Red Smith was once quoted about the craft of writing, “You simply sit down at the typewriter, open your veins and bleed.”
Although the sports columnist offered that sardonic quip—purportedly to fellow scribe Walter Winchell—to demonstrate writing’s difficulty and authenticity, corporate communicators know there is a lot more to writing than simply baring your soul on paper. Heck, sometimes that would be significantly easier than the work you do.
Sometimes you have to crank out an inspiring speech for the CEO when you’re feeling tired, burned out and so far from inspired you don’t even know how to begin.
Other times you have to write a blog post about the software your organization designs, and you don’t quite understand how it works.
Then there are times when you have to remind employees for the umpteenth time about the importance of recycling or not missing open enrollment, and you just can’t imagine how to make it sound exciting.
Corporate communication is no picnic. So, in the spirit of camaraderie, let’s discuss some common daily struggles:
1. Simply trying to write
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? You create the perfect writing conditions and excitedly sit down to write. You’re ready for the words to start flowing—but you’ve got nothing.
The next time you’re in this situation, these tips can help:
- “20 creative prompts to ward off writer’s block”
- “How to cope with writer’s block: Begin with ‘Dear Mother’”
- “How business bloggers can combat writer’s block”
- “29 ways to stay creative”
2. Embracing the creative process
As we know from No. 1, we can’t control inspiration. It comes when it comes. So, in the meantime, snack, browse the Internet, maybe go for a walk without guilt, because hey, you’re still working.
If your bosses or co-workers don’t believe you, send them these links:
- “Work breaks enhance productivity, study finds”
- “Are the most interesting stories shared during smoke breaks?”
3. Writing blog posts
It’s your job to get people to click. We all get it. Follow the tips in these articles to quickly whip up strong headlines so you can spend more time on the body copy—and sleep a little easier tonight.
- “The recipe for excellent headlines”
- “How to write headlines that make people click”
- “8 successful headlines—and the psychology behind them”
4. Acknowledging you don’t know everything
Don’t deny it: You’ve done this. We all have. Even though communicators have a strong grasp on language, some words are tricky to spell—and heaven forbid we admit that.
These resources will help you become a better speller, learn a few new words or find better alternatives to the ones you’re using:
- “Synonym showdown: Which word works best?”
- “24 complex words—and their simpler alternatives”
- “7 word-a-day resources to expand your vocabulary”
5. Missing a typo
Catching a typo post-publication is a terrible feeling, but it’s even worse when others call you out on it. However, chances are your typo wasn’t too embarrassing (hopefully). To make yourself feel better, take a look at these slip-ups that are probably worse than yours:
- “7 awkward corporate typos”
- “5 terrible tattoo typos”
- “Texas Longhorns media guide misspells state’s name”
Also, beware these typos that elude spell check.
6. Questioning your ability to spell
As we’ve been discussing, spelling mistakes happen to the best of us. Sometimes, though, we do spell words correctly—they just look weird, like these:
These spelling rules can help you identify which words are spelled correctly, too:
7. Accepting that you’re as dependent on technology as you are on air and water
Battery life, Wi-Fi, electrical outlets—you monitor and seek them out as though your life depends on it. Although your work life might, it’s still important to unplug every once in a while. Not convinced? Read these pieces and talk yourself into it:
- “5 tips to take an unplugged vacation”
- “7 ways to fight your smartphone addiction”
- “Infographic: How to survive without your smartphone”
8. Realizing you aren’t as productive as you think you are
You stride into the office each morning feeling energized and ready to tackle your to-do list—but then emails flood in and meetings take over your calendar. The day is suddenly gone, and you have an hour to complete a full day’s work.
If this sounds familiar, this advice might help:
- “How to achieve ‘inbox zero’ in four steps”
- “10 ways to detox your inbox”
- “7 symptoms of bad meetings and what you can do about them”