Just got asked the question. How do I Deal With Writer’s Block?
And then another question, “How Do I Know If My Personal Stories Are Boring?”
First of all no body’s stories are boring. You may just need to spice up your vocabulary a little. To get right to the heart of this post scroll down until you see. Emotions are always engaging topics and sensory descriptive words are always great communicators and read on.
But for those who are just plain stuck, try this practice:
Since my granddaughter was born I have had no trouble thinking of things I want to tell her when she grows up. Little things that I may not remember when she’s able to understand what I’m talking about, so I put them in emails that I email to myself daily or when the inspiration strikes.
I think it is the same with our blogging. If we put the emotions of our ideas in little draft files in our website posts and leave them alone while. Go back to them now and again to see if any of them have grown into full-fledged stories, then start writing.
We don’t have to post them until we are ready to, but it is good not to lose any of those little gems that might turn into valuable stories for our readers. If we put ourselves in the shoes of our customers or even non-customers, if we put ourselves in the shoes of other people who may want to experience something that we have to share this is what blogging is about. Sharing our experience so that others will come to trust us and follow our recommendations when they may need something.
All that that means is, we do have stories about ourselves to tell? We just have to trust the feelings around them, nurture those feelings then put them into words. Write the emotion packed part first. Then go back and build the structure of the story around the emotion that changed or affected you in some way. It would be great if the story was related to the products we are promoting, but they don’t have to. Everyone reads stories to find out a little more about themselves.
You may have an experience that will give them insight that they have never had before, or at the very least, confirm what they already knew and that can be just as powerful a realization as discovering something they didn’t know. So, don’t sell your life experience short.
You may want to have a few posts on your website that deal solely with your life experience.
One WA member put a permanent file on her website in the sidebar that was just for inspirational stories and reflections from her personal life. I thought that was so very charming and endeared me to her and to her site immediately. I go back there often to read her thoughts. I plan on doing that as well for my own site. Soon.
Like I said, if you can search the internet and find stories about your product or niche that engage, inform, entertain and give insight all the better. But if you can’t come up with personal experiences about your product or niche, then dazzle them with stories about yourself or stories that you like. Name it My Reflections, or My Story picks. Something that tells them this is set apart and may not be relevant to the product but just something you wanted to share.
Emotions are always engaging topics and sensory descriptive words are always great communicators. The internet is a very cerebral medium and people are hungry to find emotionally engaging content. If tactful and well written you can entertain your viewers for hours or days with your stories, anecdotes, in sights and humor.
Below are a few tips put together by a site called CopyHackers. They are really good recommendations for making your stories more memorable and compelling to your readers. Three of them are the following: Try out their suggestions and let me know what you think.
Try to spike your stories using these sensory image words:
- Tactile Words
- Aromatic Words
- Motion Words
Studies show that words that engage our senses and engage those parts of our brain outside of those usual language processing areas are memorable and more experiencial to our readers. In using them we are more fully engaging the entire mind of our reader. They are fun to erite and to read.
Studies show that people respond more to a phrase like tired eyes than they do to unfocused eyes. Unfocused eyes expresses one state of being. They are unfocused. That’s it. Whereas tired eyes expresses an experience. Everyone has experienced tiredness and everyone knows what it is to have eyes that are blurry, and eyelids that are heavy and a head that pounds when they try to focus their eyes on something.
Unfocused is not tactile in the same way that tired is and it is not unusual either.
A 2006 study asked participants to read words with a strong odor association. As they read these words, their brains were scanned by an MRI. When they looked at the words perfume and coffee their primary olfactory cortex lit up the part of their brain that the rest of the copy just didn’t.
Words describing movement do something similar too. So, when you read the sentence. people jumped for joy, the motor cortex which controls our movements becomes engaged.
So, to be clear, this is science. They study this. This is a fact you can take to your CEO if somebody doesn’t believe you.
So, if you want your readers to respond to your words, use words that stimulate parts of their brain not normally stimulated by copy.
Bring that picture to life with words that suggest texture, sense or movement.
Here is another thought about using unusual words to communicate a tactile experience.
So what would you do with a paragraph like this?
‘The clean minimalist drag and drop editor never gets in your way so you can create the surveys you want faster and with far less frustration than ever before.’
You might write something more tactile and motion rich like this:
‘Drop questions into place to craft sharpedged surveys faster and with far less frustration than ever before.’
With that copy you kicked off by using movement words. ‘Drop questions into place.’
You also used a very tactile word, ‘sharp-edged surveys.’ Now, what are sharp-edged surveys? Who actually knows? But it’s tactile. It makes you think of thin paper or razors or sharp accusations, a thing worthy of paying attention to.
Should you care that ‘sharp edged surveys’ might not actually mean something? I personally wouldn’t….
I used to love the T.V. show the West Wing which was written by Aaron Sorkin. In one episode the screewriter uses the phrase, ‘The WatchWord of All Mankind” in one of his speeches. And the character’s peer, Toby, says, “the watchword of all mankind, I don’t even know what that means.” Will replys, “Don’t worry, neither will anyone else.”
What Is Your WatchWord of All Mankind?
Now that’s a bit of writer’s arrogance, but it speaks to a key lesson. Sometimes you can play with language if you do it intentionally and sparsely. Let yourself say something different sometimes.
That word makes me think of what is most important to all of mankind. It gets me out of my little theater of emergencies and makes me think of the larger picture in a more profound and deeper way. A way in which language can and does really help culture to evolve. How many impactful new words do you have up your sleeve?
Always remember that a good portion of your blog must be good solid facts about your product, if you are promoting something in the same post as the story you are writing, but draw them in with your stories and you will have a customer for life.
Another way to get out of the slump of writer’s block is to read about threads that other people are talking about in blogs, forums and Q and As. For example:
Quora, a question and answer forum on just about any topic you can imagine. It is always difficult for me to tear myself away once I start reading the quality contributions there.
Yahoo, Bing, Google all have Q and A forums as well.
The more you research your product, idea or topic, the more the ideas will come.
I wrote about more ways to research your product. Visit my blog at
contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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