How to Find The Right Words

Have you ever struggled to find the right words? As if you knew in your heart what you wanted to write, but just couldn’t translate all that you felt into words? As if something always got lost between your head and your fingers?

And this is even more frustrating because how you write determines what your readers understand.

If you ever struggled to find just the right words, arrange them in the right order, and get your point across to your readers, here are a few tips for producing great content even when it feels like your brain is against you.

Do you know what you want to say?

Before you write, you need to know what you’re going to say. Are you struggling because you don’t have a clear idea of the point you’re trying to make?

In media res

You might find it helpful to begin with the “meat” of your article.

Come back later to craft a killer headline and introduction.

Again, this works because your focus is on your point rather than your presentation.

Walk it off

Maybe you just need a break. Walk away, do something else. Rest your brain. Come back refreshed and ready to go.

Some of the greatest ideas in history have been arrived at on a zen-like stroll.

Say it out loud

Imagine a friend is asking what you are writing about. What would you say?

You have to make sense of a problem in your own mind in order to explain it to someone else.

Rewrite the living life out of it

In most cases it is harder to get “something” written than it is to polish, so just try to dump the basics out of your head and onto paper and work on perfecting it later.

While some people seem to be able to write perfect prose on demand, the rest of us mere mortals have to work within the limitations of our imperfect grey matter. Hopefully these simple tips will help you next time you are in a fix.

What do you do when your brain locks up? Let me know in the comments!


21 thoughts on “How to Find The Right Words

  1. Hi Jordan…I can totally relate! My blog can be very technical and I am always aware that there are many know-it-all critics out there just waiting to pounce on one wrong word. This can make writing very difficult, but I’ve learned to use all of the techniques you have noted and so far it has served me well.

    One additional thought I would add is that you don’t have to create everything from scratch. I certainly don’t mean plagiarizing, but building off an idea or a topic from another article (and linking back to it) can be a great way to break a block and get your thoughts to flow.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you so much for this article! I’m a homeschooled student and have had amazing writing curriculums that I look back to for guidance: “Institute for Excellence in Writing” and “Lost Tools of Writing”. Both say to start with the body of the article/essay, then the conclusion, and lastly the introduction. I’m happy to see I’m doing this right!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This is excellent advice and very well written. When I’m struggling with writing, walking away is a must for me. However, I like brainstorming the most. Like you said, start with the “meat” and then I map out the potatoes. I always keep a notebook near by for such events as mere typing just doesn’t cut it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post! This happens to me a lot. I had brain surgery and have to work much harder now to remember proper nouns as well as more specialized words in fields/ areas I don’t think about a lot. I implemented two methods to address this that are working well. 1- When I can’t think of the right word but my thoughts are flowing, I just keep rambling- like I’m trying to explain what I’m talking about right on the paper/ screen within parenthesis. This allows me to paint the big picture and come back and search for the word later and edit it. Often it pops into my head in its own later. 2-when I’m ok to slow down, I search google with a description and see what comes up, or if I think of a similar word I look up synonyms. It takes more time but it’s important for me to say what I mean and I don’t have the time to do that when I speak verbally, so I look at it as a gift. Hope this helps!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hey Lahla! 🙂

      Stories like this, is what you people should write about! In blogging, blunt honesty and telling a story is HUGE!

      Your comment was not only inspiring, but grabbed my attention so much that I had to comment.

      Thanks and keep it up! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I like to think linear, but usually my brain functions like a spider web. I kind of obsess over outlines or templates or a concept map to write my articles for blogs. So as for visualizing my prose, I can see the components of it. But, identifying a good subject or prompt and a “theme statement” is a start. you know the “purpose.” writing down the meat it good, usually that is topics. So for example, I like baseball, I want to talk about about baseball (subject). The Toronto Blue Jays are my favourite baseball team (theme statement), than I can talk about why it is in two paragraphs (character, althetism). Sometimes I just plagarize a writers mode of thinking as contrast for something I personally experience, like how do I write a blog. Um, just jot down words about a subject and end with a period. Revise the convoluted verbage after a break.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Be honest and unfiltered!

    The more deep stuff you share –> the more original you will be –> the more unique you will be –> the more different from the masses you will be –> the more people you will attract.

    Thanks for sharing these tipps Jordan! Keep it up! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I think it’s important to not feel guilty if you don’t write every day. I seem to know intuitively when I am ready to write not just make it a laborious daily ritual.


  8. Stepping away and coming back to whatever writing I’m working on usually helps for me. But sometimes I have to step away from it for a full day and come back the next day. Also I find doing outlines before writing all my ideas out helps me too whenever all my thoughts get jumbled together at once.

    Liked by 1 person

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