Writing Stresses You Out? 4 Ways to Simplify the Process
By Jennifer Kennedy on December 10, 2013
Let’s be honest.
Writing content for blogs and courses can be tough stuff. Yet, providing free content on your blog is how you get traffic. And, writing content for courses is how you provide value to your learners.
But, there’s a problem. (And, it has nothing to do with you.)
A Writing Story
You're sitting in front of the computer screen, staring. No words are flowing, and you’re stuck.
After minutes of research and brainstorming, you finally get the first sentence written.
Shortly after, the negative monster shouts, “This is crap. It doesn’t sound right. Get rid of it NOW.”
Delete. Delete. Delete. Your precious words are erased, forcing you back to square one.
The back and forth process continues.
Does this sound familiar? (It’s definitely familiar to me!) Does the thought of sitting down to write blog articles or course content make you rather visit the dentist? Are you finding that cleaning your house sounds more fun right about now?
Guess what? You’re not alone.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: Writing any kind of content is a process that takes practice and time.
We’re all dealing with time commitments. We’re all distracted. And, we all have that monster inside our heads that tells us that what we’re writing is crap.
But, have no fear. You can break through the process of writing content without pulling your hair out in the process.
Four Quick & Dirty Tips for Writing Content
Get Rid of the Crap
You’ve got a lot of ideas floating around in your head! Before you sit down to write, grab some paper (if you’re old school like me) and write your topic in the center bubble and brainstorm all possible ideas, topics, stories, or quotes that you could include in your post. Doing a brain dump gets all of your ideas out of your head and onto paper so that you’re not coming up with ideas as you write.
Embrace the Old School
There’s a rather cool and fairly unused program on your computer called TextEdit (Or, Notepad for all you Windows folks). Why it's cool? You can’t add any fancy pants formatting. It’s completely plain Jane. When you’re writing, all you should do is write. Don't worry about the look, the grammar, or other formatting. Using a text editor limits the pretty little features that you can add to your content. Trust me, that can be (and should be) added later.
Check Your Judgement at the Door
We’ve all been there before, where you’re criticizing yourself as you write. Perhaps you’re worried about how your words will come across. Or, you worry whether or not anyone will find value in your content. Then you begin to delete, second guess, or start from scratch. These negative thoughts block you from creating. It’s best to check these downers at the door. Instead, sit at your computer with the sole focus of putting words on the computer without judgement. Set a timer for 25 minutes and write without worrying about what it says or how it will be received. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done if you stop judging what you’re doing.
Just Write, All Else can Wait
Recently, I read Steven Pressfield’s book, Do the Work. If you haven’t read it, I highly suggest you add it to your 2014 reading list! It's an eye opener to the seemingly invisible things that have been holding me back from being productive. My favorite quote from the book, "Act. Reflect. Act. Reflect." In other words: Write. Edit. Write. Edit. Never do the two together. To get your best work done, write first WITHOUT editing. After you’ve written all of your content, THEN go back and revise.
When you’re building a business or creating a blog, there’s so many things that compete for your time. As you've probably realized, writing will be a huge part of that process. Instead of pulling your hair out, develop a routine that you can use to get your best writing done.
It's Your Turn, What Writing Tips Have you Developed that You Can Add to the List? List them below!
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