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7 Can’t-Miss Ways To Kick-Start The Writing Habit

By Jacklyn | August 13, 2008

Posted by Dave Navarro

Blogging can bring your business exposure, credibility, and whole lot more revenue – so it’s in your best interest to deliver a steady stream of powerful writing. But for a lot of us, that’s a tall order. If you’re finding your creative juices running a little dry, this list of quick and easy tips is sure to get them flowing again.

1. Write nothing but headlines. Sometimes the thought of writing an in-depth article is too much for your brain to deal with after a long day (or at the start of one). Spend 15 or 30 minutes just churning out headlines without worrying about how catchy they sound. You may not be in the mood to write an article from scratch, but if you keep building a collection of headlines you give yourself a ton of options. The more headlines you add to your list, the more likely you’ll find something you’re in the mood to write on at any given moment.

2. Write ‘crap’ without feeling guilty. We tend to assume that great writers write great stuff all the time. Face it – they don’t. Professional writers write even when nothing but crap comes out because they know that it’s part of the journey to getting the real gems. Steve Allen said to “write for the trash can,” meaning write without reservations about what people might think, just to keep your writing skills in shape. Try it when you’re feeling stuck – it really works.

3. Schedule regular time and show up, even if you think you can’t write. Sometimes your brain will freeze, your motivation will leave you, and your car won’t start. Showing up at your keyboard will solve two of those problems. If you’ve scheduled 8am to 9am to write, and you sit there for an hour and nothing comes out, you’ve still followed through on your appointment. When you sit down tomorrow, your chances of breaking writer’s block skyrocket. I’ve never met anyone who followed through on showing up and had long term writer’s block. When you show up, you’re subconsciously telling yourself that you’re serious about writing … and that sets you up for a win.

4. Write about how you solved a problem. People like stories; it’s just how we’re wired. The good news is, you’re already good at telling stories because you do it all the time in everyday conversation. Whatever the topic you write on, think of a time you worked through a problem or fixed someone else’s dilemma. Because you’re just telling what you already know, the creative pressure is off and you can just talk through what happened (and educate the reader in the process).

5. Edit older articles. Go through your previous blog entries and make them better. You’ve had a chance to forget what you wrote about, so you’ll come to it with a fresh eye and an ability to improve what was there before. It’s like dipping your toes in the water to get yourself used to the temperature – soon you’ll be ready to jump in. And the articles you edit may give you great ideas for new ones to boot.

6. Type out other people’s articles. This may sound odd, but it can get your gears unstuck. Jump to a blog you love, open up a text editor, and just start typing out your favorite articles. You’re not doing anything creative, but you’re writing all the same. It’s like a warm-up walk before you start running. A side benefit that comes from this is that when you type out other people’s sentences, you can become a better writer, because you’re ‘tasting’ different styles of stringing words together.

7. Add your tips to this list in the comments section below. Don’t be afraid – leave a comment right now with your best writing tip. If you don’t have one, just write about how you’re going to use one of the above tips in the next 24 hours. But above all, write something right now. Get that brain unfrozen and that motivation rising. (but about that car that won’t start … I can’t help you with that).

Keep it rocking…

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Topics: Goals Setting, Motivation, Personal Development | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “7 Can’t-Miss Ways To Kick-Start The Writing Habit”

  1. Loke Says:
    August 18th, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Hi Jacklyn

    Thanks for sharing this article with us.
    I think it’s time to setup a blog and start writing :)


  2. Lim Ee Hai Says:
    August 20th, 2008 at 12:01 am

    Writing sure is tough when there is mental block. However through the suggestions you gave in the post, the resistance will be reduced. I like in particular the “Write about how you solve a problem”. Yes, people like to read stories, especially when they can relate to them. I had once posted a story about student learning math, and the number of viewers for that post is great. Good advice and thanks for the sharing. Cheers!

  3. Jacklyn Ker Says:
    August 29th, 2008 at 12:44 am

    It works! I started to feel that it’s getting easier to write now. Hey guys, Jia You!!

  4. Rick Says:
    September 1st, 2008 at 10:11 am

    I carry a small notebook that fits in my pocket to jot down ideas. The newspaper is a good source: summarize an article and then comment on it. I have a camera that fits in my pocket. One good photograph can be the basis of an interesting article. I have thousands of digital photographs. I dig one out and use that in a post once in awhile. Sometimes comments in my blog can be the basis of an article.