6 tips to break writer’s block and jumpstart creativity

Taking up freelance marketing consulting and copywriting has me writing on a daily basis. On some days, the words flow and it’s easy to have content ready in merely a few hours. Other days, the words are sluggish, slow to hit the keyboard, ill-fitting with others next to it on the page. Luckily, having frequently written in my corporate life, I’ve discovered tricks to help jog creativity on days when it’s running low.

These tips are personal, and have helped me overcome writer’s block on multiple occasions. Here’s hoping they help you on the tough days too!

📝 Dividing content into sub-sections

Probably a basic copywriting step that nearly everyone follows, but it’s always the first thing I do before writing a piece of content. Jotting down the various sub-sections I wish to write within a particular piece helps frame my thoughts in a logical, story-like fashion. It gives me a clue beforehand on what to roughly include in a particular story, and helps me research better online.

🌐 Leveraging the internet for interesting facts

Personally, I think the addition of a fact or statistic from a well-reputed research paper on any content lends credibility to the specific article and the brand as a whole. Searching for important data also ensures I read well-researched, informative articles in preparation for my chosen topic — a helpful step in creating content that can be relevant to my audience.

📚 Reading a client’s existing content

Even though a client may provide a copy brief or inputs to guide a piece, it often helps to read their pre-existing content. Their website is a great place to start. It can give valuable insights on a client’s writing style, tone of voice, their approach to content types like case studies, blog posts etc. All this research puts me in my client’s frame of mind when writing a first draft.

✏️ Free-writing the first draft

This tip is a really important one. Sometimes, the right words won’t come, even if the essence of an idea is already in my mind. However, I don’t let the lack of perfect words stop me from putting thoughts on the page. In fact, once my core message is laid out in front of me, refining it is much easier than waiting for inspiration to strike before starting from scratch.

🆘 Asking for help or reading out loud

Requesting a colleague to look over my work, or reading my content out loud when working alone, has benefited me in a couple of ways. Firstly, it helps assess how relevant, interesting and informative my content sounds. Second and most importantly, it identifies if there are any major logical gaps in conveying the story and flow of the article — this helps me fix any errors.

✍🏼 Re-writing that first draft

A common mistake I made in the past was being married to the content piece I submitted. While it’s alright to defend a point of view, hearing others’ feedback can be critical to re-evaluating our work’s legitimacy. It’s important to put ego aside and see how an external point of view can improve my content. Clients, colleagues and managers speak from experience and hearing them out can help create content that is more relevant for my audience, thus useful for my clients. Willingness to rewrite is an essential step to becoming a better content strategist and writer.

While these tips have helped me out on non-creative days, I’d love to know what has worked for you when you’re facing writer’s block. Let’s chat in the comments below! Happy (re)writing!

Freelance copywriter and marketing consultant by day, amateur fiction writer by night.