Staring at the computer screen, willing your brain and fingers to get their act together and fill the blank screen with some words. Any words. If only you could remember the ideas that seemed so great yesterday. Sound familiar? Please don’t tell me it’s just me!
There are endless reasons and justifications why you’re not writing. Perhaps you started a blog because you felt you should, maybe you want to start writing but keep putting it off, or perhaps you think people won’t want to read your ideas.
Whether your mind is blank or you have too many ideas to untangle them, here are 4 easy steps that always help me get my fingers moving.
1. Who is your reader?
With absolutely any type of writing you do, you need to first think about your potential audience. Who are they? Where are they? What do they like to do? The more detailed your description of them, and write it down, the better your writing will be at addressing them directly.
2. What does your reader want to read?
Your job is to understand your reader so well that you know, perhaps even better than they do, what concerns them, what challenges they face and, most of all, what they’re looking for when they go online. When you practice this way of thinking, you’ll even be able to anticipate their concerns before they type them into Google!
3. What is your main message?
But what about all the burning issues you want to write about? Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten you, the writer! Your reader always comes first, but now it’s time to define who you are, why you want to write and what’s important to you. Write the answers to these on a sticky note and put it on your computer. When they’re clear for you, they’ll be clear for others and they’ll become your main or core message throughout all your writing.
4. What topics bring them all together?
Now you need to connect the three previous steps to come up with relevant topics. Think about how your main message relates to and addresses your reader’s concerns, or how your reader’s challenges could be used to express your main message. Doing this will lead you to content topics your audience will want to read.
How do you overcome writer’s block?