Don’t panic but if you see a sick looking chicken doing SEO updates on your machine one day… RUN AWAY!
I’ve worked with a small, but perfectly formed, online agency for about 18 months now and regularly produce, along with other copywriters, blog posts for the agency’s site. We also produce guest posts on other industry sites and, of course, for clients. One thing I’ve noticed about many writing websites is the particular focus on writer’s block. If I were a ‘World Health Organization’ Official I might be tempted to conclude that this is yet another pandemic. Presumably this pandemic isn’t caused by chickens, although I’ll admit I have some of them and do suffer from the dreaded block from time to time.
Chickens – the missing link?
Could there be a link? I’m hoping not. When I read, and write, these posts about block I often wonder what impact they have on potential clients. Does the thought, “oh, that’s interesting, they have a blog, let’s have a look at the quality of their writing, bloody hell, they’re all permanently blocked, I’m not using them” ever pass through their minds? Hopefully not, as the posts themselves tend to illustrate that not only do we get over it, but live to fight another writing day. It does seem though, that copywriters, in particular, suffer from the problem and other writers don’t seem to make quite such a fuss about it, or do they?
Economics of scale
Well, they probably don’t but there’s an ‘economics of scale’ sort of thing going on here. Your average novella is around 20, 000 words long, while a full blown novel weighs in at anything from 100, 000 words. Last week I produced 15,000 words of copy and that’s a fairly average amount. Put in context that is basically, in word length terms, the equivalent of producing a novels-worth of copy every couple of months. There aren’t many novelists that could keep up with that pace, with the exception of elderly pink-clad ones or the sweat shop workers of the literary world, the “Mills and Boon” authors. Most novelists who have the difficult job of producing a couple of hundred thousand words over much longer periods do occasionally suffer from block. Some might hit the wall after the first novel or halfway through the next. Considering how much your average copywriter produces in the time it takes to write a novel I think I, and my colleagues, should be allowed a dose or two every couple of months!
Why Writer’s block makes a good copywriter.
Many of us get it so often it’s a bit like rain, annoying, dampening to both body and mind, and not much fun if you’re planning a barbeque, but for most of us it’s nothing more than an inconvenience. Like rain, in the UK at least, it’s just something that happens a lot. And when you’re used to something you learn to deal with it. Copywriters tend to have a host of tools, mental or otherwise, to hand when it comes to dealing with the problem. We might spend a lot of our blogging time banging on about it, but those very blogs are what help us, and others, to get through it. It’s a sort of therapy. For more ‘literary’ writers it’s a much bigger problem. I have one friend who is a brilliant writer of the literary variety, but has admitted that he spent fifteen years ‘blocked’. That’s a luxury that no copywriter can afford and it’s why we accept that it exists, but also learn quickly how to deal with it.
So, if you are looking for a copywriter and you find that their site is littered with references to writer’s block, strange as it may sound, you’ve probably found a good one! Hopefully that’s enough said from the “apologist” stance. In the meantime, as a precaution, I’m off to kill me some chickens.
Copywriters providing copywriting services seem to suffer from rather frequent bouts of Writer’s block. But don’t be put off – it can be a sign that you’ve found a good one.