Writer’s Block – Myth or Reality? You can Choose.
I woke this morning to a LinkedIn post from copywriting legend John Carlton who wrote…
“Writer’s block ain’t real.”
My initial reaction:
“Whatchu talkin’ about, Carlton?!”
Writer’s block ain’t real!? Tell that to all the people who sit in front of a blank screen — hoping to write an email, social post, or other content — while thinking, “I got nothin’.”
My second reaction: “I help business people overcome writer’s block. One of my LinkedIn job titles is ‘Writer’s Block Remover.’ Writer’s block better be real!”
I took a deep breath and read on. (This is John Carlton, after all. He deserves the benefit of doubt.)
…if you’re sitting staring at your monitor, unsure of what to write…
… YOU SHOULDN’T BE SITTING THERE!
You’re not ready to “write” anything yet.
You need to back up a step or two.
* Research your subject.
* Maybe interview some folks.
* Jot down more notes.
Above all, figure out who you’re writing to and what their burning needs, fears and distractions are.
You go deep, FIRST.
Then, you write.
It’s not magic.
Amen, copywriting legend John Carlton.
There’s a passage in my upcoming book that makes a similar point. Here’s a sneak peek:
A small business owner once asked me if I could help her cure writer’s block.
She wanted to create client-attracting stories. But every time she sat at her computer to write an email, blog, or social post, she’d freeze.
She’d stare at the blinking cursor and think, “Now what!?”
She was frustrated. She was confused. She was stuck.
To cure what ailed her, I told her a story about Eugene Schwartz.
He was arguably the most prolific and successful copywriter on earth during the second half of the 20th century. He wrote thousands of profit-generating advertisements. He earned millions of dollars for his clients and himself.
He wrote a book called “Breakthrough Advertising.” Many marketers consider their copywriting Bible.
And he never suffered from writer’s block.
How did he do it?
He explained: “If anyone tells you ‘you write copy’, sneer at them. Copy is not written. Copy is assembled.”
…Most content creators sit at their computers empty handed. It’s just them and the blank computer screen.
Then they wait and wait and wait and wait – for creative juices to flow. They try to conjure some storytelling magic.
It rarely works.
Schwartz never began empty handed. He always arrived with the building blocks he needed to assemble content.
How’d he do it?
He researched what makes his prospects tick. What concerns and frustrates them? What do they crave and covet? How does the product or service he’s selling carry the prospect from where they are to where they want to be?
In other words, he empathized and envisioned to discover the journey his prospects wish to take – the story they wished to live.
Then he outlined how his products and services enabled the journey.
He did all of this before he wrote a single line of copy.
For Schwartz, this was not some throw-away exercise. He didn’t simply grab a “client profile” worksheet and fill it out sitting. He dove deep. And so should you.
Today, I do as Schwartz did. I have adopted Schwartz’s method and modernized it, using tools like the internet and artificial intelligence.
I call this Story Discovery.
Why bother with Story Discovery? Because it turns content-creation from a magic art – beyond you and other mere mortals – and turns it into a craft anyone can master.
Schwartz put it this way in Breakthrough Advertising:
“You are working with a series of building blocks. You are putting the building blocks together, and then you are putting them in certain structures.”
The process and structures have evolved since Schwartz’s day. He assembled stories mostly in print advertisements.
We assemble stories in structures familiar to us, but unknown in his day: emails, social posts, web pages, YouTube videos, and other content – online and offline.
The principle hasn’t changed, though. Research first to understand your market and what makes prospects tick.
When you invest in Story Discovery first, you avoid pain and frustration later. You no longer sit in front of a blank notepad or computer screen thinking, “Once upon a time… ummm… now what!?”
Story Discovery gives you everything you need to assemble captivating, client-attracting copy – just as Schwartz’s research gave him everything he needed to assemble ads without writer’s block.
I call it Story Discovery. Carlton calls it market research.
And there’s a right way and wrong way to do it.
In my soon-to-launch do-it-with-you mastermind program, Content Marketing Masters, I’ll show you how to do it quickly, efficiently, and effectively…
…so you do story discovery right…
…and turn writer’s block from your reality…
…into something that ain’t real.
Want to know more about Content Marketing Masters? Reply to this email and write “writer’s block removal,” and I’ll circle back with details.
Don't go away yet..
p.s. Coaches, authors, and consultants hire me to power-up their creative content and storytelling to captivate prospects, stand-out and book more business.
Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you'll land more clients without pitching and prodding:
1) Get the Story Power Profit Pack -- 52 Strategies, Tips, and Tactics to Transform Your Content from Ignored to Adored.
2) Watch the free, 7-minute Micro-Training: “The 3 Most Important Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Act -- Without Pitching and Prodding.”
3) Become a Story Power VIP: Master how to discover, assemble, and deliver business-building stories. Twice-monthly live masterclasses. Members-only content. One-on-one feedback and consulting sessions. And more… If you'd like to learn more about our VIP program, just reply to this email and put "Story Power VIP" in the subject line. I’ll contact you with more details.
4) Work with me one-on-one: If you’re interested in working directly with me -- to discover, assemble, and deliver powerful, business-building stories -- simply reply to this email and change the subject line to "Private Client." Tell me a little about yourself, your business, and what you'd like to accomplish, and I'll reply to discuss options.
5) Invite me to speak at an event: I can tailor a presentation that meets the specific needs of your organization. Informative. Entertaining. Virtual or live. Potential for continuing education credits when applicable for your group. If interested, reply to this email and change the subject line to “Speaking Engagement.” I’ll circle back to discuss the possibilities.
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