Does writer’s block really exist? Personally I’ve never experienced it. While this sounds like bragging it could be dumb luck – after all, most writers who talk about writer’s block have been around for some time and experienced it, so it’s not like I’m special. However, even when I’ve been faced with the real prospect of having a huge brain meltdown I’ve managed to push through and finish it.
But I do this all the time, every day, so I’ve developed certain patterns and behaviors that help me defeat any writer’s block before it rears its ugly head. Not everyone is in the same boat, and when that empty white page is staring back at you with the clock pounding away the seconds towards your deadline it can be difficult to “just push through it.”
So here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years that can help you with your next press release. When your fingers freeze and your eyes widen in panic, try out these tips.
Sit Down and Scribble
Your worst enemy when sitting down for a press release is literally everything else. Suddenly you need another cup of coffee or it’s time to finally make that trip to the supply closet or FreeCell mysteriously opens on your screen. Getting stuck makes your brain wander, which makes the task even more impossible.
So the best thing you can do is to sit down in front of the blank page. No matter how painful it is, sit down at your desk and get to work. Can’t think of anything to write? Sure, that’s the problem. However, your mind won’t get jogged staring at the empty page, so get your hand moving. Either scribble on the paper or type away on the keys. Even this simple act of moving your hands can help your brain get going.
Figure Out If Your Press Release Makes Sense
Really having trouble getting started with your press release? The body of the release just not coming to you? Your press release may be telling you something. Namely, that what you’re writing about isn’t exactly newsworthy.
Remember not everything that happens at your company is worth telling the world about. In fact, most of it is perfectly fine staying in-house. If you’re not so excited about the news you’re writing about that you can’t even sustain excitement through a short press release, what in the world makes you think anyone will want to read it?
So ask yourself sincerely: is the news really press release worthy or are you doing it out of obligation?
Approach It From a Ridiculous Angle
Another tactic I switch to when I feel like I’m spinning my wheels is to approach the piece from a different angle. Not just any angle, though – I come at it from a totally unrealistic and ridiculous angle that will never see the light of day.
Not only does it help jog my foggy brain, it actually leads to some surprising results. For example, if you’re writing a press release about a recently released book, try writing it like it’s the most useful item anyone could ever buy…for their bathroom. It’s ridiculous, but it might actually give you an idea how to approach the real release; namely, that the book is great for reading anywhere you are.
What part of the press release do you get stuck on the most? Title, opening paragraph, body? Do you have strategies to combat press release writer’s block?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/prchecklist.html