One second you’re in the zone, writing quickly about a topic that excites you. The next, you’ve lost the flow, you’ve begun to beat yourself up for your lack of focus, or you’ve started to wallow in writer’s block. When you’re in the trenches trying to meet a deadline and you hit a productivity barrier, try these actionable tips to break through and get back to work.
Productivity Tips to Help Freelance Copywriters
Once you recognize that you’re stuck, work through these strategies to break down the barrier and get back to writing copy.
- Get it on the page and proofread later: Often, you can go from flow to no by overthinking a sentence, a lead, or a paragraph. Writers’ block sets in, you find yourself questioning the validity of your concept, the strength of your research, your skill as a writer…and so on. Get back on track by just getting the words out on the page, even if they aren’t ideal. Silence the critic and the copy editor inside with a hefty Shhhhhh! Turn on music that makes you feel good. Then write and let yourself proofread and edit once you’ve powered past this block.
- Write like your enemy is watching: When you’re really stuck, it can be helpful to imagine your biggest writing enemy in the room. Picture that professor who said you’d never make it or that friend who said you’d give up freelancing within 6 months. Ask yourself, How am I going to prove them wrong when I can’t even write this article? Then get back to writing as if they were observing you and see if that doesn’t motivate you to create more content.
- Remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect: Perfect is the enemy of good, French writer Voltaire once said. Perfection can be the ultimate productivity-killer for writers by making them feel that the words on the page are not good enough to submit to the client. At its most paralyzing, this fear can prevent a writer from even completing one sentence. If you find yourself struggling to get down the introduction, skip ahead to the article body and just write. Then go back to write the introduction after and remember that your content does not need to be perfect. It need to be well-written, unique, and effective in the mind of the client.
When you find yourself struggling to remain productive, be firm yet compassionate. To have the most success and be as productive as possible, you will need to find a set of productivity tips that work for you and have the insight to use them when you get stuck.
Lindsey D is a freelance writer who specializes in creating unique, engaging content on technology, mobile, marketing, green living, and style. She spends her days writing for clients and reclaiming the sofa from beagle sprawl. Her best ideas come up when a notebook is not at hand, as is common for writers.