Having writer’s block and a looming deadline can zap your creative juices faster than a cat can claw you for rubbing its belly.
There’s always typing with your eyes closed but sometimes —such as when your brain is stressed — closing your eyes just gives your brain time to invent horrors that will befall you should you fail.
Most often, when you’re blocked, it’s not because you can’t find any words; it’s because you can’t settle on the right words. You expect perfection the first time out.
Add to that being under the proverbial gun to produce, and you’ve got pressure.
So much pressure.
Sometimes you thrive. Other times, you need an escape route.
Give yourself something to edit.
Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure,
not this thing nor that, but simply growth.
– W.B. Yeats
When was the last time you audited your environment?
Never mind all those articles you’ve read about creating an effective creative space. We’re writers; one size never fits all. It’s part of our charm; we’re quirky.
To figure out whether or not you need to update your workspace, you only need to ask yourself how well do your surroundings bring out the best in you?
Are you surrounded with items that inspire you or help you produce?
Or are you just used to having them there?
As I’ve made room for wedding gifts and honeymoon souvenirs, it’s occurred to me that I have a lot of stuff that doesn’t bring me joy anymore; it’s just there. I don’t even think about them anymore. Sound familiar?
Lately I’ve noticed websites by “results guaranteed copywriters.”
These are copywriters who promise increased sales, higher conversion rates or what-have-you, or they’ll give their clients their money back.
Why would a freelance copywriter do this?
To win trust. Prospects who contact you are taking a risk that the service you provide won’t work. By offering a money-back-guarantee, you take away their fear. If they don’t get the results they were promised, they’ve lost nothing but time.
To bring in more prospects. People are more likely to pick up the phone if they feel like they can’t lose. Like with an infomercial. Which means a higher number of inbound prospects.
Does it work?
I’m not rude brave enough to call any of these copywriters and ask for their financials. Or details about their projects—their niche and target audience might be ideal for making such a promise.
Since they’re in business, I’m going to assume that this business model works for them.
But here’s why I won’t guarantee results.
Yes, for this post “awesomenesses” is a word.
Because during my latest Internet travels, I’ve discovered some awesomenesses that yearn to be shared.
And they’re worth the extra syllable, however incorrect that syllable is in just about every conceivable way.
Because they’re just that awesome.
Hence the happy cartoon. And flog-me-now abuse of the word “awesome.” May Strunk and White have mercy on my soul.
Starting with the helpful and working our way to entertaining, enjoy!
Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have.
Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.
— Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
Part of being a writer is the feast-or-famine cycle. What’s not discussed as often is that the feast cycle is just as stressful as the famine cycle, just for different reasons.
There you are, going about your business, when the universe flips the master switch and viola! It’s time to play Make the Writer Cry.
That’s not a “tweak,” that’s a full rewrite.
You want what, when?
Can we stop adding to the list of deliverables? Deadline’s tomorrow.
My last several weeks have been like that.
Right now, you freelancers are probably saying, “Don’t you have a contract that outlines all this stuff? Draw some boundaries.” You’d be right except that I’m a cubicle-dwelling contract copywriter; less room to push back.
Still, these past few weeks have given me solid practice exercising some principles I’ve been reading in The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle (not a paid link).
In particular, focusing on what you’re doing at any given moment. I’m still wrapping my mind around the rest of the Tolle’s teachings, but the idea of dedicating oneself fully to the present can help you cope when everything around you demands attention.