From The Rock

Dealing With, Rather Than Suffering From, Writer’s Block

By | April 01, 2014

I’m not the first person to be in this position, nor is this my first time to be here – staring at a blank windows document, pondering what the heck to write about. Normally, when blog post time comes around, I’ve been mulling over an idea, or inspiration strikes from out of the blue. I have a funny story to tie to, something newsworthy or a topic that recently seemed poignant to write on, but this month? Yeah, I have some ideas, but none of them particularly sound good. And while I’ve given thought to various events personally and professionally lately — stories in the news, relevant PR advice and anything else I could potentially write on — none of it sounds good. It all just garners a “meh.” 
Well, “meh” is no excuse, especially in PR. On any given day you could be crafting pitches, news releases, advisories, web content, social media content, strategic plans or any other written works, and just because your muse has decided to take the day off, it doesn’t mean you get to. So, for those times where you get stuck with a fantastic bout of writer’s block, here are some tips to help you break through it.
Write through it.
Don’t look at me like that.  Yes, I know you can’t write, but do it any way. Write about what ever is on your mind. Write about not being able to write. Simply write what you know about what you’re tasked with – just get something on that blank document, even if it’s ranting about how much you can’t think of what to write. Eventually, at some point, your block WILL break, and you should have a good rough draft, if not a product that simply needs cleaning up before submitting. Show that blank document who’s the boss rather than letting it plague your mind.
Dive into your topic.
Immerse yourself in what you’re supposed to be writing on. Review the information for your release, pour over the particulars of a project, go back and review social media and online posts for your client, sift through the news, look at trade publications and review past media coverage. At some point, you’re going to come across a factoid, a photo, a quote or some other bit of information that’s going to strike you and get the words flowing. Plus, once you get going, you shouldn’t have to worry about going back and researching, as you’ve already done it.
Leave it be for now.
Granted, this one requires some advanced notice, but it’s still applicable. Take care to not procrastinate, though. If you’re staring a hole into your computer screen and just can’t seem to find the words, then don’t. Get up, walk away and do something else. Work on another task maybe, do chores, do something fun, but the point is, do something other than willing and stressing yourself to create something on the spot. It’s likely that your stress is causing more harm than good, simply extending the length of the block. So go, clear your mind, and then come back to the task at hand, preferably still with ample time to complete it.
Just do it.
Yes, in the interest of completion and breaking your block, I am saying just get the task done, regardless of how bad it is. Again, this one requires advance practice, as well, to allow for the editing and rewrites that’ll be needed, but the point is get the monkey off of your back and just do the darn thing. It may not be perfect. Heck, it might not even be good, but a complete rough draft is definitely a step ahead of a blank document and a deadline in the distance. Do it and then be completely open to the process of “How do we make this good/better?” Sometimes, baby steps are needed to get to the final goal.
Hopefully some of these tips help. If you haven’t gathered already, I simply went with a “Hey, I’ve got writer’s block, so by dangit, I’m going to write about writer’s block” approach.
How do you deal with writer’s block? Do you have any fun or interesting stories to share regarding writer’s block? Feel free to comment on my experience and advice, and share your own tales of writer’s block below!