Wordsmithing Out the Yin-yang

Posted by on Sep 30, 2011 | 0 comments

It’s Friday and I am wordsmithing several documents. I can sum up my mood in one word: gray. And I can sum up my mind in one word: void. And one word (or two) is about all I can muster.

What is it about Friday that curbs typically high enthusiasm to produce? How does a quick mind become dull overnight?

After all, it’s easy to write a witty, attention-grabbing intro for a Thursday eBlast on Tuesday. And the ad content needed for a Friday deadline is a breeze to crank out on Wednesday morning. Even on Thursday words flow easily for the finishing touches on a grant proposal.

But Friday..? Not so much (and let’s just pretend Monday doesn’t exist).

Following are are some tips for the Friday Wordsmith’s Block:

  1. Pretend it’s Tuesday.
    •  Just kidding.
  2. Use your Search Engine.
    • Look for ideas online, randomly surf the web to discover new ideas or relevant information (you might want to give yourself a time limit, because this type of search can go on for hours!).
  3. Read a hard copy newspaper.
    • Take a break (java or water or tea or whatever your choice of beverage might be) and spread out the “black and white and read all-over” across your desk or breakfast counter (or better yet, backyard patio table), and read it from front to back (even the social/calendar and comics).
  4. Check out your social media.
    • Twitter and YouTube now provide instant news on every topic. Scroll through, search for topics, watch some fun videos along the way (Groucho Marx is a fav of mine). Facebook, Google+, every other conceivable social app on the planet, plus all of your personal bookmarks are also a great resource. 
  5. Get out and about.
    • Find opportunities to network with people – eat lunch at a counter-style restaurant and talk to the person next to you, wander down the street to your favorite coffee joint and settle into a comfortable chair, take a walk in the park…start a conversation.
  6. Pop some popcorn and become a temporary couch potato.
    • Although much of TV is ridiculously over-the-top, there are still some great channels for information searching: Travel Channel, Food Network, History Channel, News Sources (choose the most fair and balanced from YOUR particular point of view), and talk shows. 
  7. Make a call (or, reach out and touch someone).
    • Check in with someone who is knowledgeable on your topic, or call a friend. Breaking the “brain block” with laughter and human interaction will help you get back on track.
  8. Take a bath.
    • OK, this won’t work for everyone, but for some (who shall remain nameless), baths are a quiet time when ideas flow, revelations come, and thoughts seem to organize on their own. Try it, you might like it.
  9. Get organized.
    • A messy desk may be the sign of a brilliant mind, but it also might be the sign of a disorganized mind. If you have writer’s block, maybe a quick effort to organize the piles on your desk of papers, files, bills, recipes and loose notes would help. You might find something that sparks a thought and brings you back to fruitful efforts!
  10. Breathe.
    • Finally, take a minute to breathe. As motivational as they might sometimes be, deadlines can suck the life out of anyone. Shake your head, rotate your shoulders, take a long deep breath and exhale slowly. Remember that words really can’t be forced, but that you are a wordsmith. A person who works with words. You can do this!



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