Having the space and freedom to write are very important when it comes to writing. But once you have that space…how do you actually write? Yesterday, I posted some things I do to make the space to write. Here’s how I get something actually written:
1. Sit down at the computer or keyboard or journal or notepad and start typing or writing.
That’s it. Want to write? Then write! If you have excuses, distractions, or things that are more important, then you will not write. Your car will sit in the garage or parking space if you never drive it. You don’t get in shape if you don’t work out or walk or run. You have to simply write.
I know, but…
So simply writing is not a good enough answer? To dive a little deeper, then, here is a list of how to actually write. In this case, I’m discussing how to write a blog post or magazine article.
1. Have a topic. I have a diverse set of interests. I am constantly reading about them and whatever else I fancy at any given moment. This way, I have a mental bank of topics. Like, right now, I want to get my blog rolling, and I have a lot that I could write about, but I don’t feel like it, so I’m writing about writing.
2. Write an introductory paragraph. I have a topic. This is my topic and why I am writing, today. This is what happened that made me want to write about this topic. Here are some reasons I am going to explore this topic. (except be more creative)
2. Write down the key points. Come up with three (or more) things about that topic and write them down. These may end up be the main sentences for each paragraph of the post/article body. Then elaborate on those points.
3. Write a closing paragraph. When you’re finished with your first paragraph, and you’re done with the body (key points), then you need to close the article off with an ending paragraph. ‘As you see, I wrote about this topic. I explained three main things about the topic, and now I am highlighting those three main things again so that I can make sure the point of my topic is being driven home.’
Congratulations, you just wrote something!
While that was a good anatomical approach to writing something, there was some sarcasm intended. I’ve noticed in myself that I can write easily if I can stick with some personal rules:
I will not write because I have to. I will write because I want to.
I will not write if I don’t have anything to say. Just because I have topics doesn’t mean I want to talk about them (see above).
Don’t be afraid of what comes out of my mind. I have a lot in my mind. All I need to be concerned with, if anything at all, is the delivery. (for example: will I be making a list, or will it be an actual article?)
I will not explain myself. There are instances, such as academic writing, where people will require an explanation. People who require me to realign my views or opinions to their side, or people who attempt to put me on the defense, are people who take up way too much of my time and mental energy.
Don’t be afraid of what the final draft is going to look like. I can’t have a final draft if I don’t even have a first draft.
Quit calling myself aspiring. An aspiring writer wants to write. A writer simply writes.
Don’t be afraid of negative feedback. If you post it in public, you’re going to get negative feedback. You can be the prettiest peach in the crop, but there’s still going to be people who don’t like peaches (paraphrased quote, I don’t know who originally said it).
Write to learn. People miss a key element in writing, and that is learning. If you write because you want to drive traffic to your site, great. But typically the reason for that kind of writing is for traffic only. You have nothing to share, other than key words and overused examples of everything, and you’re probably earning a quarter for each of your posts. Don’t be that writer. Write because something really interesting came your way, and you want to write about it. Or write because you have an opinion on something, and you want feedback from others. Write because that something is so interesting that you want to know more about it — which starts a discussion, which helps you and others *learn* more about it. Write about an interesting character you drummed up in your head, and you want to find out where he ends up.
So…there you have it. How to actually write (with some sarcasm and humor thrown in for good measure).