5 Tips for Writers, Creatives, and Anyone Else... (oh my gosh, that's YOU!)
In my four years of working as a full-time freelance copywriter and translator in South Tyrol, I have learned a few things that have helped me become a better writer and creative. Since I don’t have any co-workers to share my five helpful hints with, I thought I’d share them with you, my dear friends of the internet. Enjoy!
Wait… write that down!
There's nothing I love more than playing with words. I especially love stretching my brain to come up with catchy creative concepts. That's where my trusty sidekick comes in: my notepad. It's always next to me when I work. It's a sacred space where I collect my random thoughts and ideas to use in that moment, at a later date, or never! My Brainspiration. Yes, Brainspiration! If you don't know what that is, it's because I made it up. At least I thought I did until I googled it and 24,000 hits popped up. Darn!
Although the process of writing ideas down may not lead to a stroke of genius then and there, it might pave creative roads for me to travel on in the future.
And even though I am a pen and paper purist, I also have a folder in my phone for my ideas. If you're curious, here's a glimpse into my digital brainspiration:
reLAX: An advertisement for the lounges at the LAX airport. (I thought of this while driving past an LAX billboard.)
Cocktales: A name for a cocktail bar's blog or about page. (I thought of this when my dad told me about a new company selling pre-mixed cocktails.)
Of course, the list goes on, but why buy the cow when you get the milk for free, right? Reach out if you want to work together! I'd be moo-re than happy to hear from you.
To the next point. Andiamo! Let's go!
All ears, my dear!
Attention writers, this one's for you: I have a simple trick, and it's a total lifesaver. When I finish writing a text, whether it's for a website or a brochure, I always listen to it before sending the finished product to my clients. It's a sure-fire way to avoid bad blunders. All you have to do is put your text into a Word document and click the "Read Aloud" button. It's that easy! And like any good infomercial, here comes the but-wait-there's-more moment. You can choose the voice that reads the text to you! Allow me to introduce you to my virtual BFF, Daniel, who lives in a picturesque village just outside of Manchester. He's a retired philosophy professor and has a dog named Hank. Okay, okay, I made Daniel's background up, but hey, you might do the same, too, if you worked alone.
Listen to me: You should listen to your texts!
When the ideas stop flowing, get your body going!
Go for a walk. You may think that you don't have time, but trust me, you do! Shut your computer and head out the door. Fresh air and sunshine will give you that creative boost you need – one that no amount of coffee will achieve. Even if you just walk for 15 minutes, you will feel a difference when you return to your desk.
If you want to talk the talk, you better walk the walk!
Sleep on it!
I always like to sleep on projects. I put my laptop under my pillow and wish for sweet dreams. Okay, you got me; that's not what I mean. What I mean is that I like to write a piece and then come back to it the following day with a clear head! You'd be surprised the wonders a fresh pair of eyes will do for your work.
If you have the time, take the time!
Monkey see monkey do!
Speaking of eyes: They say you should give your eyes a break from the screen every 20 minutes. There's even a rule for it. The 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. For all you Europeans out there, 20 feet is approximately six metres. But 20-6-20 isn't quite as catchy – so, for once, our not very practical Imperial system of measurement is, in fact, practical! God bless America!
Last but not least, my very own but-wait-there's-more moment!
Drink up, buttercup!
H2O, H to the O, water, aqua, Wasser. I hope I'm making myself clear (pun intended!). Water is absolutely necessary if you want to work well and be your best. It helps the creative juices flow!
Take a sip every time you take your eye break! 20-20-20-1, if you catch my drift.
That's all for now. If you have any tips that you would like to share with me, I would be more than thrilled to learn about them. Just drop me a comment below or send me a messenger pigeon – whatever's easiest!