I’ll be honest with you. There are times when I’m on a roll with my writing, and there are times when I most certainly am not. The worst part is when I’m on a roll and I’ve suddenly been thrown off a track and no matter what I do to get resituated, my concentration is nonetheless broken. This isn’t an issue that is just plaguing us poor copywriters, but I would venture than any creative mind suffers from the same “derailing.” An active mind can produce great thoughts, but you can’t just turn it off until you’re ready for the next wonderful thought. Normally, this shouldn’t be something to complain about. You’re having great idea after great idea! Your clients are happy! You are producing masterpieces and actually paying your bills! But when a deadline is quickly approaching, the last thing you want is an unforeseen distraction coming your way and blindsiding you. Yep, we’ve all been there and it sucks. So in an effort to limit these annoying and costly distractions, I’ve been practicing a few things to make sure my mind stays sharp and my fingers continue typing. I can’t guarantee these will work for you and I’m not saying they work seamlessly for me. Luckily, we are adaptive and creative creatures. As long as you keep writing, everything will work out just fine.
- What’s your workspace like? I’m a firm believer that your workspace can make or break your workflow. If you’re office is too cold, you’ll keep readjusting or fidgeting around. You’ll get up to find a sweater or some slippers. You’ll lose a couple minutes here and there to make some tea, maybe make another cup of tea. If you’re in the middle of a TV room with lots of foot traffic and action going on around you, you’ll get caught up in a show or a commercial. You’ll chitchat with your roommate. These hardly sounds like the productive environment we all dream of! Instead, take a little time to invest into a clean and comfortable workspace. Or go out and find a spot at quiet coffee shop or bookstore where your distractions will be limited and you’ll have nothing standing between you and your work.
- What music do you listen to? Ever notice how athletes are always pumping music into their heads right before their big run? They might be onto something and it isn’t exclusive to athletes. Music can put you in a certain mood and keep you there. It can block out other distractions and ward off other ones; headphones are a dead giveaway that you don’t want to be bothered! The kind of music that gets you into the writing mood is completely up to you. Personally, I prefer classical music. It’s soothing and easy to follow. Furthermore, there are no words to catch my attention. I’ve also been known to switch it up with some Coldplay tracks since they are also relaxing and uncomplicated. But who knows? Maybe some hardcore Bay Area rap will do the trick for you!
- When do you write? My final tip is really more of a common sense thing than anything else. Just like they teach us to write we know, it’s also important to write when you know. Procrastinating your ideas will only dull your creativity, and who’s to say that you’ll remember that brilliant idea tomorrow? This can be a pretty inconvenient rule to follow – there have been times when I was falling asleep and I suddenly figured out how to begin a technical article and I just couldn’t put it off. Yes, I was up for hours and I lost some previous sleep (and I love my sleep, okay?) but the end product was worth it. I honestly believe that I couldn’t have written an article of the same caliber if I had waited.
Copywriting might be a fun job, but it’s no easy feat. Juggling clients and deadlines can only amount to more stress. However, your writing doesn’t have to suffer. Figure out what keeps you motivated and concentrated and try to practice those things every time you get in the zone. You won’t miss (or nearly miss!) another deadline ever again!
Gina Vinnitsky is an SEO Copywriter with Pete Wise SEO. This Denver, Colorado based agency believes in sustainable solutions to improve rank and reputation. Check out their website to learn about their SEO copywriting process, as well as to learn more about all the great services they offer!