Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Writer's Block Obliteration Tip #10: Poetic Presentation

Find a poem (there are lots online if you aren't near a book) and choose a line at random. You can use a number generator if you don't trust yourself to randomly choose a line. Put that line at the top of your page and imagine it is the theme or title of a presentation you are handling at work. Now, write the speech you would give if that were the title you planned to announce to your audience. Did you know your company newsletter is a powerful tool to change behaviors that will positively influence the bottom line of your organization? That is because your employees are a captured audience (in a positive way). They will read almost anything you put in front of them that does not have anything to do with work. Your newsletter can influence better parenting, coming to work on time, reducing waste, and decreasing conflicts. It all depends on what you put in the newsletter. Here, try this for example. It's a free trial to an editable newsletter called FrontLine Employee:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Writer's Block Obliteration Tip #9: 9. Animated Conversations

To really loosen up your muse, choose an inanimate object (or animal) and start writing a conversation with it. Focus on the voice your conversational partner has—the way it says certain words or just its view of the world. Even if you're working on a technical piece, this exercise can really have some merit by pulling you out of your singular perspective and studying your subject from another angle, as you and an inanimate object discuss it conversationally.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Writer's Block Obliteration Tip #8

Choose the name of a color and write a description of something with that hue, without ever mentioning the color. This exercise helps you be very mindful of what you're writing and forces you not to rely on clich├ęs. Afterwards, give the piece to a reader and see if they can figure out what you're describing. If so, you're on the right track—but if not, you need to learn to rely better on the way you use descriptive language! Descriptive language is critical in effective content writing, but this exercise enables idea generation as well. I just created this movie about FrontLine Employee. You may like it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Writer's Block Obliteration Tip #7: Connect the Thoughts

Connect the Thoughts
Take a piece of paper and make three columns—nouns, verbs, and adjectives—then list some relevant words under each column. Draw lines connecting random items from the various lists, and as you write about these things, you will see new associations you may not have seen before. If you're having trouble choosing randomly on your own, roll a dice or use an online random number generator to do the work for you.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Writers Block Obliteration Tip #6: Little List Book

Purchase a notebook that you keep solely for writing lists when you're suffering from writer's block. Pick something special that you won't accidentally mistake for a work notepad. When you're feeling stuck writing your employee newsletter scribble down a list about the first thing that comes to mind—anything from "what I dreamed about last night" to "goals for this year." Write entries until you've exhausted the topic. Now for each item on the list go through the following steps: Ask what, why, who, when, who, where, which and apply these words to each item on the list to see what emerges. For example, let's list called "list of my mistakes to learn from" pops into your mind. Apply the word "How" might give you "How and what should we do to learn from our mistakes". There's an article: How to Learn from a Mistake. And, here is what I actually wrote:

Everyone makes mistakes. Big or small, they’re instant stressors. The key is to minimize their negative impact and learn from them. First, you must own your missteps. You can’t learn from something that you can’t admit happened. Next, guard your mental health like a watch dog and let go of your feelings of guilt and shame. Analyze the situation rationally to understand what went wrong and how you can do better. Lastly, seek out advice, training, and support as needed.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Writer's Block Obliteration Tip #5

Clean out a tin can and remove the label, then fill it with slips of paper containing words or phrases relevant to what you're writing. When you're feeling stuck, choose a slip at random and start writing down everything that comes to mind when you think of that word or phrase. Combine phrases if you get stuck, or just draw another one and keep going. Have other people contribute to the can for extra randomness! Also, your employee newsletter can of ideas should sit where people can drop in words, phrases, other more developed ideas. Put this can on your desk, in the hallway outside your door, or in the break room. Yes, you will get the weirdos dropping inappropriate things in this receptacle, but hang in there. Relief is on the way. For a free trial to FrontLine Employee, a completely editable newsletter (rename-able too) go to FrontLine Employee Free Trial

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Writer's Block Obliteration Tip #4: Can of Words

Okay, stick with me here...Clean out a tin can and remove the label, then fill it with slips of paper containing words or phrases relevant to what you're writing. When you're feeling stuck, choose a slip at random and start writing down everything that comes to mind when you think of that word or phrase. Combine phrases if you get stuck, or just draw another one and keep going. Have other people contribute to the can for extra randomness! When you come up with any idea...if it is not unique enough say following outloud: "Many writers write about "X-TOPIC" but they never seem to write about "Y-TOPIC" -- at this point, your mind will produce a spin-off article idea associated with the not-so-unusual topic "X". For some reason, this works especially well when you "voice" the idea. (Don't ask me why. It must be like an affirmation or something--your brain works more effectively when you can hear what you are thinking.) Stop the monthly struggle with content ideas, subscribe to an editable, employee newsletter. Just Google surf -- "Editable Employee Newsletter Articles" and see what pops up!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Writer's Block Obliteration Tip #3 of 43: E-Mail Inspiration

Have you watched FOX NEWS, and particular "The O'Reilly Factor"? At the end of each show, Mr. O'Reilly always throws out a word that many people have never heard of. He uses it in a sentence. Many people like this part of the show, and you can copy the idea. Sign up for a word of the day service to be delivered to your e-mail or simply go to a Word of the Day Service. Before you start your day, write a page inspired by that word. Use multiple definitions if possible, and see if you can find more than one word of the day program to give you variety. You can also get writing prompts emailed to you from various writing sites. Today's word for instance is "lobcourse". Do you know what that word means? It means a sailor's dish of stewed or baked meat with vegetables and hardtack. You will get a sentence for that word, and you will get other information about it. People love this or they would not have this on the O'Reilly Factor. However, you can expand on the idea by giving the word, definition, using it in a sentence, and/or supplying more information.

I will guarantee that many employees will look forward to every issue of your newsletter. Many people in your workplace do not have formal education or have English as a second language. This employees will be especially happy about your newsletter. Even if they do, they probably have not heard of these words. So you have a great, educational, and interest newsletter item with this idea.

Do you need more work done for you when it comes to employee newsletters. Here is a super exciting idea. Subscribe to a newsletter that 1) Is completely done when it arrives in your e-mail inbox, however one that is still completely and utterly editable in MS Publisher or MS Word. Also, a service where you can change the name of the newsletter and, get this add, edit, or delete articles. We found this resource. You can even change the name of the thing! It is called FrontLine Employee. Get a free trial at: FrontLine Employee newsletter.

Okay here is the name of one service, but you can Google for more: An example is

Friday, January 21, 2011

Writer's Block Obliteration Tip #2: Brainstorm Spiral

Start with the subject that's blocking you at the very center of your page, then start writing everything that comes to mind in a spiral around it. If you run out of paper, start with a new focus on a fresh page. When you're done with the spiral, draw lines from your original topic to the things with which you plan to connect it. Write using these ideas as starting points. For a free trial subscription to an editable, reproducible newsletter for your company that focuses on health, wellness, productivity, communication, and managing stress -- and get this -- you can edit and change the name to call it your own, go to

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