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Writing Isn’t Easy – 3 Ways to Get It Done

By Desiree Jeffrey, Senior Copywriter, Modern Postcard

As the head writer here at Modern, I wear a lot of hats. Website writing. Multiple direct mail campaigns. Print ads. Email promotions. Blog content. Collateral materials. You get the picture. Needless to say, I have to come up with a lot of words and my now weary thesaurus can only provide so much support. Plus, I can only be up from my desk and wandering around the building lost in thought for so long before someone wonders if I do any work at all. So how do I produce? Here are three ways I get it done (and you can too):
  1. Read blogs and subscribe to RSS feeds. When I first took charge of Modern’s Twitter feed, I spent an obscene amount of time aimlessly poking around the Internet. Slowly but surely, and with help from StumbleUpon.com, I built a list of bookmarked blogs and subscribed to about 15 RSS feeds that I read daily. As I followed more interesting people on Twitter, I also added an RSS feed from The Tweeted Times, which aggregates the best links from everyone I follow.

    With a ton of input at my fingertips, I get a ton of valuable advice, inspiration and motivation each and every day.

    So, whether or not you wear the social media hat in your company, get online to find what inspires you. And it doesn’t even have to be about writing. Architecture, interior design, art, photography, and hilarious cat videos on YouTube all count as inspiration! Find it and dig in.

  2. Just write. This sounds simple enough, but staring at a blank page and knowing your deadline is looming can be a terrifying thing. When all else fails, I just start writing. Anything. I don’t look at the screen. I use basic words, the occasional profanity. I write like I talk, but at a more frenetic pace and without any organization of thought.

    Then I walk away. Go see if there’s free food around the office. Chat with a friend in the next cubicle over. Breathe.

    When I go back, I delete any f-bombs, organize my thoughts, edit and reorganize. Simply by giving myself a jumping off point, getting rid of that blank page, I can actually think.

  3. Call it a day, but carry a pen and notebook with you. If it’s absolutely not happening, don’t worry. Every writer has those days. Move on to simpler projects, other work or go home! Just be sure you have a pen and a notebook with you. Why? Because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left the office frustrated out of my mind only to come up with a killer headline on my drive home. I’ve even pulled over and written entire brochures on the side of the road.

    Trying to force it only leads to copy that sucks. Sure, timelines and due dates are a huge factor, but if you have decent lead time, it might be best to let the ideas stew. Eventually, they will fall off the bone.

If you find inspiration and motivation in other ways, make them a habit. Whether it’s reading a good book or taking a walk, every writer has their methods. Find them and embrace them.

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