How Ritual, Routine And Regularity Make You a Better Writer
Have you ever suffered from Cleaner’s Block? You know, your muse can’t find your mop and the hoover simply refuses to flow.
Of course you haven’t.
Or what about Management Accountant’s Block? The creativity you need to save your spreadsheet is lacking, so you snooze under a willow tree until divine inspiration falls into your lap.
Nope. Me neither.
What about Business Writer’s Block?
Yes, I see you nodding in agreement. It’s flared up again, and there’s even some secondary procrastination in the diagnosis. You slump over your desk, head in hands, and moan there’s nothing I can do about it.
But hold on, Shakespeare. You can banish Business Writer’s Block (BWB) forever with Ritual, Routine and Regularity (that’s RRR if you’re into the whole abbreviation thing.)
Let me introduce you to the concept of cognitive cueing. Your brain associates a favourite song or item of clothing with an activity. Taking your shoes off before entering the yoga studio – or jamming on your headphones before your run – are both cues for the ritual of exercise.
The strongest and most immediate cognitive cue for business writers is the place where they write. Entering this zone tells your mind to write.
Quick tip – clock in to write. What is the environment where you find flow in your business writing? Treat this as your writing factory. This is not the place to talk about your projects, question your creativity or bitch on Twitter about constant interruptions. No. This is where you write.
Every successful writer has a routine. Sure, lucky pencils and your magic cardigan can banish BWB. But the most important aspect of the routine is – quite simply – to keep writing. Don’t waste your time waiting for the ideal external conditions to arrive. They probably won’t.
Quick tip – set yourself achievable targets. Commit to an hour of solid writing with no interruptions, or five hundred words until you can get a coffee. Keep your motivation strong by chunking down big writing tasks into doable sections.
For many of us business writing is not at an everyday occurrence. Drafting the Chairman’s Statement for the Annual Report is like running a 10k without months of training. No wonder we suffer BWB.
Quick tip – keep your writing muscles limber with regular exercise. Take on smaller business writing tasks in the run-up to a megaproject. Find ten minutes every day to make an e-mail more personal or to strip away the guff from a wordy marketing pitch.
Finding the best RRR combination is always personal. Maximise what works for you to steadily increase your productivity and your quality. You’ll soon realise that BWB has never really existed.