Yes, it’s true!
I have all these great ideas…
Too many, in fact…
But they are nothing more than scribbles and sketches in my notebooks.
To get them all down into actual content that can be shared online is a very humongous task…
…at least for me!
I also have perfectionistic tendencies, which means I’m never truly satisfied until my idea is presented exactly the way I originally pictured it.
Perhaps you can relate?
Over the years, I’ve come up with a process to get my abstract ideas into good content online without feeling overwhelmed.
Regardless of whether you consider yourself a good writer or not, I’m sure these tips will help!
How to Write When You’re Not a Writer
1. Write Something
Image Courtesy: Copyblogger
I came across this image early in my online business career and considered it very good advice. I started writing a little something everyday, and it really helped get my thoughts organized and written down on paper.
The simple act of writing in my journal (almost) everyday has helped me tremendously. Whether it is some notes from my current Bible study, takeaways from a podcast I heard, or ideas for my business, I write them all down.
If you struggle with the act of writing, I encourage you to just write something in your journal everyday. Once it becomes a habit, the words flow a bit easier.
2. Pen Down Ideas
I have these sudden bursts of creativity where I’m inundated with new ideas for articles and blog posts. I pen them down quickly in my journal, just to make sure I don’t miss any of them.
It’s always handy to have a journal and a pen within arms reach, even if you’re outside the house. When creativity strikes, make a quick note of what the idea is and a few lines about it. You don’t have to sit and write a lengthy description – just a short note to jog your memory will do.
If you’d prefer a technical alternative, you could use a notepad app on your smartphone/tablet, or specialized apps such as Evernote or a mindmap.
3. Outline the Drafts
The next step is to get the ideas you’ve jotted down on to the screen. When you are in front of the computer, pull out all your recent notes and start making quick drafts. Whether it is an article, a newsletter, or a guest post, open your blog/writing program and type out the idea quickly.
Some of these drafts may never see the light of day, and that’s okay! The key is to keep them, so you’re not at a loss for ideas down the line.
Out of these drafts, pick the one you will be working on first. Once you’ve finalized which idea you’ll be focusing on for now, start outlining the content.
Identify what the article is about, what you want to convey, and what needs to be added into the content. Jot down headings and sub-headings wherever possible. This will serve as a skeleton that will be filled out in the next step.
Once you’ve finalized your topic, take some time to research it online. Read articles that have covered the same topic, and see what they’ve missed. Compile related resources that might be beneficial to your audience.
The truth is there is nothing new under the sun. Others might have written similar articles on the same topic you’ve chosen. But your take on it will be entirely different.
When you write from your perspective, throw in your experience, and present the content in your unique voice, that is just what will jive with your audience.
5. Write. Write. Write.
When all the preliminary research is done, it’s time to do the actual writing. Use the skeletal framework you already have and start filling in all the missing details.
Write at a stretch, without stopping to edit the content in between. That way, your words will flow easily, and you can always come back to edit it later.
6. Refine the Content
It’s always best to have the content written a few days before it is due, so you’ll have time to refine it. Let it sit for a day or two, and then revisit the content.
Read through it once and make the desired changes. Reading it aloud will also help you find subtle mistakes. Check for grammar, spelling, punctuation, clarity and flow of thought.
Add images wherever applicable, and give your content one final look over so you’re satisfied with it. It’s best not to aim for perfection, though – even printed books have typos.
Just hit the ‘Publish’ button! Don’t linger too long making changes, or your writing will never make it out there. Once you publish the article, you can give it a cursory glance to make sure it has come out alright.
Well, these are the 7 steps I personally follow for articles I write. I hope it inspires you to organize your own writing process, and boldly get your words out there.