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Wordsmiths Synonymous Alleviating Writer's Block With Your ThesaurusBy Expert Author: Paul Patterson
Writing can be one of the most arduous parts of any profession - especially if you're involved in some type of internet marketing that requires you to generate blogs of completely unique material on a regular basis. In fact, this type of writing can be the most painful since you are forcing yourself to write about topics that might not be of particular interest to you. It's unfortunate that we have to spend a lot of our time writing about home and improvement and plastic surgery when we'd rather write about, say film appreciation or our theories on the last season of Breaking Bad. It's difficult, and this kind of writing can make people experience the absolute worst kind of writer's block.
What makes this kind of writer's block so frustrating is the added component of, well, your livelihood depending on it. That's not to say that failure to generate a new blog is going to get you fired, you just understand that the quality (and surely, quantity) of your writing has a lot to do with your employment. Whether you're inspired or not, you need to get 400 words of keyword-rich text to your bosses when they ask for it.
There are plenty of exercises that you can do to prepare, but more often than not, you're on a strict time budget, and a nice long brainstorm session just isn't in the cards. You need to figure out a way to get some words on the page, and fast.
Although it might not be a preferable way of creating a blog post, press release or web page, trying to recreate an older piece of content has actually proved to be a reliable way of generating unique content, that can help exercise your vocabulary and writing variety.
Digging Into Your Archives
If you haven't already started doing this, keeping a file of all of your writing assignments is a necessary practice if you want to give yourself inspiration, or find another job down the road. Additionally, pulling content from your own personal archives is good way to spark some writing if you're not feel particularly full of fresh ideas.
Let's say that I've written a press release for a local physician, but am asked to do a guest post on the same client in a few weeks. Physicians aren't particularly easy clients to write for, considering that you need to do at least some kind of research to make sure that all of your writing is medically accurate - so don't do the research twice. Use the facts, figures and accolades that you wrote about on the press release, and put a different spin on it so that you can meet the deadline for the blog post.
A Case-Study in Uninspired Writing
One of the physicians that I write for in the Dallas area uses one of the most sophisticated surgical devices currently available. He has performed a considerable amount of surgeries with this device, and I was asked to write a press release and an "about" page on his website discussing the same exact thing. I've changed the names and numbers, but here is an example of how I translated the same material to something that was denotatively similar, but rearranged for SEO:
Dr. Smith and her expert medical staff have successfully performed 460 operations with the new technology over the past year.
We need to make sure that we don't generate something that's too similar, since the SEO gods (aka. Google) will frown on our online offering. So let's dig into our mental thesaurus and look at this material from a different angle; something like this should do:
The esteemed team of physicians led by Dr. Smith boasts a 2012 procedural record of over 450 successful surgeries with the device.
The only major term that was reproduced was "Dr. Smith" and "successful", whereas all of the other information was original.
Variety is Key
Writing for medical professionals is probably the best way to exercise this skill because you need to find out half a dozen ways to say the same thing. This is where you realize that "surgery" can be said as "treatment" "procedure" and "services"; "doctors" can be called "physicians" "medical professionals" "specialists" "surgeons" or even "scientists" in some cases. These changes seem basic, but make sure that you're only using words that you are certain mean what you think they mean.
Obviously, coherence is of utmost importance if you want actual humans to appreciate your work; however, recreating some of your older articles can be a quick way to get your bosses some content without having to come up with an intrepid idea - just a few appropriate synonyms.
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