Ann Handley's avatar image.

The universe's first Chief Content Officer. Now I have that job at MarketingProfs.

My name is Ann Handley, I speak and write about how businesses can create non-mediocre marketing.

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  • How do you suggest people get over the hurdle of finding ideas to write?

    or more appropriately termed, "writer's block." Do you have a few tips to give someone who is stuck trying to figure out what to write?

    Ann Handley's avatar image.

    Hi Kerri!

    First, the worst time to try to figure out what to write about is when you sit down to write.

    Rather, keep a running list of thoughts, fragments, observations as they occur to you. You can record and keep them in something like Evernote, or you can use an analog device -- I like Field Notes pocket notes and Moleskine notebooks. For some reason, writing it in my own hand allows me to remember nuances of the ideas.. when I read them later. Then, when you look through that list, you will likely find something that spares an idea.

    Writing is very much a muscle, and you need to exercise it regularly to get stronger. I think this is true of coming up with ideas, too: You need to practice noticing ideas first, and then have the discipline to simply record your observations somewhere. (Because you won't remember. Trust me on this one.)

    Michele Jennae's avatar image.

    "For some reason, writing it in my own hand allows me to remember nuances of the ideas.. when I read them later."

    ^ I can totally relate to this! I also like the feel of actual business cards, as opposed to an excel spreadsheet or database for example. I can feel the energy of the contact!