For When You Can’t Find the Right Word: Four Hacks to Get your Brain Going

Copywriting TIps

Yesterday, it happened again. I was editing an article with my brother, and noticed the sameee word being used over and over. You know the kind—the word works well once, but sounds redundant and awkward after a while.

I couldn’t think of any good alternatives, though.

Listen—I’m a copywriter, and this happens to me every day. You shouldn’t feel bad if it happens to you! But here are four ideas of how to get your creativity going again.

Write something down

If you can’t find the right word, or can’t think of any words at all, my biggest advice is just to get SOMETHING down on paper. (Or on screen, as the case may be.) I usually set a timer for five or ten minutes, and write anything down that comes to mind. Free-writing whatever comes to mind almost always gives me a spark of an idea. I can then work with what I have to expand into something compelling and interesting.  

Look up synonyms

Google is one of your best friends, if you’re stuck on words. I often look up “synonyms for…” whatever word it is I can’t figure out. I recommend having a thesaurus on hand as well—printed paper often sparks creativity more than a screen does.

Research your competition

It might feel counterintuitive to look up your competition or other businesses in a similar industry to see what words they use to describe what they do! Yet it can be very helpful. No, you should not copy your competition. But you will most likely be inspired and be able to think of words that are similar, but different, or more unique to your industry. I recommend looking up businesses who are in a similar type of field as you, but not EXACTLY the same. I’m a copywriter, and I often look up websites of designers to get inspired. They are just different enough that I’m not worried about copying them, but similar enough that I can learn from them.

Read something else/take a break

If you’re stuck, go do something else. Read a book about a different topic. Go make something fancy for lunch. Being creative or filled up in a different way often inspires me more than anything else. Go to a coffee shop and people watch. Then try writing again, and see if you have more ideas.

Everyone gets stuck. Don’t stress if it happens to you! But next time maybe you’ll have a tool at the ready to move through the frustration of not having the right word.

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About Abby

I'm a copywriter and the founder of Studio Tell, a copywriting studio dedicated to writing clear and ethical copy that will effectively connect with you audience and build real life community.




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I'm the founder of Studio Tell, a writer since I was small, and in love with sunshine and my husband Marshall.

My favorite thing is meeting fellow business owners who are passionate about making the world better with what they sell... but sometimes feel unsure about how to articulate it. I'd love to be friends. For real.

Hello, friends! I'm Abby.

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