Need help beating writer’s block? Check out these 7 Top Tips

Every single day 4.5 billion pieces of content are shared.

Read that again. Four and a half BILLION pieces of content.

Constantly writing, snapping and sharing fantastic content is a daunting challenge for any creative blogger; aspiring or otherwise. Incidentally, it is probably one of the key reasons (alongside work and flathunting) that has led to my being a bit AWOL this last month – sorry, guys!

Anyway, my lackadaisical attitude towards actually finishing a draft post has given me a few ideas that might help you guys not fall into the same mental traps as I did.

  • kitkatFirstly, Stop over-thinking it – This is the main crux of my issues and it might well be at the centre of yours. 63% writers claim the biggest causes of writer’s block were: their own high expectations, their fear of failure, and the pressure of unrealistic deadlines.
  • Take a break and do something else – 56% of writers say that doing something other than writing helped the words flow later.
  • Write little and often – Take a leaf out of Mark Twain’s book and write a little at a time.
  • Make notes – Inspiration can hit you at any time so make sure to always carry a notepad and pen for when you’re inspired.
  • Using a dictaphone or smartphone app, Walk and talk. That way you can get all of your random thoughts down to go through and organise, saving you time and effort later.
  • Create a mental memory map/ladder – Although this may sound a bit ‘Inception-esque’, building a simplified mental system of ‘rooms’ or rungs in which you organise your thoughts and ideas can be incredibly handy when it comes to remembering them for later use.
  • Work out when inspires you and make use of that situation. Me? I always have random creative ideas in the shower and organisational ideas right as I’m about to sleep. Using the condensation and a notepad next to my bed have become invaluable tools in my mental repertoire.

Check out the handy infographic (below) by StopProcrastinatingApp for a few more ideas, and feel free to leave me a note in the comments section with any of your Top Tips!

Writer's block cure
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Is necessary for students to have a personal brand, or is demonstrating competencies/qualities better?

In a recent Adweek article, Cheri Eisen, Head of HR at Fusion, raised the point that when hiring new employees, employers don’t think we (by which I mean: students, recent graduates, and even entry-level employees) really need to develop a personal brand for ourselves.

Given the post I published earlier this week outlining my ‘Personal Branding cheat sheet‘, this revelation, I have to admit, was a little annoying,. After all, I did spend a fair amount of time noting all the ways to build and hone our personal brand so that we can get noticed by employers.

Instead, she says, “[we] need to know who [we] are, what [we] want to do, what [our] strengths are, and where [our] passions lie”, as, “depending on how many years [we’ve] been in the marketplace, [we] may still be experimenting with different types of roles.”

It makes sense really when you think about it. Until we’ve truly worked in an agency or in-house role where our work can directly impact on our client(s) bottom-line, how can we possibly know where our skills and approaches fit best?
I’m not talking what sectors or disciplines we’re interested in. Being interested in a sector doesn’t necessarily translate to being effective within it (or vice versa, as a matter of fact). I’m talking whether we fit a particular organisations corporate culture; whether we are capable in a range of roles or better if specialised in just a few.

The more practical skills you have when job hunting can of course lead to a higher chance of getting your foot in the door for an interview.
But, saying that, when it comes to scoring an internship, or even a job after graduation, it seems to me that the key to getting your foot past the door and into the role isn’t to reel off a list of skills as long as your arm, but to be authentic in the qualities/competencies you claim to demonstrate (and humble in your willingness to learn/work your butt off).

So, with that in mind, I thought I’d use the rest of this post to outline (in draft form) a couple of the qualities I feel I can offer an employer.

1) Authentic
What you see with me is what you get, and I don’t believe in hiding myself behind lots of jargon and marketing artifice (my advertising copy maybe, but not myself). I believe in honesty, integrity and creativity, rooted in getting work done both on-time and to a high standard.

2) Committed
I’m secure not only in my abilities but also in my willingness to learn. I know that my academic studies and professional experiences have provided/are providing me with the theoretical frameworks and competencies that can be applied to a range of roles, and I have dedicated myself to advancing not only my awareness of the marketplace in a range of sectors, but also to my own professional development through my memberships with the PRCA and CIPR.

3) Confident
This commitment and willingness to learn has resulted in my being confident in both my current abilities/competencies, and my ability to successfully build on areas which I need to improve. I am part of the ‘three screen generation’ which allows me to quickly learn and become proficient in new software, and I actively enjoy presenting and engaging in discussions which (I like to think) is an aspect of my friendly disposition.

These qualities, in addition to my ‘professionalism’, ‘energy’ and ‘talent’ have been recognised by past employers such as, Simone Kidner, Managing Director of PAPER CIC, who said:

“Ashley is a very talented young lady with a lot of energy for work. She is incredibly professional and confidently applies herself to every project that she is given. She’ll be a fantastic asset to any company and a joy to work with. I wish her all the best.”