Archive | January, 2015

10 Simple Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block

31 Jan
writers block malaysia

writers block malaysia

Writer’s block is a dreaded malady in the life of many writers. So, what’s the best way to overcome it? In the words of famous freelancer writer Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City, “You just need to stop thinking about it so much, and go to bed, and it will be all right in the morning.”

This advice might work beautifully for some people. But what if it’s not that simple for you? Here are 10 ideas to help you bust through:

1.Try a writing exercise. Start by closing your laptop and grabbing a notebook and pen. Choose a writing prompt, such as “I remember…” or “I imagine…” and write for several minutes in a stream of consciousness fashion. This technique focuses your mind and stimulates your subconscious. For a great collection of writing exercises, check out Natalie Goldman’s book Writing Down the Bones.

2.Take a walk. A short walk on a nearby path, preferably in nature, might be all you need to get unstuck. The motion of moving your legs, swinging your arms, and breathing fresh air while not thinking about anything in particular, triggers the subconscious. Stow a notebook or voice recorder in your pocket, in order to capture what comes up while you’re out, so that you don’t feel stressed about trying to remember.

3. Keep typing. Sometimes the best thing to do is simply keep going, because avoiding the page only makes the problem loom larger. And if you sit around waiting for inspiration, you may be making excuses for yourself. Set a timer and require your fingers to keep moving on the keyboard for “x” number of minutes. Even if you start by typing, “I don’t know what to say. This really sucks,” you’ll eventually clear the cobwebs and enter your story.

4.Take the pressure off. The truth is, you can’t summon creativity when you’re breathing down your own neck, demanding literary greatness or perfection. Instead, tell yourself that you’re only writing for yourself, or for a friend or loved one. This tiny change in perceived audience can help words flow more naturally.

5. Set realistic expectations. Especially if you’re working on a book-length manuscript, the enormous scope of the project might be what’s be shutting you down. You can’t do everything at once, so break it down into tasks. During your writing session, commit to a goal, such as writing one scene, or three pages, or 300 words.

6. Change location. Pack up your laptop and head to a coffee shop, park, or the library. A change of scenery may open doors. In addition, plan some “writing getaways” each year, where you travel outside your routine and discover new things, fueling your creativity.

7. Stop when the going’s good. During each writing session, plan to stop when you’re feeling momentum in the story. Then, turn off your laptop and don’t intentionally think about the project until your next writing session. The good news is that your subconscious will be working the whole time.

8. Commit to Internet-free time. The Internet is always beckoning, and it’s riddled with distractions. It fuels what Natalie Goldman calls “monkey mind.” As in, you could work on your book, or you could quick check Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or read a few blog entries. Resist the temptation. After your writing session, reward yourself with a dive into cyberspace.

9. Switch to another project. Many writers agree that it’s a good idea to always be working on more than one project. Maybe you’ve got two novels in progress, or a few essays or short stories. If one project really isn’t working for you, put it aside for a time and try something else. Space can be good for both you and your story.

10. Take a break. Especially for committed, consistent writers, sometimes your brain is simply tired. Maybe you’re too exhausted to get words on the page. So, be patient with yourself. Take a bath or a nap, get a massage, or go to yoga or a meditation session. Once you’re feeling rejuvenated, you’ll be able to leap back into your work.

A version of this piece first appeared on Thought Catalog.

Effective Copywriting that works

27 Jan
copywriting malaysia

copywriting malaysia

Most people think writing outstanding copy is difficult. But professional copywriters have learned a trick or two over the years about how to cut time off their writing task while actually getting better results.
Planning is the most important step and the area where you can save the most time.

According to Wordtracker site, ‘website content writer and freelance copywriters typically think about what they want to say instead of what their customers want to hear. They push information out instead of drawing people in to share details. They typically emphasis their copy on what they are trying to get the customer to do instead of what the customer needs or wants’.

When you take a little while to do a bit of planning, you are doing the “pre-writing stage.” This is basically the preparation before the actual job is started. This magical moment allows you to gather all the information you need into one central place, brainstorm ideas and organize your strategy before committing to a particular direction for the copywriting.

A professional copywriter begins by getting to know the audience inside and out. This can seem like a lot of work, and it is, but the great thing about getting to know your readers is that you can use the information again and again.

Write down detailed information about:
• Target audience’s demographics. (Age, gender, location, etc.)
• Your audience’s primary concern (with regard to the product or service you’re writing about) right now.
• Why this information should matter to them.
• Your audience’s communication preferences.
• Do they respond better to long pages or short ones? Video? Audio?
• How do they spend their time?
• Are they likely to be especially distracted as they read?

If you can’t answer some of these questions, ask. Whether you survey your newsletter readers, ask on social media, or call a few of your best clients and get their perspective.
The information you collect will help shape your content copy and help you know your audience well, your writing will connect with them in an entirely different way. They’ll be able to trust you and will follow your recommendations because you’ve demonstrated that you understand them.

Every page must have one main goal. That’s not to say you can’t expect your copy to do multiple things — for instance, it’s common to hope the home page will welcome new visitors, encourage subscriptions to your list, and lure people into reading your blog. But professionals know the importance of choosing one primary goal for each page they write.

Your goal should determine every choice you make about copy. In this way, you can help visitors follow a straightforward path to the action you want them to take.

Once you know who your audience is, you know why you’re writing this particular page, you’re almost ready to put your writing to paper. But there’s still one more thing you need to do – forethought. Think about what you’re going to say, how you’re going to say it, what the overall message will be.
• Does the copy answer the specific needs and/or objections of your audience?
• Does the copy engage the reader or does it try to force information down their throats?
• Are you writing ABOUT your products and services or are you writing FOR your target customers?
• Have you included keywords for SEO? Which ones, where and why?

Because, after you get everything organized and lay out, your copy will pretty much write itself. The entire writing process will flow more easily without the typical frustration you may have experienced in the past. And, because you have taken the professional “pre-writing” approach, the copy is also much more likely to get better results than if you simply put fingers to keyboard and writing off with no direction.

While preplanning and organizing may not be that exciting, but they are truly the little known secrets for consistent success in content writing. Hopefully these essential tips have provided you with some direction from your next piece of content writing. Good Luck.

Original article source from WordTracker