How to rescue bad copy

Everybody gets blogger’s block from time to time. Whether you’re writing about a topic that you’re not so familiar with, trying to come up with something topical on a particularly slow news day, or putting together a personal post that you’re not that inspired by, it’s inevitable that there will be occasions when your content just isn’t as sparky and fresh as it could be. It’s frustrating, but there are some things you can do.

  • Think simple
    Sometimes it’s easier to write out exactly what you’re trying to say, then go back and revise it into something that could be deemed ‘well written’. Summarise or make bullet points of your key ideas, then expand them out into paragraphs. Once you’ve got your basic paragraphs, you can go back and add your own literary flair. If it’s not coming naturally, break it down into stages and you’ll find it ten times easier.
  • Brainstorm
    If you’ve got some flexibility with the title of your piece, consider taking a different route in the same area of interest. Brainstorm (with the help of Google if needed) the various topics in your industry sector and see if you find a new angle that’s a little more inspiring.
  • Ask for an opinion
    By getting someone else to take a look at your copy, you will gain a valuable alternative perspective that could help you get you back on track. Explain what you’re trying to express with the article and see if your audience gleans all of the information you intended them to. If you’re writing a basic guide, ask someone with no knowledge of the subject matter to read your piece; if it’s a little more technical, find someone who fits that demographic. A new reader will be able to spot areas that need clarifying and suggest improvements that you might never have thought of!
  • Take a break
    One of the worst things you can do is stare at the screen and hope that the piece will miraculously fix itself. Distract yourself by organising your desk, taking a short walk or making a cup of tea. When you come back, you should find that you feel revitalised and ready to work again. Plus, you’re more likely to spot silly mistakes if you leave and come back with fresh eyes.

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