Even professional writers get stuck from time to time. It happens. And when it does, it’s positively terrifying.
Imagine, if you will, a terrible, horrible bully staring you in the face, mocking your every move. He blocks every path you can think of to get around him. And just when you think you have the way, he pulls you by the back of the shirt and drags you down.
That bully is a blank page, and he’s relentless.
So what’s the answer?
Well, it’s the same answer you’d give a ten-year-old confronting a bully in the school yard: whatever you do, don’t back down.
In our world, that simply means “keep writing.”
It doesn’t have to be good. It doesn’t have to make sense. And it doesn’t have to be on brief. Because the more we write, the more ideas we generate. If they’re bad, we’re flushing them out of our system. If they’re half-baked, then it could be the start of something. But the more we write, the more likely we are to come up with something worth running with, exploring and eventually sharing.
One of our favourite scenes from any movie is towards the end of Braveheart when William Wallace is talking to his buddies about taking a meeting with Robert The Bruce. They know it’s a trap — and deep down, so does he. But he says to them: “We’ve got to try. You know what happens if we don’t? Nothing.”
The same’s true of writing. So we push on. We pepper our walls with headlines and subheads, first thoughts, fragments, inklings and ideas. Most of them end up in the bin where they belong, but the ones that survive blossom into something more. They’re the start of a master brand positioning, a killer message or a paragraph of body copy that seals the deal with the reader and gets them to act.
Some people are appalled by the amount of paper we use (especially since we don’t like using both sides). But for us, it’s all for a greater purpose: to get to awesome.
And when we do, we slay the bully. And if you’ve ever dealt with one of those, nothing feels better.