Join Terry Lee Stone for an in-depth discussion in this video Handling writer's block (performance anxiety), part of Running a Design Business: Creative Briefs.
For many people, the toughest part of doing a creative brief is the actual writing itself. Sometimes it's a speed bump. Other times it's a road block. Take a look at what's stopping you. Are you intimidated by this project, or do you simply not have enough information? After you started writing the brief but stopped, maybe even slept on it for a day or two, you soon recognize that you're blocked. If you're not making any progress, it's time to tackle the problem head on. Here are my tips for getting over writer's block.
A deadline is my number one motivator. The best way to get any writing done is to have a looming deadline. If you promise to create a brief by a certain date to your client or creative team, that should get you moving. Don't try to be perfect. Trying to nail it the first time out is a lot of pressure. Let yourself get all the information down on the page any way you can, then go back, edit, and refine the material. Perfectionism is one of the fastest ways I know to paralyze yourself creatively. Skip around. The ten things I suggested you include in a creative brief can seem like a lot.
But you don't have to start at number one and go straight through to number ten. If you start with one section and it's not flowing, tackle another item on the creative brief. Sometimes it's better to start in the middle and work outward. Other times, you'll start at the end and work to the beginning, or simply skip around, in whatever order is comfortable, go for it. Write as much as you can, as fast as you can. Set a timer and commit yourself to getting 15 minutes of writing done. Then take a break. Commit to 15 more minutes and write like crazy. Then stop.
You get the idea. If you've committed yourself to the task for a certain amount of time, don't give up until you've worked at least that amount of time. Don't distract yourself by going online or doing some other time-killing maneuver. Press forward. Don't wait for the mood to strike you, just get to it and stay committed. Talk it through. Instead of going straight to writing, have a conversation with your associate, or maybe by yourself into a recording device. Talking it through can be a great way to hear and think at the same time. Personal associate may have questions that prompt you to clarify something.
Talking about a brief, along with these other tactics I've recommended should help you get your writing flowing again.
- What is a creative brief?
- Who uses creative briefs—and how?
- Reviewing sample briefs
- Working with clients
- Soliciting good input
- Developing actionable insights