Having a great idea for a post is a huge first step, but then you actually have to write it. Imagine that.
So what happens when you sit down with your great idea, your blog title or ebook subject and you proceed to stare at a flashing cursor for the next several hours with nothing to show for it?
It’s ok. Writer’s block happens to all of us. And it can stem from a number of things like distractions, being tired, being hungry and so on. But so many times writer’s block simply means you’re not ready to write yet. Now, this doesn’t mean you sit and let the idea age like a good bourbon, no.
You can break through writer’s block by pre-writing your content. You address it. You walk up slowly, remove your glove one finger at a time and slap writer’s block across the face and say, “I accept the challenge.”
Here’s how to pre-write your content in order to break through writer’s block:
Talk it out
Tell somebody about your great article. Tell them what it’s all about. No one around? Tell your dog. Tell your cat. Tell yourself in the mirror. The goal here is to make communicating your big idea more casual. To take the pressure off yourself. Plus, sometimes you just need to hear the information out loud.
Write Down the Key Points
After you talk it out you still need to get it down on paper so you don’t forget it. Almost like an outline, quickly jot down the key points of your article. This is the basis for its existence – the what and why. The foundational ideas. For this article as an example I wrote down:
- The idea that walking away from writer’s block doesn’t have to be the answer
- A revival of preparation, the old fashion article outline
- Take the pressure off of the content writing
- Organizing all those swirling thoughts and giving them purpose
Now, what’s the benefit of the content?
Great, so you have those big ideas down. Consider those the veins for your paragraphs but now they need some life’s blood and some purpose. This is the big value statement for what you want this piece of content to be to your readers. For me for this post it was:
“To act as a framework and plan of action for not only overcoming writer’s block but creating better content because of it.”
Give It a Voice
We talk about voice a lot here at Shout Out, more in the context of overall brand voice, but individual pieces of content can have variances in voice as well. Almost like accents or dialects. Consider this the best way to deliver your great idea when considering audience and context. For the article, as with almost all of our posts, I’m aiming for: Friendly guide. Semi-professional. Conversational.
So there you have it; pre-writing. Informal, low pressure, yet still making progress. Let us know how it works for you or other steps you might add to the content pre-writing process.