Stop staring at a blank page
Two words plague aspiring writers around the world: writer's block.
Here's an idea for beating it.
Write down 3 points about the topic:
- The page is blank
- I don’t know the topic that well
- I have anxiety about doing this
Expand those 3 points into full sentences:
- When confronted with a blank page, it is important to break the writing exercise into small and manageable chunks.
- Since the topic I’m writing about is something I’ve experienced, but have never been trained on how to deal with, I’ll have to rely on personal experience and then any research I can muster around the topic.
- I’ve never written a blog before and it is intimidating to even think about starting because I want to do well.
Develop the sentences into paragraphs
- Breaking the writing exercise into small chunks allows me to focus my mind. Instead of a blank white page that could hold any type of content and go in any direction, I get three clear points to focus on. Once the three points are down I have a small victory. A sense of accomplishment. This bit of confidence gives me something to stand on.
- Applying my own experience helps me get words on the page. It's easier to tell a story than to find the perfect research. It also gets me closer to getting a good draft of the document and my point of view. Delving into a bit of research from there provides grist for me to draw from and informs the paragraph portion of my writing assignment.
- Now that I have my 3 core ideas, turned those points into sentences and started to turn the sentences into paragraphs, I begin to see that I might be able to pull this off in spite of my concerns. The paragraphs now offer a real starting point. They let me get a start on the blog without forcing myself to sit down and “write a blog” all at once, which is daunting when it stands by itself.
Once you have your ideas down in rough paragraphs, you have something to work with. Your mind has the focus it needs to shape the basic ideas into whatever structure you need to work from. We know that finding the right words can be hard, but getting the basic ideas on the page doesn't have to be.
This technique can work for any writing project you might need to tackle, from blogs, to speeches, to articles or whatever else might need to be written from scratch.