Everyone writes these days – you need to write emails, marketing materials, Web content. No one escapes. It’s debilitating if writing is a chore for you. It needn’t be.
I’ve been coaching a couple of solo entrepreneurs to help them to have fun, enjoy writing, and write more.
They’ve found these two tips useful – maybe you will, too.
1. Ideas are everything: collect “emotional” ideas
Create an Idea Bank. This is a store of ideas which intrigue you, for one reason or another. They don’t need to be useful ideas, in the sense that you will ever use them in writing blog posts, marketing materials, or anything else.
The only qualification an idea requires to be included in your Idea Bank is that it arouses an emotion in you.
Here’s why. Your mind is an association machine. Buddhists refer to “monkey mind” – like a cageful of monkeys, your mind leaps from one association to another. Emotion teases your monkeys, so anything which stimulates an emotion arouses your creativity.
When writing, emotion is GOLD. Over the years, I’ve managed to write with enthusiasm about compost, pet food, and iron rebar. Not because I find these topics inspiring, but because I’ve learned the emotion-inspires-creativity mind trick.
It’s just a trick. :-)
2. Just start writing
Any emotion works to start you writing. You don’t need to be inspired to write before you start.
Inspiration happens while you’re writing, so don’t wait to write.
Let’s say you own an online pet store. You need to write a blog post, and your mind is a desert. You don’t want to write. You’d rather poke your eyeball with a fork.
Write: “I don’t want to write, I’d rather poke my eyeball with a fork. I wonder what happened to our garden fork, I haven’t seen it in weeks. Maybe the neighbor’s got it. I’ll go over there later – no they’re on vacation, in Bali, I wonder how much the air fare is to Bali… Where did they say they were boarding Snoopy?”
See? Monkey mind. Your mind leaps from one association to the next. Within a few sentences, you’ve latched onto a topic for a blog post – boarding kennels. You didn’t have to do anything except feel something, and write.
Next, start writing about boarding kennels, in the same meandering fashion. Before you know it, you’ll have a great idea for a blog post. Just as you did initially, meander your way through the post, until it’s done.
What happened here?
You started with an emotion – dislike of writing. You hate writing. You bounced off that emotion to write – just words. Within sentences, something you could use came out.
Start with any emotion you choose. Use that emotion to propel yourself into writing.
In summary: collect ideas which intrigue you and/ or make you FEEL. Then, once you feel an emotion – any emotion – start writing.
Try this process yourself. You’ll be surprised at how easy it makes writing.