Writing is an essential skill if you want to impact and influence other people in any way in your life.
It’s a simple step-by-step method that will help you put your thoughts onto paper effectively – no matter how bad you think you are at writing.
But – the articles were a bit long.
Maybe you’re too busy and don’t have the time to read through all that.
In that case…
Here’s a quick cheatsheet on what to do when you want to write. I expanded upon the version in the first article to make it more detailed.
This is the method I use for most of my writing:
- Do all the research on the topic you want to write about.
- Gather all the thoughts, points, ideas and notes you’d like to discuss in one central place.
- Put ANY little thing you can think of that you might want to mention in one central location. Topics, ideas, thoughts, excerpts, paragraphs, references, sources.
- Just do a complete brain dump. Write down anything else you can think of that you might want to touch upon until your mind is completely empty.
- Write them all out in a bulleted list of topics to cover.
- Organize that list into a logical sequence of points (so that the train of thought makes sense).
- Quickly scan through all your notes to see the breadth of everything you want to cover.
- Write down the highest level categories – the main sections you’ll want to cover.
- Organize all your notes by moving them to the relevant bullet point.
- Move each note, idea and reference to the section it belongs to until everything is in the right section.
- (Repeat step 4 and 5 to create sub-sections within each section until everything is small enough to tackle. You might combine this with step 6 for each section once you go through it, if that’s easier.)
- Continue doing this until you feel that the vast majority of all the ideas are in the right place of where you’d like to tackle them in the article.
- Write out each bulleted item fully – section by section.
- Start with the very first (sub-)section.
- If necessary, organize all the notes in that section in a sequence that makes sense like you did at step 4 & 5.
- Just look at all the notes gathered in that section, and write out the first one until you feel like you covered it.
- Then, delete the note you covered, and tackle the next one.
- Repeat until you’ve covered all the notes for that entire (sub-)section.
- Continue with the next (sub-)section and repeat the entire process.
- Fill in the gaps that still need to be written.
- Add an introduction and a conclusion to the article.
- Merge each section with a smooth transition
- Add headlines and subheads at logical, regular points in the text.
- Fill in any other gaps.
- Edit your text.
- Read through the entire article several times.
- Cut any section that’s unnecessary, detracts from the message, or might lose the attention of the reader.
- Add some subtle open loops hinting what value is up ahead for your reader.
- Wherever possible, change the focus from “me” (that’s you) to “you” (your reader).
- Rearrange any points or sections that seem out of place.
- Revise it.
- Wait for a day
- Repeat step 7 and 8.
- Wait for another day (or as long as you need until you feel like you can look at your written work objectively again).
- Repeat step 7 and 8 again.
- Continue doing this until you’re (almost) happy with the final work.
- Remember: don’t be a perfectionist. You’ll always be slightly insecure about your writing, and will never be fully happy with it.
- Publish it. (It only counts when you ship.)
This step-by-step method can help you get started on the intimating task of writing, and break it down into small, manageable chunks.
There are few things scarier than staring at a blank page, needing to write 3000 words by tomorrow and not knowing where to begin.
But writing out one small paragraph at a time is surprisingly easy.
This method is an easy, step-by-step way to overcome the intimidating task of getting your thoughts out onto paper.
It helps you beat writer’s block and push through it – no matter how hard it might seem.
It might not be for everyone.
But for me, it works. I’ve found this method useful, because this is how my mind works.
Maybe something else works better for you.
But I hope this method will be useful to you as well. I hope it helps you write more, better and with more ease than before.
Just keep writing – even if it hurts.
You’ll get it right eventually.