Recently, I spoke with one of my buddies about email marketing.
He's a great writer (he's the author of two best-selling books), but when it comes to writing emails to his list, he chokes.
Well, with that said, he's actually a great writer, and he's definitely found “his voice.”
But when it comes to finding new ideas to write about, his creative juices would sometimes grind to a halt.
Personally, I never have this problem.
Writing an email every day to my list is relatively easy.
(For example, the one you're reading right now took about 27 minutes to brainstorm, write, edit, and publishing.)
Either it's because I simply live a more exciting life than most people …
Or, maybe it's because it's a skill that I've learned.
I never struggle with writer's block.
Of course, it took me some time to figure out, but writer's block is never an issue for me.
For example, Gary Halbert, the prince of print and one of the greatest copywriters of all time, never struggled with writer's block either.
I once heard an interview with him, where he riffed about “writer's block.”
He had a pretty ingenious solution.
He said, and I'm paraphrasing, that whenever he sat down to write, he would just write … and keep writing … if he came to a point where he did not know what to put down on paper, he would simply keep writing “bla bla bla” until he eventually came up with something. His thinking behind this was that he wanted to keep building momentum. So, by keeping his fingers busy, his brain would continuously try to think of new ideas.
Not a very sexy solution.
Not even revolutionary.
But, if this was good enough for one of the greatest copywriters of all time, there's probably something about it.
Again, personally, I don't even need to do stuff like this.
I'm not saying this to brag.
But, I want to show you how easy writing great emails (and content in general) can become once you master this skill.
My process looks something like this:
I sit down … grab my notes … set a fixed timer for 29 minutes … and then I just write.
I think it was Dan Kennedy, who once said:
“Money values speed.”
The more you do this and put this kind of “pressure” on yourself, the better you're going to become.
So to sum up:
- Block off a set time in your calendar where your only focus is to write
- Have notes prepared ahead of times (ie different ideas or stories)
- Set a fixed timer to put strategic pressure on yourself (I use 29 minutes, but 33 minutes, like the late, great Gene Schwartz recommended is only a perfect option)
- Write, write, and write … and then write some more
- The best way to become a great writer is to write.
As Stephen King said:
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work.”