New series continues! This time we’re talking about how to get into a good writing flow.
Last time, we dove into choosing the platform you want to publish your content on. Once you’ve made your choice, please let me know in the comments or on social media – I would love to know what your platform and media of choice is.
Today it’s time to take action and start creating content. In the beginning there might be a lot of resistance. Maybe you feel you really don’t want to write today. You want to push it off until the next day, or until you feel inspired or motivated.
Don’t! The inspiration may never come, believe me. As a professional writer, I rarely have the luxury of waiting until inspiration strikes, so I have developed a few techniques that help me get into the flow even when I don’t really feel like putting words on paper.
Brainstorm regularly. Having fresh ideas helps to get into writing, but the ideas don’t always come naturally. Schedule time to regularly brainstorm new topics. I do this once or twice a month, but it can be more or less often for you, depending on your needs.
Use resources to get into the creative mode. When brainstorming, I sit down with a pile of magazines, go through my favorite blogs and newsletters to get ideas. I even have a folder in my email, where I store stuff to go through during my brainstorming sessions.
Don’t censor yourself. Just write down all your ideas and possible viewpoints that come to mind. Then schedule another session for developing those ideas into pertinent blog posts or articles. I usually do this the next day or a couple days later.
Choose your topics. If you have planned on writing 4 blog posts, choose 5 or 6 topics – just so you can abandon one or two that don’t inspire you enough and you’ll still have all the material you planned.
Cheat yourself to start. Often it’s hard to get started, but a little while later you’ll notice you’re in the flow. So tell yourself that you’ll only write for 15 minutes and stop after that, if you still don’t feel like it. You’ll see that you’ll most likely continue writing..
Write about anything. If you are having a hard time with getting a grip on your topic, write freely about anything for a few minutes. It doesn’t even have to relate to your topic! You can write about a dream you had last night or your latest business ideas. Anything to get the words flowing.
Create the structure first. I always start by drafting the structure of my text. I use bullet points to list all the thoughts and things I want to put in my text. It’s like a skeleton of your article.
Write several versions. After the first, loose structure version, start adding flesh and blood to that skeleton. The first round for me means usually just dumping all my ideas on the file. Then I start over and refine the ideas. And if you took my advice earlier and chose more topics than you actually need, you can abandon one or two texts that just don’t feel interesting to you anymore.
Start anywhere but from the beginning. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s not important to start from the beginning. Start anywhere, you can finalise the beginning later.
Do research. If you feel you have nothing to say, do background research. You may not even use all the material in your final text.
Read someone you admire. Reading a book or an article of another writer helps you to get into the rhythm of the text. Read someone whose style you admire. Or listen to music that energises you.
Cocoon yourself from interruptions. Interruptions are deadly. This is why writing on Google Docs is sometimes dangerous: with your wifi on, it’s so easy to drift away to social media, email, task manager… Try writing offline. Here you find more tips for getting rid of interruptions.
Create a routine around your writing. I have a very specific routine that helps me get into the writing bubble.
Next time, we’ll talk about finishing your text. How do you know you’re done, and how do you give your text the final touch that takes it to the next level?
In the meantime, let me know which of the tips and tricks resonated with you. And if you haven’t yet downloaded my editing guide, do it now! It will also give you a sneak peek into the next lesson.