Let’s look at three writing tips which will help you to write anything you choose — this is a simple writing process.
Many writers’ problems (my own included) develop because we think too much. When my sons were tiny, I said that I’d have “Go and wash your hands!” as my epitaph. These days I spend a lot of time coaching writers, so I’m choosing: “You’re over-thinking this” as my new epitaph.
Chances are that you’re thinking way too much, and not writing enough.
Writing is simple. If you can talk, you can write. And once something’s written you’ve made a start, and then you can write it better.
Let’s look at at a simple writing process to write ANYTHING: tiny advertisements and short articles, as well as full-length nonfiction books and novels.
Whenever you stop writing, and stare into space and think, just repeat the 3 steps.
Here they are.
1. Describe it: describe your writing task
Describe the writing task you’re doing. For example:
* “I’m writing an article about dog training for the owners of a new puppy. I’ll talk about dogs as pack animals, and how the dog learns via body language and vocal tone. I’ll include three tips.”
* “I’m writing a book on weight loss for new moms. While the goal’s to help moms to lose weight, my primary aim is to help a new mom to feel great, healthy and confident. This is important because…”
See what we did in the two examples above? We CLARIFIED the task. Now the task’s no longer intimidating. Your task description may be as short as a sentence, or it may be 250 words — or even longer.
When I coach freelance writers, I ask them to describe a project they’ve been hired to write — always. However, it’s just as vital to describe a project you’re writing for yourself.
Most over-thinking arises from simple confusion. The writer has no clear idea of what he’s supposed to be doing, so he spins his wheels.
2. Brainstorm it: let yourself be creative
Now you know what you’re doing it’s time to have fun, and brainstorm.
I like to brainstorm against a clock; you can brainstorm any way to choose.
When brainstorming, just write down whatever comes to mind. What you write can be anything, and it doesn’t need to make sense — don’t judge, while you brainstorm. If you don’t know a topic well, do a little research before you brainstorm. However, make notes while you research, and set a time limit.
I keep all my brainstorms in a folder. Once a month, I go through the folder and review my brainstorms. I often come up with fresh ideas when I do that.
3. Pick something from your brainstorm, and outline the writing task
You’ve done your brainstorming. Your next step is to choose something from your brainstorming session, and outline your project — just create a simple list of what you might cover.
Then, you can start writing.
If you get stuck at any stage, just go through this easy writing process again — describe it, brainstorm it, and pick something from your brainstorming session.
Here’s what the above process boils down to: you’re thinking on the page, not in your head.
Years ago, around six years into my 30-plus year writing career, I hit a block. I finally got sick of myself, and created this acronym: DDT — Do, Don’t Think. That’s stood me in good stead over the years. It may be useful for you, too.
You can write anything — as long as you don’t over-think it. I hope these three writing tips and simple writing process will help you. Follow the three steps, one by one.
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