If you’ve ever sat down to write a blog, an eblast or a page of copy for your website feeling uninspired or just simply didn’t know where to start, we feel for you. We post one blog per weekday, and believe us, sometimes the writing just doesn’t come naturally. Whether it’s spending time sifting through industry publications or wracking our brains trying to remember the great idea we had while driving to work a few days ago, coming up with topics can be difficult. Even worse is having the idea for a topic, but suffering from writer’s block and not knowing where to take it from concept to completion. Here are some tips and apps that we’ve found useful when the writing gets tough.
Scan the News:
Sometimes all you need is a jumping off point and current events are a great place to start. Review both national news and industry specific publications and ask yourself how each headline can be applied to your business. The connection may not always be obvious, so think outside the box. Choose a topic that you genuinely find interesting first and then look for creative connections. A pro tip: follow your preferred outlets on Twitter or Facebook. If you use HootSuite, create a stream of their posts so you can quickly scan through to see if anything catches your eye.
Record Your Ideas:
There’s nothing worse than remembering that you HAD a great idea, but not remembering what the idea actually was. Record your ideas as soon as think of them. Use the notes feature on your phone, or better yet use a cloud based app like Evernote. With this app you’ll be able to create a stockpile of ideas to refer back to later from your smartphone or computer. You can also share your notes with team members to collaborate, building on each other’s ideas and adding new ones.
Great inspiration can come from the unlikeliest of sources. Veg out in front of the TV for an hour or two or go see a movie. One minute you can be watching The Voice or the Oscars and the next thing you know you’ll have a great idea for a blog. Just remember to record them so you can use them later!
Beat Writer’s Block:
Apps like Prompts can help get the creative juices flowing when you have an idea but you just can’t seem to get started with the actual writing. Prompts gives you a series of starting lines to help you begin writing. Not feeling inspired? Just click to the next of Prompts’ over 1000 lines. The app also lets you share your writing to social media and save it to Evernote and Dropbox, allowing you to write on the go. An added bonus, it features a reminders tool to help you stay motivated and keep writing.
Start with a Title:
Spend some time brainstorming a clever title once you have an idea. Starting small with the title is often less daunting than jumping right into the writing. If you’re having trouble thinking of a title, think of common idioms surrounding the topic, try for a play on words, or hit the rhyming dictionary. Crafting an inventive title jump starts your creativity and gets you excited about writing.
These are just some of the strategies that we’ve used when writer’s block takes hold of us. Do you have any tried and true tactics that help you get writing? Share them in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!