Writing makes you itch. You want to toss your computer in the trash. You avoid your keyboard like the plague, but the truth is writing is unavoidable, because great writing will grow your business. Writing is money!
So how do you write a blog post without gnawing your fingernails down to nothing? How do you create the first draft without re-writing it a dozen times? I’ve wondered the same thing. I’ve deleted assignments that I slaved for days to write. I’ve written page after page and then held down the delete button in despair. That’s why I’m going to tell you the five steps I use to create the first draft. I’m going to help you stop avoiding the keyboard, and how to stop second-guessing yourself. I’m not promising perfection. You’re still going to revise and edit! I’m just promising that by the end of this post you’ll be able to write without falling into a pit of frustration and anxiety!
I know this isn’t gym class. I’m not going to make you do jumping jacks, but a prewriting session can get your brain ready to go. It’s a no pressure way to start writing. It’s also really fun. You can use crazy colors, sticky notes, glitter pens or whatever else you like. It’s completely stress-free, and it can help you get your ideas onto a page.
- Do a free-write about your emotions. Write down anything that’s distracting you. Write down anything that’s bothering you. Just get it on the page.
- 2. Doodle. Create a graphic organizer but make it silly. Draw stick figures and cartoons to illustrate your ideas. Highlight it. Color it. Just have fun with it.
- 3. Read. Look back at a chapter, quote, or poem that you like reading. Think about why you like it. Why does it stand out?
Write a shitty first draft!
You crave perfection! You need it! The page is too perfect, Too white. Too blank, and you just know that whatever you write won’t be good enough! let go of good. First drafts are never good! It will be full of spelling errors, punctuation errors, and wonky wording so just embrace it. Name it My Shitty First Draft, and let the fur fly.
- Don’t edit as you go! Don’t spend time correcting all of those little red wavy lines. They don’t matter.
- Get your ideas down on the page. Don’t worry about structure. Don’t stress about punctuation. Just throw your hair in a messy bun and write something down!
- Acknowledge that your first draft is supposed to suck. If it doesn’t suck you’re doing it wrong (heh!)
- Celebrate. you’re a writer. You wrote some stuff! Welcome to the club. We have coffee
Don’t hold down the delete button.
Your finger is itching! You could scream! You just want to delete the whole thing and start over! I’ve been there too. Trust me! You will regret deleting your entire draft! It will take hours and several Starbucks trips to complete!
- Promise yourself that if you must start over you will save your first draft! You might find yourself editing it instead of deleting the 1st one.
- If you feel the itchy finger temptation Just stop! Step away from the keyboard and go do something else for 10 minutes.
- Hand Write! When I’m stuck I pull out a notebook and a pen and I write the old fashioned way!
Take a break!
I know that you want to finish your writing in one short burst. You want to feel the triumph of knocking it off of your to-do list, but writing is a process. In fact, I’m about to take a coffee break now. If you get frustrated you’re more likely to erase the whole thing and start over. So take a break. Take a walk. Sniff some flowers and breath.
- Do some research on your topic. Go to U-Tube. Read a book about it. Collect some images that you would like to use.
- Write something creative and fun. This might remind you that you don’t hate writing!
- Go for a walk. Just get up get away from your computer, and go T.F. outside! It will help!
- Take a coffee break. You have an excuse you’re a writer now!
Carry a small notepad. (or a giant one).
You don’t have time. You’re busy and even stopping for a lunch break seems impossible, so how are you supposed to write? Carry a notebook or a small notepad. Jot down ideas when you’re taking a break. (Mine is pink). Jot down your to-do lists in it. Make your notebook your best friend, and it will be something you can turn to when you need inspiration. Your friends will also think your insane, but looking a little kooky is the fun part!
- Get a notebook you love. Decorate it. Sticker it. Make it look as crazy as you want.
- Make it small enough to carry but big enough to write in.
- Write everything in it To-do lists, thoughts, quotes you liked, secrets, poems, and anything else you can think of. It will become essential, and you’ll be writing all the time.
- Bonus points if it’s secret. If you know it’s secret your writing will be more honest. Making it secret also makes it yours. You know it’s the one place you can rant and no one will judge you! You also look creepy when you ninja-swat it out of someone’s hand, but hey that’s part of the fun!
You can do it! There isn’t one way to be a writer. You’re never going to be a perfect writer, but you will improve! You don’t need to be perfect! Whatever you decide to write is your story! So go forth and write something awesome!
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