As I’ve stepped into adulthood, I’ve become a major consumer of media. It's not really something that I've tried to hide, either. Within every second of my spare time, I actively comb the internet for ‘top 10 books of 2017’ lists, meme accounts on Twitter, monthly vinyl subscriptions I can join, new music I can add to my summer playlist--and I’m not the only one.
As of January 2017, according to We Are Social and Hootsuite, “people in 9 of the countries we covered spend an average of more than eight hours each day using the internet,” with social media experiencing a 21 percent growth in usage year-over-year, including a whopping 482 million new users over the course of 2016.
In a world that's constantly inundating us with the latest Lorde album, binge-able Netflix tv series or Tweet, it can be hard to sit down and focus on your writing.
So for starters, declutter your whole thing. If you’re looking to dive in and write some new stuff, hide your social media tabs, clean off your desk, put your phone on airplane mode, and create a space that’s disconnected from the latest tweet.
After that, it’s all about how you find your inspiration.
For us copywriters, it’s an amalgamation of different places outside of the blank page, but here are some of my favorites:
Surround yourself with great books, poems and essays to have on hand. Some of my favorites include: Annie Dillard, “An American Childhood” and Raymond Carver, “Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?”. These have gotten me through the dustiest of writing droughts.
Craft a wordless playlist. Here’s mine if you need a jumping off point. Some great songs to inspire the right writing vibe I’m going for include: “Vienna” by Thom Sonny Green, “After Thoughts” by Oddisee, and “aisatsana” by Aphex Twin. The wordless aspect makes it so you can focus on your own words but still have a motivating sound in the background, or at least a beat to cancel out surrounding everyday distractions.
Medium is a gold mine of great inspiration. Aside from the fact that you can follow just about any author you’d like, you can also curate your own experience to only see the good stuff. Just a simple search for the tag “copywriting” generates a whole return of savvy bloggers who are also looking for their inspiration, sharing experiences, or just writing some beautiful content.
Keep your friends close. At the end of the day, it’s a little bit about who you know. One of my best friends is also a copywriter and content curation maven and on some Saturday mornings, when the weather is just right, we’ll go out to a coffee shop with some big noise-cancelling headphones and see what we can crank out in an hour. Sometimes we write lists of what we hate about the music industry & what we love about the movie industry, or sometimes they're totally unrelated short-form narratives.
According to novelist Jane Green, “Writing is a muscle that needs to be exercised every day: The more you write, the easier it becomes.” And while that might sound tedious, every little bit matters. Make a schedule for yourself, set yourself a time limit so you know when to let the distractions back in. Even if it just means giving yourself five minutes a day, those five minutes will turn a blank page from a daunting task into a canvas.