As someone who has coached writers for nearly a decade, I realize that writer’s block very real.
Admittedly, I’ve been stumped on occasion, even on topics that I’m intimately familiar with. The usual tips typically help — taking a walk, redirecting your attention temporarily, or seeking creative advice from a trusted friend. But I’d like to offer up a few tactical suggestions, that I’ve found to work equally as well over the years.
I want you to not only break through writer’s block, but develop workflows that make your writing process more efficient.
1. Frame Up Your Title.
That blinking cursor pulsating on a blank document is a daunting sight. Oftentimes, figuring out the first word is the most difficult part of writing a blog post, but I wouldn’t start there. I make a point to finalize my title before I ever dive into the body of the post.
Why? The process of figuring out a post title forces you to consider a story from one end to the other.
It puts you in a situation where you simply cannot avoid considering your subject, the tension, the problem, and the conclusion. If you figure out how to convey the crux of your post in a title, it makes the process of fleshing out the body a lot less challenging.
2) Make Your Opener Count.
Every blog post has an opening line, so make it count!
Many readers won’t give a post a full read if the opener is lackluster. I usually run through a few options: comedy, a question, stating an opinion, or an interesting fact. With most topics, one of those four options will lead you to a solid opening line.
Starting with a joke is a great way to add levity to a topic, while asking a question is great for getting people engaged early on. People are naturally curious, too, so leading with a “Did You Know?” or hard-to-believe data point hooks the reader and makes them want to hang around to read more.
3) Plan Your Closer.
Much like the opener, one other line that’s unavoidable in any blog post is a closer. This one should answer a simple question: “What point do I want to stick with the reader?”
Opening strongly and closing even stronger makes for a compelling read, and readers love to follow authors that offer a sense of satisfaction at the end. I’d advise to think about your closer before you get there. Ideally, you’d settle on an opening line and then decide on a closer, filling in the middle as a final step. This process makes it impossible to let your “in between” text act as a crutch to your closer. By forcing the closer to stand alone in your mind, you’re able to consolidate your thoughts and concisely wrap up your story.
Tackling a blog post in pieces, helps to compartmentalize the task, and many writers find it easier to decipher one section at a time rather than trying to swallow an entire post. Have any other tips that have helped you make your writing faster and less of a chore? Share with us in the comments below!
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