Tag Archives: fun ideas

Writer's Block

5 quick fire ways to cure writer’s block

For those who make their living out of words, writer’s block can be a real plague.

Your fingers hit the keys, your eyes go out of focus and your start to sweat – as you’ve just realised that you can’t string one engaging or even legible sentence together. Frankly, it’s a nightmare.

If you’re currently browsing the web because you’re suffering from a bout of writer’s block, here are 5 quick fire tips that will help clear your head, and get back on that all-important  wordy horse…

Before we go any further, the first thing to remember is – don’t get discouraged. This writer’s block business is only a fleeting thing and you can overcome it.

Step away from your writing and do something else that’s creative: make a collage, take some photos, paint a picture. Whatever you do, it is sure to free you from the shackles of your slump and leave the mind feeling fresh.

Try Freewriting: get into the habit of doing this for around 10 minutes every day. What do you do? You just write. Get up a fresh word doc or blank piece of paper and put down whatever comes into your head, ignoring standard structure or punctuation. This will allow your thoughts and ideas to spill onto the page organically and help you get back on track.

Cast away distractions: Your phone, television, personal emails, social media, magazines, radio; basically anything that will take you away from stringing a solid thought together. Yes, audio and visual things can help give us inspiration sometimes, but when you have a serious case of the block, it’s essential to be able to focus when you are at the screen. In this case, a neutral, silent, internet free room without gadgets is just what the doctor ordered!

Write at the pinnacle time of day: Research suggests that many of us are at our most productive, alert and creative, either very early in the morning, or very late at night. Depending on your personality and situation, pick what’s best for you, then stick to it for a while. Take a decent writing break in the middle of your day, and tune into your words at your pinnacle time – from personal experience, this really helps your writing to flourish.

Get moving: with creative disciplines, positive stress if often the key to creativity. So if you’re in a little bit of a rut, head outside and do something active. Go for a cycle, jog or a long walk – this has been scientifically proven to help relax the mind and re-set the cogs so that you’re essentially working with a blank canvas. As you are in motion, you are bound to connect those missing dots and when you return to the computer, you’ll be a lean, mean word churning machine. If walking etc. doesn’t work for you, meditation also has very positive creative effects.

If you’ve been sat staring aimlessly at your screen for a long time and don’t know what to do with yourself, read over these tips, step away from the computer, free your mind and before long, you’ll be back to your old creative self.

Please let us know how you get on by leaving a comment below: have these methods helped your writing, or have you found others that have proved effective?

Image: Drew Coffman via Flickr

Origins of Words Catchy Content Writing

Word Bites: Where Did the Word Posh Come From?

For the second in this mini series, quite suitably named ‘Word Bites’, I’d like to touch upon the uncertain origins of the word posh.

Now, there are a fair few theories based around where this particular word  found its place in the wonderful world of vocabulary, and actually, there is no definitive answer.

Definition

n. The quality of being elegant, stylish, or upper class

Where did the word posh come from? As I said before, no one really knows for sure, but in the general spirit of fact, fiction, tale telling, debate and interpretation, here is my favourite explanation…

In 1920’s – 1930’s, wealthy, well-to-do passengers travelling by boat between England and India used to have abbreviation POSH clearly written against their bookings, which stood for ‘Port Out, Starboard Home‘ (basically the best possible place to be situated during a nautical journey).

As a result, this implication weaved its way into the English language as a way of identifying someone who is partial too and can afford the finer things in life – essentially someone of ‘upper class’.

posh origins of words

Although this particular theory has its flaws, I personally like it as in my head, it conjures a great deal of classic sea faring imagery – and this alone represents to me, the power of words.

So there you have it, my personal take on the word posh. This may not change your life, however, I do hope it has entertained you for a few moments- thanks for reading.

What do you think the word posh came from?

Image: Movie Stars and Rockets via Flickr

Origins of Words Catchy Content Writing

Word Bites: The Hazy Origin of Assassin

Words are essential.

Having an extensive and let’s say colourful vocabulary means that we are able to express ourselves in a whole host of different ways – and if you’re a writer, the more words you know, the more potent you can be. But do we ever consider where many of the words we use originated?

This mini blog series aptly named ‘Word Bites’ will concentrate on a different word in each episode, giving a brief insight into how it came to light. There’s no real method to the words I’ll be selecting over the coming months, in fact it will be completely random – just to mix things up a little.

So, without further ado, the first word (as you may have gathered from the title) on my ‘list’ is assassin.

Assassins content writing

Definition:

n. Murderer, generally somewhat professional; esp. one who murders a prominent figure.

Origin:

During the times of the crusade, members of a particular top secret Muslim sect bound people to terrorise their Christian enemies by performing organised murders as a form of religious duty.

Generally, these rather brutal yet calculated acts were carried out under the influence of hashish, and subsequently, these killers become known as hashashins, meaning the eaters or smokers of hash. Eventually, this term was shortened and over time, evolved into the term assassin.

There you have it, the origins or the word assassin. Although you may not use it in every day speech, it might make you look at assassins in a whole new way!

Keep an eye out for the next episode of ‘Word Bites’ and if you need any words written for your website, feel free to get in touch.

Images: Steven Feather and Niranjan via Flickr

Creative Content: An Astronaut’s Guide to Thinking Outside the Box

When it comes to creating sharp, original and persuasive consumer content, thinking outside the box is key. Obviously, more often than not, this is easier said than done.

As a successful Canadian Astronaut, Chris Hadfield has to spend his life thinking outside the box while carefully considering every move he makes in a methodical manner as in his line of work, this could mean the difference between life and death.

Here is one from a series of ISS based videos from the man himself doing the most mundane of things but in a completely alien environment. In this one, he is brushing his teeth…

The lesson learned here simple – sit back, approach things from outside your comfort zone, appreciate the finer details and always sweat the small stuff.

Brushing one’s teeth on planet earth is generally considered a tedious routine chore, but with a lack of gravity, it’s a problem to be solved. By tackling a familiar task in an unfamiliar way and applying this mindset to tackling creative problems, it is possible to achieve tremendous results.

So, next time you’re trying to brainstorm ideas for your next content project, think about Chris brushing his teeth – I guarantee it will help!