The Three Simple Steps to Captivating Your Readers
Your deadline is approaching, and the screen is still blank.
It’s so frustrating to bridge the chasm between an idea and a finished piece. You rely on inspiration to show up, and you stress out far more than you should about whether you’re good enough.
It shouldn’t be this hard, right?
After a while, I learned it wasn’t.
I’m the queen of overcomplicating things. But over time, I learned if I just get out of my own way and follow the roadmap I already know, I can do anything.
Despite knowing this, though, it still took me a while to figure out what the process looked like for writing.
As a creative who got paid to plan, I’ve always fought that dissonance. And I’ve spent a lot of time working with other creatives who felt the same way.
But as I listened to their frustrations over and over again, I started to see the pattern.
I figured it out, and I want to share it with you.
It’s still a plan (which the project manager in me loves).
It’s still focused (which the entrepreneur in me loves).
But it allows for variation and creates the space for inspiration to happen. And it can be applied to any writer’s walk.
Step 1: Schedule discipline
Research shows that you’re almost two and a half times more likely to do something if you schedule a specific date and time.
I write best when I do it at 5:30am. I miss my word count on days when I just think “Oh, I’ll do it at some point.” Pick a specific time, even if it’s only 15 minutes, and put it on your calendar. Every day.
Step 2: Follow a process
Great writing is rewriting.
It’s amateur to think you can plop down and go from idea to finished piece in one sitting. Do people do it? Yeah. Do I do it sometimes? Sure. But it’s never my best work, and it’s not reliable.
Work out a process for managing ideas, drafting and revising a piece, and then finishing and publishing it.
Step 3: Get feedback
We are horrible judges of our own work.
It’s a writer’s curse that we can simultaneously think something we’ve written is both the most profound thing ever put into words and also the biggest piece of garbage ever created. (Sorry, but it’s true.)
When you’ve taken a piece of writing as far as you can, reach out to a friend who can tell you the truth (with kindness) and share suggestions to make it stronger.
What’s your writing process? Is it working for you? Share your experience in the comments…
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I am a writer, a project manager, and a corporate refugee with a heart for orphans around the world. My two daughters were adopted from Ukraine at ages 12 and 14. I post about writing, chasing dreams, and making a difference in the world, and sometimes I share fun snippets of fiction in-progress.