It doesn’t really matter what type of writing you’re doing—if it’s going to be worth a reader’s time and a client’s hard-earned cash, some actual concentration will be required. Pretty crazy stuff, huh?
No, but seriously—I love to write, but every time I sit down to write a few blog posts, some other enticing option presents itself. It could be a football game, evening out with a friend or even another writing assignment that’s more exciting than a more pressing project.
So, if you’re going to make a name for yourself as a professional copywriter, some real discipline is going to be required. That said, how does someone go about making writing more of a priority?
When the urge to bypass writing for something else, how should you respond? Though by no means a perfect copywriter, I’ve found a few different methods rather handy for fighting through the most common distractions. If interested, here’s what works for me:
1) Create Mini Deadlines Along the Way
If you’ve ever taken a course on goal setting, then you’ve probably already heard people talk about how important this is. Trust me—my intention isn’t to bore you with what you’ve already heard, but if top-tier professionals are talking about it, there must be something there, right?
Remember, these are small goals, so don’t make this more serious than it needs to be. I know many copywriters who base their daily goals on predetermined allotments of time, but I prefer to base mine on word counts.
After starting the day, once I’ve produced 1,000 words of copy, I can go for a run, watch a sitcom or go out to eat with my wife. Before that, none of this can occur.
2) Remove Any and All Distractions
You know what these are, so don’t act like you’re lost as to what’s being discussed. Smartphone, television, Internet radio, Twitter—they’re all distractions and, when eliminated, it’s substantially easier to write.
For example, before diving into an email marketing campaign or sales letter, turn your cellphone off and place it in a nearby drawer. Heck, when I’m really needing to get to work, I even go as far as logging out of my Gmail account.
Though cut off from client communication, I’m able to write without anyone or anything keeping me from making money. Besides, in an hour or two, I can reconnect and get back to the communicative side of the job.
3) Focus On the End Goal
Why did you get into copywriting in the first place? What is it that you’re ultimately trying to accomplish?
Maybe it was to get out of debt or build a new lifestyle for you and your family. Whatever the case, when laziness or something similar rears its ugly, it’s important to draw inspiration from that original source.
For me, it’s always been about being my own boss. Whenever I don’t feel like writing, I think back to what it was like to to have another individual calling the shots. I own my freelance copywriting career.
The money, success and reputation—yup, it’s all mine. That said, so too is the failure, disappointment and idleness.
4) Stop Thinking and Get to Work
This section’s heading says it all—stop thinking and do something. I don’t care what it is that’s keeping you from writing, this is by far the best way to get the proverbial ball moving with a project.
If you’re a copywriter by trade, you clearly have a love of writing. As soon as you’re able to show a bit of grit and get to typing, those feelings of editorial enjoyment will undoubtedly return. For me, at least, this method works 100 percent of the time.
More than just about anything, I love hearing from other writers. Through them, I’m able to learn more of what I can do to become a better copywriter. With that in mind, what are you currently doing to sidestep your workflow’s biggest enemies? Share what works for you in the comments section below.
Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.