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Tips for Overcoming Proposal Writer’s Block

If you are anything like I use to be, than getting writers blocks while writing your proposals is common for you. The key is to master speed writing techniques, and this will help to push through the block in your mind while writing.  

Are you just like I was seven years ago? By that, I mean – do you struggle with writer’s block when it comes to proposals? Have you spent too many all-nighters rewriting atrocious proposal sections? Do you spend nights and days without seeing your family because proposal writing occupies all of your time? Do you work with people who dislike writing wholesale and will do everything else, but postpone the writing portion of a proposal as much as possible?

The secret to beating writer’s block is to master speed-writing techniques. Speed-writing techniques include learning the correct writing processes, using the right tools to automate and streamline many writing tasks, and mastering your psychology. Psychological barriers are the main obstacles that slow down the writing process for subject matter experts and even for seasoned writers. Overcoming writer’s block is one small but important component of getting your mindset to serve you rather than hinder you in writing.

Here are some of my favorite tips on overcoming writer’s block:

  1. Give yourself mini-deadlines. Set up a timer and write in 20-minute intervals. Shorter deadlines will help you focus better and get more done in a set period of time.
  2. Take advantage of the mind-body connection. It is easy to get glued to your desk, but your mind is highly dependent on your physical state. If you feel stuck and writing is not happening, try to stimulate your physical state by massaging your temples to improve circulation, doing breathing exercises, and going for a walk or run – repetitive motion will clear up your mind unlike anything else.
  3. Alter your blood chemistry the healthy way. Eat a high-protein, low-sugar snack, such as a handful of nuts; a piece of natural beef jerky; a cup of cottage cheese with sliced fresh fruit; or a hard-boiled egg. Stay away from sugar and caffeine that will give you a quick spike and a crash. Definitely stay away from the typical war room snacks – candy and granola bars, cookies, chips, and soda.

Writer’s block can slow the process of writing proposals significantly, but by enforcing speed writing techniques and following some of these tipsFree Reprint Articles, you can get through proposals much faster with less stress.

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Olessia Smotrova-Taylor is the President and CEO of OST Global Solutions, Inc. ( She is a currently practicing capture and proposal manager who has won more than $17 Billion in new business. As one of the proposal industry leaders, she is on the Board of Directors of the Association of Proposal Management Professionals' (APMP) National Capital Area (NCA) chapter and is the editor and chair of the APMP NCA Executive Summary e-zine that won 2010 APMP Communications Award.

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