sunny window. Perhaps grabbing a
voice recorder will wake up your writing. Really stuck? Write for a short
period with your non-dominant hand
to shake up your synapses. This can
help break the grip of writer’s block.
Stop to refuel
Running on empty? Bring other people’s voices into your writing. Interview experts, ask cohorts for advice,
share other opinions. And tap more
deeply into your own thoughts by
brainstorming. Techniques such as
free-writing, mind-mapping, list of
20, and devil’s advocate can help you
fill up on your own creativity—and
find fresh ways to present your ideas.
(See “ 4 Powerful Brainstorming Techniques,” page 10.)
Be courteous to your fellow
Write to your readers as though they
are passengers in the car with you.
Think of them as fellow travelers in
that confined, intimate space.
Now consider that last email you
sent. Did it invite discussion, or were
you dumping data on people? Break
away and write to your readers. No need
to try to sound brilliant or important—
just write words that will resonate.
More often than not, your task isn’t
about what you want to say but rather
what your audience needs to hear in
order for them to deliver the results you
want. In the process, you’ll naturally
garner respect, foster change, improve
customer service and so on.
To put this another way: Answer the
question “What’s in it for me?” Every
reader asks this question hundreds of
times a day, both consciously and subconsciously. Position your message for
your readers’ needs, offer advantages
and explain consequences. Ask colleagues (preferably when they’re
relaxed or away from the office) how
they react when they encounter dense
emails, perplexing proposals or meandering memos. “I delete them,” they’ll
confess in a moment of candor.
What a waste. All that effort to get
somewhere, yet missing the mark. Give
this different direction a try. It may
seem like a detour from business as
usual, but that’s a good thing.
about the author
Lynda McDaniel, Your Write with
Confidence Coach, is based in the
San Francisco Bay Area and works
with clients worldwide.
Write for a short
period with your
to shake up your
synapses. This can
help break the grip
of writer’s block.