Jul 09 Writing Inspiration for Community Managers in a Writing Rut
Let’s face it, writing for social can be hard. Sometimes, you’re in a rut, trying to think up the wittiest Twitter response for brand A then jumping into business-oriented long-form content for the totally opposite brand Z. Sure, inspiration can be found on Mashable and AdAge lists of which brands posted the best real-time content during the Oscar’s, but every now and then we just need a good ole creative refresh from different sources.
So, whether you’re a community manager or a copywriter, here are a few go-to picks when you’re in a writing rut:
Quite possibly one of the best books, y’know those things we used to read, especially for writers. “But I don’t write novels”, you say. Nonsense! Every blog post is just shortened prose. Lamott, a prolific writer herself, shares great insight into how to overcome the ailment that plagues all who have to put together content calendars: writer’s block. From practical tips like giving yourself short assignments to the more lofty (but true) encouragement that every good writer writes shitty first drafts, Lamott’s book is a must-have and a trusty sidekick for any writer.
Yes, Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style is an essential, it’s a classic. But the times are a changin’, my wordsmithing friends. At a point when contemporary pop culture has found its way into the Cambridge Dictionary and Facebook posts rarely honor the poor Oxford comma, we need a grammar hero who just gets us. Mary Norris is that hero and she lays her grammar teachings out in such a witty, incisive way, that no one will ever forget the answer to the vexing affect vs. effect conundrum. Consider this your go-to grammar resource if for no reason other than that Norris has spent more than 30 years in The New Yorker’s copy department. Enough said.
No, seriously, trust me on this one. These descriptions are pithy and they pack a punch. Each radio station has its own promise for the listener and the copy here gets straight to the essence of what you can expect when you tune in, without being drab or literal. Lean on these when you need Twitter or Pinterest inspiration, in particular.
We may as well come to terms with it now: we’re not all witty. While some were granted that certain panache by nature, others have to actively nurture it. Erett thinks of wit as spontaneous creativity, which even the wittiest of us struggle with sometimes. Luckily, Benjamin Errett put together a bit of a cheat sheet that can help you build the skills to shoot out quick-witted, reactive tweets or dig your heels into a blog post for a brand whose social voice is clever but not comical.
Tell us where you turn for inspiration when you’re in a writing rut in the comments below.