On, off, on, off. The cursor blinked at me teasingly, like some impatient transmitter of Morse code.
C’mon, whatcha got for me? It seemed to say.
My fingers hovered over the keyboard. The thoughts that had floated clearly in my head, scrambled.
Confronted by my screen, I’d been put on the spot. Little flashes of ideas waved at me, drowning in the sea of consciousness.
Here we are! We’re still here. Don’t think. Just write.
I closed my eyes and willed the ideas to flow through my fingertips. Eventually, they formed an orderly queue and found their way from my head onto the screen.
It’s always the times when you’re not thinking about work that ideas come.
You can be doing something mundane – be half asleep, making dinner, or walking home, and the perfect bunch of ideas bursts into your head like shoppers through the doors on the first day of the sales.
But chase them with a keyboard and they scatter into a fragmented mess, brilliance fading in their trail.
My advice? Grab a piece of paper. At this stage, sentences can kill the buzz. Use bullets, spider diagrams, even pictures. If I sit down at my laptop, the scenario above often happens, stalling my thoughts.
You see, ideas are always there, lurking in the shadows. But they’re shy. They don’t like making an entrance.
You have to coax them out by pretending you’re not watching. Then, when they’re safely in the room, you can leap out, shout ‘AH HA’, slam the door, and trap them on paper.
Later, when all is calm, you immortalise them on screen.
This is why I often write first thing in the morning. I sometimes wake naturally as early as 5.30am – a slightly annoying habit if I’m honest. I’ll stumble downstairs, grab a coffee, and I’m lucid.
The door to The Land of Ideas is open. I can wonder around, picking fruit as I go.
I know this is a window of opportunity I can’t miss, because from late morning until late afternoon, the land moves on, like the Magic Faraway Tree. In its place is a less creative and more structured world, where I can organise my thoughts and make them work in the real world.
I guess that works okay, but I wish I had access to the free flow of ideas all the time – it’s irritating if I miss it. But that’s just the way it is for me.
What’s your window of opportunity? Do you have time to look?
If you’re going to write your own copy, you must make time. Yes, it’s super-hard to prioritise, but it’s the only way you’re going to get marketing that works and reach your goals.
Unless you can find someone you trust to do it.