Be Creative - Be Sustainable - Mindfully Make

Unblocking writer’s block: How to write engaging blogs that inspires your readers to act.

By Geraldine Tew & Katie Rickson

Throughout my childhood, years of high school, university and in the workplace, I have been told what to write and how to write it - whether it be an academic essay, business proposal, or creative writing exercise. Looking back on my writing education and observing my children’s, I have noticed a shift in how writing is taught. Compared to me, my children seem to be better taught on how to structure sentences and add creative descriptions.

My personal feelings around writing have always been somewhat negative; I have never been considered a good writer. Like most things, we gravitate towards what we are good at and tend to avoid areas where we feel less competent. Writing has been my Achilles heel. 

My journey into the world of blogging

As someone who feels comfortable expressing my ideas verbally, and as the founder of a social enterprise, I knew I had to rise to the challenge of blogging. It quickly became clear that if I wanted my enterprise to make the maximum impact, being a public speaker wasn’t enough. I needed to express my thoughts and expertise about our current business environment, economy, social and environmental issues in writing. In my desire to create a business focused on positive change, I must write clearly and skilfully on a variety of topics relating to a circular economy, my why, the people I work with, and so on.

Having worked in a central government department for over a decade, I was very used to having my writing quality assessed. It was natural for me to want to seek out a copywriter. 

Right at the beginning of my journey, I met Katie Rickson. Katie has a big heart and a head for words.  She’s interested in social enterprise and generally in making the world a better place. The way she does that is by helping those get the important words out in an effective, empathetic and professional way. 

So, with the desire to support other social enterprises in getting their voice heard, Katie and I collaborated on this blog. Together, we compiled five tips on how to free yourself from writer’s block to create blogs that are passionate, informative, relevant and engaging.

Tip one: First, get your thoughts out of your head

Like teaching children how to write, simply get what you want to say from your head down on paper or a Dictaphone, and don’t worry about perfect grammar, spelling or prose.  

Ger: To begin with, I dumped words on my computer. As time marched on, I began to walk and use the time to practice in my head how the words would flow, the structure of the headings, beginnings and conclusions. 

Tip two: Step away from the desk

Ideas and creativity flow not when you are at your desk working or in a meeting, but when you are in nature and allow your mind to be free. 

Ger: Walking is my thoughtful, creative, mindful place.  I’m a huge advocate of the value of walking and creativity, and this connection is backed by thorough research.  

As time went by, I found that when I got to my computer, I could succinctly write in about twenty minutes and the proofing would be minimal. 

Did I also say how much I hate to reread something?!  Again, Katie came to the rescue. 

Tip three: Talk about your subject passionately and from the heart

Ger: Blogging is vital in today’s world. Blogs raise your profile and that of your social enterprise, and when it is on a relevant topic that you are passionate about, it’s one of the best ways for people to connect with you, your story and your enterprise.

Katie: When you use a copywriter, you can also ask them to do further research on your topic to make sure your blogs are packed full of relevant, engaging and topical information. A decent copywriter should know how to investigate a topic from different angles and filter through data to find the information to support your position. When you balance your passion with reason and evidence, your voice elevates from interesting and credible to the catalyst that motivates people to act. 

Tip four: Write freely without judgement

If your writing is flabby, don’t worry. Consider your copywriter a personal trainer for your content. They are experienced in making your words, your sentences, your paragraphs and your blog sing.

Katie: Remember, a copywriter is not there to judge you but help you get your words across in the best possible way and partner with you. They care about the success of your business, brand or enterprise, and they will write, structure and edit your thoughts in a way that keeps your readers coming back to your site and, better still, become advocates for your cause.    

Tip five: Don’t let your challenges stop you participating. Why you should consider outsourcing your writing

Katie:  I write for people who experience different obstacles or feelings about writing. Some, like Ger, don’t enjoy it or prefer public speaking. Others just don’t have the time to write. Some enjoy writing, but they get stuck and feel unhappy with the outcome.

For others, they may need help refining and polishing their content and style. Others may struggle to write because English is not their first language, or they have different learning preferences like dyslexia. Maybe they don’t have access to the necessary technology or find typing and digital media a challenge, too.

I believe that these reasons can present barriers for different voices to participate in today’s most significant, pressing issues. But these barriers don’t have to be insurmountable. Outsourcing to an understanding and experienced copywriter can enable you to join and even lead the conversation. 

The real and lasting power of connecting with a good copywriter

Ger and Katie: Drawing on each other’s unique strengths and passions means that, together, we can bring a wider, more nuanced variety of opinions, ideas and knowledge to conversations as huge and complex as climate change, transforming to a circular economy, sustainability and social justice.  

Over to you. Ask questions and discover more tips at a Social Enterprise Auckland event

Want to find out more about how blogging or copywriting in , in general, help your social enterprise? Don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect with Katie, and a panel of other experts at Social Enterprise Auckland’s Meet the Expert event.

Date: Wednesday 22nd April 5.30pm to 7.30pm

Where: Merge Café, Karangahape Road, Auckland

Tickets at Eventbrite. We’ll see you there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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13 March, 2020

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13 March, 2020

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