The world of content promotion depends on the quick creation of high-quality content—sometimes with few resources. Creativity isn’t magic, but when you’re on deadline to create compelling content, your boss doesn’t want to hear that resources are low. Your boss certainly isn’t hoping to hear you’re suffering from writer’s block. How do you overcome this common creative hurdle?
For writer’s block caused by procrastination or lack of inspiration, your cure may be simply to start typing. Think of this first-response option like improving your exercise regimen by … well, exercising.
If that doesn’t do the trick, you may need to dig deeper to overcome writer’s block, a very real barrier to content creation (and therefore content promotion), to generate creativity on the clock. Here are some ideas: Write (don’t type). Limit (the parameters). Focus (on your content promotion strategy).
I don’t mean type, I mean write—with an old-fashioned writing instrument. Putting pen to paper and writing down just a few words or phrases (or even drawing shapes) can be a catalyst to get the creative juices flowing. As writer and cartoonist Lynda Barry explains in her book What It Is,
“There is a state of mind which is not accessible by thinking. It seems to require a participation with something physical we move, like a pen.”
This particular state of mind is useful in content creation, but you can’t force it. Coaxing it into being is possible if you’re willing to doodle in a notebook for ten minutes. This exercise can warm up your creative muscle much like the walk that runners take to warm up before they start running.
In a recent CMI article, Roger C. Parker explores how to strengthen content creation by reducing, among other things, the number of choices you have to make prior to the actual writing. Putting strict parameters in place can actually be liberating. If you’re familiar with writing haiku, the idea of content creation within limitations will probably resonate with you.
An especially cogent point Parker makes is that of limiting expectations—not the intended audience’s expectations but your own. Placing too much importance on a piece of content can lead to performance anxiety, which can lead to writer’s block. Keep things in perspective and remember to take it word by word. Or as Anne Lamott might advise, “bird by bird.”
Not too far removed from limit is focus. Try hard to focus only on what’s important. You may think that’s what you do all the time, but the creative mind has a tendency to wander. To determine what’s important, be sure you adhere to the content promotion strategy—you know, that thing that defines what you’re doing, who you’re doing it for, and why you’re doing it.
A key aspect of a strong content promotion strategy is building lasting relationships with the audience. To do that, focus on creating content that addresses that audience’s real needs. Feel free to ignore what doesn’t. Another important part of the content promotion strategy is the promotion thing. So, as you create content for content promotion, remember to keep these three points in mind. It can help you gain the attention of relevant media contacts who will ultimately deliver your content to your target audience.
By warming up with a pen, working within limitations, and focusing on a content promotion strategy, you can transition from writer’s block sufferer into content-creation superstar.