Here’s the problem. When we get stuck in our writing it means all that is wonderful about what you have to share with the world is Stuck as well. As a result, either your website creation will be delayed by months, or you will go with more standard (i.e. less personal) content that doesn’t sell your services as effectively. Sadly, the families who would love your care are not able to find you online and/or recognize you as a great fit.
In another blog post I mused on the vulnerability of sharing your work online when writing website content. Today we’ll explore some of the more practical reasons that we often get Stuck when writing content.
So I call myself the Website Doula for a reason. With over 20 years as a birth pro myself, like most of you I am really really good at finding birth imagery in just about any situation. When it comes to writing website content, there are some pretty fantastic parallels to what happens at a birth when mama is stuck at 6 cm.
Why We Get Stuck Writing Website Content
Honestly, the reasons we get stuck writing content are all too similar to what we see happen in births of actual babies (not websites!). Sometimes it’s as simple as feeling tired, overwhelmed, or perhaps undernourished or dehydrated. Other times, we’re trying to write something from the wrong angle (i.e. baby’s in a funky position!) and we need to change our focus. Perhaps you’re trying to include too much (big baby!) and need to simplify a bit… More personal reasons can come into play as well, such as vulnerability and self-judgment.
We’ve all seen these factors impact client births over and over again, and we each have our own bag of tricks to work around them, but when it comes to writing content it can be difficult to see the way through. As your website doula, I figure the best place to start is to remember that:
What Works to Get Unstuck in Labor, Works for Website Content
How can we possibly write heartfelt original content when we’re hungry and tired? Don’t sit down to write your content at the end of a long day! Just as laboring women thrive with good rest and nourishment, your writing will flow more easily when you are feeling energized and clear.
Create Your Happy Place
Let’s face it – writing original content on a table covered with bills to pay is inherently challenging. Clear your “labor space” – whether you create a special writing nook in your home, or head out to a favorite cafe or park. By clearing your environment of distractions, you can better maintain your inner focus.
Choose your Technology Wisely
Sometimes we do best when we set aside the computer and grab a notebook and favorite pen. A lot of my best writing happens when on a train or long bus ride. I end up with pages of scribbled notes to transcribe, but I find that the ideas flow more freely. If you write best on your laptop, try turning off the internet or blocking social media sites (link to antisocial) to help you maintain your focus.
Remember the difference it makes for a woman in labor when she goes for a walk or steps into the tub! Sometimes we just need a bit of fresh perspective. If you feel like you’ve looked at a segment of content over and over again and it just isn’t quite right, set it aside! Try a new segment and come back to it later, or change the perspective you’re writing from. If you’ve set aside an afternoon to write and you’re feeling stuck, change locations or take a movement break.
No Self-Judgment Allowed
Perhaps the most challenging aspect of writing content is the inner voice of self-judgment that can keep us from letting the words flow. I think of it as having “one too many people in the room.” Remember that client whose uninvited and rather stressful mother-in-law showed up at the hospital and her labor almost stopped? Your inner voice of self-judgment is that mother-in-law. Do what you’d do as a doula: Thank her for her efforts to protect you, and then ask her politely and clearly to LEAVE. You deserve the chance to write without interruption – even if it’s coming from within your own head!
Get a Second Opinion
While vulnerable, it is often incredibly helpful to invite a trusted friend, family member, or professional to offer feedback on your writing. I love hearing clients breathe that deep sigh of relief when I affirm that they’re on the right track, or offer key tips to help them get back into the flow. We’re not meant to birth alone – why should you write alone?