The blank screen or piece of paper has terrified even famous authors for generations. Unfortunately, we poor business mortals suffer just as badly.

Unlike the famous authors of old we usually haven't got time to seek inspiration through bacchanalian debauchery or an uplifting stroll amongst “a host of golden daffodils.”¹ However, there are a couple of tricks we can use, and they work for pretty much everything from an email to a brochure or business proposal.

Don't Try to Get It Right the First Time

One of the mistakes we all make is that we try to get it right the first time. No matter how much we might experiment with a message or concept in our minds, the first time we commit that to screen or golly, it's got to be perfect. This is foolish, because it steers you straight into writer's block.

There is no need to practice economy if you're using a computer to write. Screen space is available on a limitless basis. Even if you use paper, you'll still need to write an awful lot before you've used up a fraction of a tree's worth. So forget perfect and get writing.

Write Around the Point, Not Straight to it

By that I mean start by writing down anything at all. If you don't yet feel confident about writing down your message, don't try.

Instead write about your message. What you want it to achieve. What you should remember to tell your audience about it. How it will benefit your audience to do what you're suggesting.

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Suzan St Maur ( writes extensively on marketing and business communications and is the author of the widely acclaimed Powerwriting.