutions to existing problems by looking at them from an entirely different angle.
Find inspiration in from what’s already out there.
Content Marketing isn’t new. John Deere’s The Furrow started in 1895. National Geographic featured the Airstream Caravan through Africa in 1959. The Michelin Travel Guides are over 100 years old. Study how brands have used content marketing in the past.
Look at the content being created in other industries. What’s working for them might stand out as being different in your crowded market.
If you want a constant source of inspiration keep a content “swipe file”. Swipe files began as a way for copywriters to save proven advertising letters. Journalists use a “morgue file” to store ideas they’ll bring back to life at a later date.
When you see an interesting piece of content add it your own swipe file. When you’re out of ideas look through your swipe file for inspiration.
Every writer struggles with writer’s block. It’s what you do with it is that matters.
Listen to this: How to Create Better Blog Content in Less Time
- How to Overcome Writer’s Block: 14 Tricks That Work
- 10 No-Cost Tools to Help You Conquer Writer’s Block
- 15 Online Tools to Create Content People Will Love and Share
- Brainstorm and Execute Killer Content Ideas Your Audience Will Love
- 4-Step System For Writing A Great Blog Post, Even If You Have Writer’s Block
Second Stage: Business Development
Business Development for startups is finding new opportunities for growth through marketing, networking and strategic partnerships. Like growth hacking, it isn’t just one single thing you do. It’s a combination of tasks and processes to grow a company in ways that will help it survive in the long-term, as well as in the early stages.
Startups can be so laser-focused on growth they forget to do one vital thing. As brands, we must never lose the distinction between our customer’s desires and needs, their priorities vs. luxuries. knowing which are triggers to keeping them loyal keeps us relevant to our audience.
Being effective at selling anything without a remarkable brand is nearly impossible. But how do you relate to your audience in a way sets you apart from your competition? If your efforts at selling come up short you need to do something more to stand out.
You need a purpose. Purpose is why your brand even exists. You can begin to define the heart and soul of your company by answering these five big questions to determine your brand’s purpose.