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Battling Writer's Block With an Upcoming Content Deadline? Tackle It Now...

We've all experienced this nightmare of a conundrum at least once for what feels like a lifetime...

Content deadline + writer's block = nightmare

If you haven't yet watched it, the 'great heatwave of 2018' (a phrase which always reminds me of this classic Vicar of Dibley scene) meant I got chance to check out Netflix original Set It Up as I avoided the sun at all costs.

 

Set It Up is an upbeat comedy focusing on two Manhattan PAs and their difficult bosses. One PA, Harper, got the job in the hope of impressing her editor boss, by submitting sports articles - something she hasn't yet managed to do in five years.

Why? Because everything she writes is 'rubbish'. So she scratches it and starts again. 

To sum up the fantastic advice Harper gets from her slightly OTT best friend - just start writing. It will be garbage, but it will be a start.

With that in mind, here are some of my favourite tips for when writer's block kicks in...

1. Use resources that work for you

Find the tools and platforms that work best for you. I tried Grammarly, I didn't like it. I tried Hemingway and I liked it but it held me up and distracted the process. I have adopted Feedly wholeheartedly for catching up on work-related content, personal development pieces and some high-quality personal reading such as how to get in on the "jelly nail trend" and articles like "surviving a week in X city on X salary".

Don't do what everyone else is doing - if it doesn't work best for you, abandon it and find something that does.

2. Keep a notepad handy

Or use Notes on your iPhone - we're in 2018 after all! Whenever creativity and inspiration strike, make the most of it and write it down. This often comes to me on an evening, when I've wound down from the workday.

3. Action your ideas

I always send an email to myself when inspiration strikes - particularly when I've been browsing Feedly (a curated board of blogs, news sites and such like) to ensure I do something once I get to my desk.

4. Do something else

Sometimes it's best to distract yourself with another task from the to-do list, some mindless admin that can distract/rest your brain or something personal - curate a new playlist on Spotify. If your piece is pretty heavy, do some social media scheduling to invigorate those brainwaves!

5. Read and write every single day

I instantly noticed an uptick in my ability to sit down and write - in particular, wordy ebooks - when I made a commitment a few months ago to read little every day and write every day. What you read and write doesn't have to mean very much, but you're immersing yourself in the written word and that is enough to keep your writing energy up!

6. Just do it

As Set It Up's main character, Harper, discovered, the best results often come from just "doing it". Don't worry about editing those awful typos or that complex sentence - just get it done. Then review it - better yet find someone you trust, who will respect your work and offer invaluable advice when you redraft and redraft again.

Share your top tips for writing inspiration with us on Twitter or LinkedIn - I'd love to hear them!

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