Updated: Mar 21
Writing doesn't have to be hard if you practice a few simple tricks to get things flowing.
Now, if you're terrible at typing, you might be slowed down. I'm from the peek and poke school of 56 words a minute myself. So, speed of typing isn't as important as the freedom to think fluidly when it comes to writing a decent blog post between meetings, over lunch, or before breakfast. I have a friend with a PhD who says staring at a blank page fills him with terror and freezes him. Smartest guy, just can't write on the fly. I've heard this from other people, so it must be common. So this would be my first tip: don't let a blank page of paper freeze you. The objective should be to just start something in the first place and keep going, even if it's gibberish; you can always clean it up or start again! Second, don't overthink what you're doing. I forget where I read this, but some writer once said that his mind was like a clear pan of water, or something like that. Maybe it was Ted Hughes. I always liked that. Keep your mind clear and keep your thoughts fluid and things will come to you to write about, and you'll find a way to express them, eventually. Third, don't preplan too much. At least I never do. I have never sat down and planned out a blog post, or any other kind of writing for that matter. Now, loose and free-wheel planning when you're not planning is another matter. What I prefer to do is to think about possible topics and approaches (or strategies) when I'm doing something else, like showering, exercising, cooking, and even napping. Naps, you've probably noticed, can actually be a great time to let your mind wander on and explore a topic or idea. I always wake up with an idea. This works especially well for brands and taglines and advertising ideas for me. If you call it meditation, it's more or less the same thing by another name.
Fourth, write the whole thing in one shot and then go back and edit. Editing as you go, even for spelling mistakes breaks the flow of your thoughts, at least it does for me. I find it harder to get back to my train of thought if I break it by going back and editing before my blog article is finished. John Updike and Anthony Burgess did it a different way, perfecting as they finished a paragraph or a page as they wrote. That sounds tedious. I find it easier the other way and, well, we're talking about blogs here. So, my advice is once you're done, go back and edit for spelling mistakes, grammar, logic and new ideas. Before you publish it, read it again a couple of times to make any final adjustments. Voila! Fifth, let your thoughts speak to you and make your fingers just take dictation. If you know your keyboard blindfolded, then maybe blindfolding yourself or closing your eyes will help you in this. In other words, don't try so hard. Let it roll. You have expertise and a perspective to share; if you just listen to the thoughts that come to you and concentrate on writing them down, you'll likely be surprised at the quality of those thoughts, hopefully in a good way. If you sit down with the deliberate purpose to write and don't just let your mind take over your fingers, you will struggle more than needed. And writing shouldn't be a struggle, it should be a joy! I've been writing this or that and the other thing for over 20 years now; these are the top five things I've learned along the way, on top of many other things, just off the top of my head. And this took me only about 10 minutes. Like I say, I'm a slow typist.