It’s a thing.
That dreaded affliction that quietly creeps up on even the most seasoned of writers when you least expect it. It makes you want to throw your laptop off your balcony when the words that usually tumble out of your brain so easily are nowhere to be found. Putting a coherent sentence together can seem like an impossible task.
I had a particularly bad case of writer’s block recently which had me wondering where exactly my Inner Writing Muse went. I was worried she had permanently left me, without even leaving a goodbye note. I tried making all the usual offerings to her altar- I went for (another) coffee run, ate some (maybe a lot) of chocolate, went for a long walk. Nothing worked. No words to be found, and the ones I did were, quite frankly, awful.
As someone who LOVES writing, and usually does it effortlessly and hopefully well, I was not happy. Granted, writing is not always easy, and writing good copy for social media can be complex. You need to
- Capture your client’s “voice”.
- Make sure your content is in line with the marketing strategy.
- Be cohesive, clear, and preferably entertaining while staying elevated and professional.
It’s a challenge I’ve always loved, but I was most definitely not loving it in this case.
But inspiration can strike when admitting you have a block. After an especially insightful conversation with my colleague Kim, I realized that my Writing Muse was still there, but she wasn’t giving me words because my message was wrong. Plain and simple. I was so fixated on incorporating a theme that just made no sense in the overall marketing strategy, and no matter how I tried to spin it, it just fell flat.
Actually, worse than flat- it was dead on arrival.
As soon as I changed my perspective on the content, my passion came back. The words started flowing easily again once I tweaked the main topic and I was able to get back on track. I was happy with my words again and grateful that I could still consider myself a writer. Even though this episode of writer’s block was particularly nasty, I learned a really valuable lesson. When the words don’t come, the message, topic, subject, etc., is not the right one! I was not passionate about what I was writing about. I was grasping for ideas from thin air, and it definitely showed in my finished product.
Luckily, I am fortunate to work with the most amazing people! They understand that marketing strategy and copywriting are fluid, need tweaking or reevaluation, and sometimes, as in this case, a completely different perspective. And that’s a beautiful thing.
Next time my Writing Muse goes radio silent, I will know that the words are withheld because whatever I’m trying to write about is just wrong. So, I will still eat my chocolate and have another coffee. But most importantly, I will change my perspective or writing topic completely, knowing that not only is it ok, it’s the best thing to do.