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Six refreshing tips on how to write long copy and stay sane

Someone on a beach staying sane

Sometimes you've got a short, snappy piece of copy to write and sometimes, it's chunky - like a website page, brochure or blog. Sitting at your laptop for hours can seem arduous and all of that negative energy could be rooting itself in what you write.

If you want to write zesty, open-hearted and eye-catching copy, and more importantly, write with ease, then follow my top tips. If any ideas stand out, pop them on a sticky note and fix them on your laptop as a friendly reminder.

Set a timer

I work best in 50-minute chunks. It's the right amount of time in front of and away from my screen and I find that it gives my subconscious time to digest the concepts I've been playing around with.

It also guards against fatigue. The longer you slog away at something, the more tired your brain gets and the more time it takes. It sounds counter-intuitive but stepping away is really efficiency.

Plan a few practical tasks

I work from home most of the time, so there is no end to little jobs that can be done in the intervals. I'm careful to shake it up a bit though - it's not just about doing the dishes (although there is something very soothing about putting your hands in warm soapy water). Here's what I weave into my day if I've got a heavy writing session in my diary:

  • weed a flowerbed

  • watering the garden

  • hang or fold laundry

  • plan dinner or prep some veg

  • walk to the shop (especially wonderful on a sunny day)

  • pick up my crochet

  • clear up my desk

I don't have a dog but I can see the benefits of walking a poochy friend and that way, both of you are happy.

Keep tasks simple, uncomplicated and as untaxing as possible. Getting outside will give you inspiration from nature and there's nothing like a repetitive chore to grease the wheels of your imagination.

Be disciplined

My mind is very easily distracted, it's part of my neurological makeup. So instead of beating myself (again all that negativity will be going into my writing and that will never do), if something intrusive comes along, I know that I can look at it or deal with it at the end of my 50-minute stint.

Believe it or not but you'll find it more difficult to leave your desk than you will to come back to it. Even if you're in the flow, get up anyway. Make a few notes about your direction or inspiration so that you can pick up where you left off but you'll have so much more to add after your brain break.

What's the ideal amount of time for a break? Again, play with this but I find that after no more than ten to fifteen minutes, I'm so full of ideas, I can't wait to get back to it again.

Organise yourself

Failing to plan is planning to fail as the saying goes. I always build thinking and note-making time into a project. There's something about using pen and paper to map out what I want to say, long before I've touched the keyboard, that fires my neurons and makes sure my work is consistent and flows.

Get your resources together in one place:

  • any notes you've made - I work on an A3 pad which is perfect

  • emails from other creatives/collaborators/consultants

  • websites or social media you find inspiring

  • - or go old school and flick through a book version which is just fab for creativity

  • pens - all the colours, ALL the colours

  • books or other resources

  • your own website/social media/previous blogs

Enjoy yourself

Yes, I know this one sounds obvious - and yes, I understand that this can seem pretty elusive sometimes too. Again, whatever energy you put into your writing, the reader will pick up on.

If it's not happening for you and you're having to force it:

  • walk away

  • rework it - bring it back to the notepad or a working doc

  • read, watch or listen to something that inspires you

  • talk to someone - you'll soon notice the ideas that spark and the ones that don't when you bounce them off another human

  • be still and notice if there's any negative self-talk blocking your creativity

  • shake free any negative energy with a short walk, run, yoga or whatever else you find fun

  • get outside and tune in to the birds, the wind, and the rain or stand barefoot on the grass

Make a commitment to return and set another timer if you have to but the most important thing is that you become aware of how you work best. Give yourself permission to experiment and feel good about what you're writing.

We've been conditioned into thinking that we're only working if it's unpleasant and we're pushing hard but the best creative stuff happens when it comes with ease.

Pass it over to someone else

You can do this at ANY stage of the process.

A good copywriter or writing coach will be eager to work with you in a way that's best for you. Whether you discuss and map out your ideas together and they go away and write them up or you email someone a finished piece of work for a final check and polish, leave the bits you don't enjoy to someone else.

That way you'll be able to get on with what you do enjoy.

I want people to feel good about writing

Especially the healing souls of the world. If you spend your days creating safe spaces and easing your clients out of negative mindsets, then this energy needs to come forth in the words you type. The butterfly effect starts with you.

Pick up a few more tips and inspiration from the blog and if you're vibing with what I'm saying, book a chat. I can write your long copy for you but if you're up for writing it yourself, I can give you the guidance you need to feel confident and inspired.

It's what I do. Have a beautiful day.

Having spent most of her freelance writing career working for large organisations, these days Amanda writes for coaches, therapists and heart-centred entrepreneurs. That said, she still writes thought leadership for purpose-driven corporates but she also loves the in-depth and soul-satisfying nature of penning words for healers and coaches. She works alongside other like-minded, ethical creatives to develop the unending scripts of those who live to help others.

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