By Tracey Benjamini, Senior Account Executive, R&J Public Relations
I had some trouble with this blog post. I spent about two weeks exploring different topics, starting several post, and ultimately never finishing any of them. What I didn’t realize was my blog topic was staring me right in the face.
I spend a good portion of my work day writing press releases, blogs, talking points, and social media posts on behalf of my clients, usually with no roadblocks. But every so often, especially when given complete creative freedom as with this post, I suffer from the dreaded writer’s block.
Writer’s block is pretty common among professional writers and many offer their tips for becoming a more productive writer. I’ve compiled some of my favorite tips that I think are the most useful to PR professionals:
- Know your topic– I find that the writing assignments that are easiest for me are on topics that I’m familiar with, but in public relations you are often handed assignments on topics that are completely foreign to you. Whether it’s a new industry, a new client or a new product, take the extra time to really get a grasp on the topic before tackling your assignment. You’ll find that the time you spent researching really pays off when you’re working on your writing project.
- Don’t be afraid to try something different– Sometimes it’s possible to be too familiar with a topic. Agency life many times means working in the same industries with the same clients for years. After a while it can be easy to get stuck in a rut. Try looking at your topic from a different perspective. Research new ideas or trends in your clients’ industries that you can include in your content to keep it fresh and interesting to read AND write.
- Get some feedback- Don’t be afraid to bounce some of your ideas off your team members. They may be able to steer you in a specific direction or offer you a new perspective on a topic. Sometimes it helps just to send a colleague the one sentence or idea where you’re getting stuck. A little feedback can help jumpstart a whole writing assignment.
- Take a break- One of the strategies that I find works best for me is taking a break from the writing project that’s giving me problems. Barring an immediate deadline, there’s usually some time to step away from the assignment and come back to it with a fresh set of eyes. Depending on how much time you have until your deadline, you can take an hour to work on a different project, come back to the piece after lunch, or even sleep on it. Sometimes, the most brilliant ideas may come to you in the shower.
Writer’s block can be very frustrating to any professional that writes for a living. Next time you’re at a loss for words, I hope these tips can help you overcome your case of writer’s block.