Writers working on anything from ad copy to executive speeches can get their creative pipes backed up. Project managers creating a robust brief can get backed up, too.
Luckily, there are many ways to flush out those pipes and get the creativity flowing once again. Here are five ways to do just that:
Get some exercise
No, we’re not talking about jogging or lifting weights. We’re talking about writing exercises.
These are our three favourites: photo-prompt writing (find an image online, write what you see and then write the story behind the photo); freewriting (write about something and just keep going); and the short-story challenge (write a short story in 100 words).
By giving yourself less time to write, you may sharpen your focus and stoke the fire you need to get your task done.
That empty screen may be the result of your surroundings. If things are getting drab, find another desk to work at. Go to a different area in your department or, better yet, go to a different floor and start working at the first empty workstation you find.
Bump up your deadline
This may sound counterintuitive, but a little extra pressure can actually help. By giving yourself less time to write, you may sharpen your focus and stoke the fire you need to get your task done.
Embrace your inner contrarian
Write everything down that works against your position in the piece you’re working on. It’s natural to be uncomfortable with this technique. It is, however, an exceptionally productive exercise because you’ll uncover potential objections and questions. But remember: the outcome of this exercise is for your eyes only.
Out of ideas? Ask.
Email top clients. Ask your social network. Organize an impromptu meeting with your team (five minutes maximum). Sometimes getting out of your own head for a while will clarify your thoughts. This is also a great way to ensure you’ll end up with copy that people want to read.
We hope that the next time you feel backed up, you can try one of these tips and free that creativity flow.