Overcoming writer’s block, part 2

April 19, 2010 | Writing

I doubt Anne Lamott has had many, if any, bouts of writer’s block. The woman is a fairly prolific novelist and author of writing manuals.

But she certainly knows the intimidation of having to tackle a big writing project. Feeling overwhelmed by a writing project is one of the surefire triggers of writer’s block, as well as clever excuses to procrastinate.

Big writing projects are common in the business world, such as when an annual marketing plan or other hefty report is due to the boss.

In those cases, Lamott, author of the writing classic Bird by Bird, suggest taking the assignment piece by piece. When a project seems too big to handle, break it down into smaller, self-contained pieces, Lamott says.

Busting up your writing assignment into manageable chunks – say, by product group or geography – can help get you off the dime and making progress. In addition, give yourself permission to write less than perfect first drafts.

“The first draft is the child’s draft,” says Lamott. “You let it all pour out, knowing that no one is going to see it and that you can shape it later. All good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.”

Smaller pieces of writing and smaller expectations. Sometimes that’s all it takes to get started. And you’ll be surprised how quickly momentum is likely to build.

Soon, all those component parts will add up to a completed writing assignment.

Got writer’s block? Here’s the bulldozer

April 12, 2010 | Blogging, Writing

All writers run aground from time to time. It’s a scourge we call “writer’s block.” In most cases, it’s a fleeting state of non-productivity. In rare cases, it’s a seemingly intractable affliction. Believe it or not, there’s an incredibly easy and effective solution. It goes like this…

Some baseball wisdom for modern-day marketers

The gold rush to social media, e-mail marketing and a variety of other New Media tools has meant that some traditional marketing activities have been abandoned as outdated or even old-fashioned. That’s a mistake. Traditional marketing channels can bear even more fruit today than in years past when properly executed. Here’s why…

Why ‘once upon a time’ is still the story of our times

March 12, 2010 | Verbal communication, Writing

Most professionals seem to regard storytelling as a quaint relic of the past – something modern society and all its technological gadgetry has made outmoded and unnecessary. It’s an easy conclusion to come to but it’s provably false – as underscored through lessons taught by examples as diverse as The Bible, The National Enquirer, 60 Minutes and water-cooler gossip in the workplace…

The beating heart of an effective Social Media campaign

March 03, 2010 | Blogging, Social Media, Web 2.0

So you put a new business plan together for 2010. Whether your enterprise is big or small – and regardless of industry – you almost certainly discussed Social Media. It’s the most talked about and misunderstood business activity around. It’s also one of the few business initiatives that companies are still spending on. But it all hinges on a core activity called blogging. Here’s what you must know…

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