Writer’s block. A mystery with many different names. Wrapped in many different legends. Some say it happens to only highly creative people. Others go as far as saying that it’s something people use to defend their laziness. But we wanted to debunk all the myths surrounding this phenomenon and get into the nitty-gritty details of writer’s block. So we sat down together with our Marketing Copywriter Eglė Juodytė to address all the rumours and get her tips on how to overcome it.
How does one start their career in copywriting? What’s your story?
It happened very naturally. All my previous jobs somehow involved copywriting. Whether I was working as a marketing specialist or a project manager, copywriting stood somewhere among my top responsibilities. It took time for me to realize that writing is what I enjoy the most and where I can excel at. So I’ve cut off the rest and here I am now – working as a copywriter at Tesonet.
A lot of people are still puzzled about copywriting – what is this profession really about?
Copywriters create copy that sells – a product, idea, or emotion. Don’t think about Hemingway when talking about copywriters, think more about Don Draper from Mad Men. Of course, the show is happening in the 1960s and things are different now, but the essence of this job hasn’t changed.
So could you explain to others what a writer’s block is?
It’s a drama-infused way to describe a writer’s struggles to create a perfect piece. In my opinion, a real writer’s block applies to Writers with a capital “W” – those, whose books eventually land in bookstores, whose scripts are acted on stage or turned into movies. But this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen to copywriters as well.
To put this into perspective, some writers can spend weeks or even months without writing a word. Copywriters can’t afford this luxury. So in the context of copywriting, I would describe a writer’s block as a blank page with a blinking cursor in front of you. Seconds are ticking, then turning into minutes, and you’re still sitting there motionless, staring at the same blank page. But it’s relatively easy to get back on track – you just need to focus.
Does is it happen to you a lot?
I have never experienced a ‘real’ writer’s block. Over time you learn how to find inspiration and ideas – they’re all around you. But temporary staring at a blinking cursor happens from time to time, for sure.
Why do you think copywriters experience it?
I have no clue! It must be something to spice up a copywriter’s life. Not to make it too smooth, you know, but to make you suffer a little bit. Just kidding.
I’ve read that a writer’s block often comes from a fear of writing not good enough. But when you’re talking business, you don’t need a perfect copy. You need a copy that works. This kind of attitude takes the edge off a bit.
What are your top tips of overcoming it?
Honestly, I don’t even think about it as a ‘block’. Copywriting is not art, as I see it. I just can’t let myself act dramatically and say ‘Oh, I have no inspiration to write today. I must have lost my muse’. That would be really funny, actually. In business, a muse is a deadline, and it never gets lost, it only comes closer.
But here’s what works for me when I feel stuck:
#1 Just do it. Write something and accept that it’s not perfect. You can always craft the copy afterwards.
#2 Switch tasks. Step away from the text you are struggling with and go for a different task – ideally, something more monotonic and requiring less creative thinking.
#3 Read an article. It can be completely unrelated to a topic you’re working on. My personal go-to is The New Yorker – it’s a real trove of well-written stories.
#4 If you’re listening to music, turn it off. Music distracts me, especially songs with lyrics I know. Silence helps me focus.
#5 Go outside and walk. This one works perfectly when I feel out of ideas. There’s some kind of magic in city streets that inspires like nothing else.