Let me know if this has ever happened to you: after sitting at your desk for what seems like hours, writing and rewriting, trying to communicate an idea, it downs on you that you’re feeling a bit… lost.
You write a paragraph, only to decide that’s not what you really want to say. So then you rewrite it to something you’re reasonably happy with, but then you can’t figure out what comes next.
You sit there thinking about it for a while, becoming increasingly frustrated with yourself. Finally, you just walk away, trying to find some perspective, but when you come back, instead of gaining some clarity, it seems like your ideas are even more muddled than before.
Personally, I think they’ve become gutless.
People like to use the word “guts” to describe courage, strength of character, and honesty.
You know what you want, what to do to get it, and you are not afraid to go after it.
No matter what.
If you want a recipe for a great blog post, rummage through your brain for that one topic you have always been afraid to write about and then write about it.
I’ve noticed that, whenever I have trouble writing about a topic, it’s usually when I’m trying to hold back a certain opinion I have.
The best solution?
I change the headline of my post to How to [Subject of the post], and then I write a series of subheads outlining the steps of exactly how to do it. And you know what? It works like gangbusters every time. If you can put what you’re writing into a series of steps, it’ll make your thinking and writing more complete.
What to do if you’re gutless.
Here are some tips that might help you:
- Journal – Instead of writing what you’re supposed to write, just write down whatever is in your head. You’ll probably notice what you really want to say pop out.
- Start another draft – If you get stuck in the middle of a post, try starting over with a different opening. Chances are, it’ll be more clear.
- Remember your readers – What can you say that will help your readers the most? How do you need to say it?
- Question yourself – If you’re not clear, don’t try to keep writing. Ask yourself, “What is my goal for this blog post?”
- Work on something else – Instead of waiting for your subconscious to sort things out, try working on something else where you have more clarity. It’s more productive than just sitting there, getting frustrated.
If it sounds like a lot of work… it is. Still, it’s worth every moment if you want to be brave as a blogger. Your words just fly onto the page and finishing the blog post is next to effortless. It’s not because you suddenly found your talent. It’s because you finally know exactly what you want to say and how to say it and you have the guts to stop thinking about it and punch the damn keys…
And that isn’t just half the battle. It’s pretty much all of it.