However creative you may feel, and however strong your writing skills, you’ve no doubt often ran into a giant wall called ‘procrastination’.
This wall tries to block your creative ideas from reaching expression.
Personally, I’ve always suffered from procrastination, but in the last few years I’ve learned a way to decisively defeat it.
Here’s my 5-step formula that keeps my writing on track:
- Plan. What do you need to write? What message are you looking to convey? How long should your content be? These questions (and more) should be part of your initial planning. It’s at this stage that your ideas begin to take form. A clear plan will pay dividends as you move onto the next step.
- Write. It’s now time to take your plan, and begin turning it into a piece of content (e.g. blog, document, e-book). The best way to do this – is to simply start writing! Don’t worry too much at this stage about grammar and vocabulary. The trick is to let the words flow freely from your mind to the page (or screen!).
- Edit. So, your content has been written, but it’s not time to publish it just yet. You need to look with fresh eyes at your writing. Firstly, go ahead and fix any grammatical errors. Then look at the rhythm of your content. Does it read easily and clearly? If not, spend some time making sure that it does. Finally, look for ways to make your writing stand out. As an example, come up with a unique metaphor that helps explain a difficult concept.
- Publish. Okay, here’s the exciting part. You’re ‘almost’ ready to publish your content! Don’t do this too quickly though, as you’ll first need to ensure that your content has been properly formatted. For instance, If you’re publishing a blog to a webpage, make sure that the title, images and text are all aligned and displayed correctly. Don’t allow sloppiness at this stage to undermine your previous work. Once you’re satisfied that your content looks good – then hit the publish button!
- Repeat. This is the shortest and simplest step. All you need to do is repeat the earlier steps – but this time for your next piece of content. I’ve found that there’s a certain ‘magic’ to reaching this step. It feels strangely encouraging and satisfying.
The steps are so logical and simple, that you may well have overlooked them in the past. However, from experience, I can assure you that they’re a potent combination.
Procrastination literally wilts when confronted with this 5-step formula.
One thing I’d advise though… is make sure that you take a break between each of the steps. Depending on how you work (and your deadlines!) these breaks could be anywhere between a few minutes and a few days.
Taking breaks between the steps will give you a chance to evaluate your previous work, and potentially add new ideas and amendments.
Breaking your writing projects down into 5 steps will help you defeat procrastination – and boost your writing output!
Try it and see for yourself.