While thinking up my weekly topic, I’m listening to “Make it Easy on Yourself,” sung super smoothly by Jerry Butler, (aka The Iceman). Burt Bacharach’s songs are not only beautiful, they’re thought-provoking.
Catherine Weber of Impression Thoughts Media estimates as high as 95% of blogs fail. One reason? Many of us make it more difficult than it should be. Here’s how to avoid that.
Think It Through
Sometimes I wish I could walk around with a hovering caption that reads, “Don’t interrupt me, I’m thinking!” Whether you write daily or need one 3,000 word English paper, begin by simply thinking about it.
If you come up blank, find a quiet corner and keep trying. It’s a mental exercise you can easily teach yourself. This helps do away with writer’s block before it begins.
Fill in the Blanks
A blank page is about as useful as an erased hard-drive. Once you’ve thought out your topic, record it on paper.
In the article, Is Online Article Writing Different From Writing a Book? I discuss outlining your projects:
“An effective outline starts with an idea. Turn it into a title for your article, do your research, create the main points you want to discuss, note sub-points for longer articles or books then layout your conclusion or closing thoughts.”
Use Text-to-Speech Software
A few years back, one of my editors suggested I run my assignments through a voice reader before submitting them. One of the soundest pieces of advice I’ve received.
This simple step has unearthed countless errors before embarrassingly submitting them to editors or clients. It also speeds up the proofreading process. I use the free version of Natural Readers; you simply cut and paste your piece into the program and click the “Play” button. It works on Windows and MAC.
Coffee, Tea or Burt Bacharach
Use whatever gets your creative juices flowing. For some it’s a strong cup of tea, for others, hot java. For me right now it’s Bacharach tunes. I used to berate myself for not writing hours on end day-in-day-out.
I found it’s better for me to take a break rather than stare at a blank page and force stilted copy. Come up with a realistic schedule that works for you. Here’s sound advice from a fantastic website about getting inspired in ten minutes or less. Great when you find yourself up against a deadline.
My only rule these days is to write something daily (even if it’s only a paragraph) and beat all deadlines. Oh, I forgot my other rule: No chillin’ out at Starbucks before completing assignments-only after.
What’s your blogging schedule? I’d love to hear from you.