Do you want to blog faster and more efficiently, but can’t seem to get over a blank white page? You’re on the first draft and you want to get something published in your site. The only problem is, you face writer’s block and the words you’re supposed to write can’t get into the paper.
I’ve been there many times (even until now), but I believe writing a draft isn’t hard at all. That’s why in this article, I will share you some tips to easily getting it done.
Get Your First Draft Finished Using These 7 Tips
When you open a blank document, do you have that feeling in which your mind goes blank as well? If you do, then what you need are techniques to getting your first draft done. Below are seven tips that will help you produce something in your blog.
1. Always Have a First Draft
I’m not goofing around, you really should have a first draft. Learn to acknowledge the fact that all writers begin writing like quality doesn’t matter at all. They silence their inner critic at first so that they can freely express their ideas without worrying if their work sucks. After all, it’s impossible to edit a creative work that doesn’t even exist.
By always having a first draft, you accept the fact that your first work will never be perfect. It will always miss some elements and characters along the way. Even after publishing your post, there will still be errors and missing pieces that you could address. My point: Don’t stress it over.
2. Keep Writing and Stop Editing
When it’s time to write a first draft, stop doing other things. You might be researching facts and figures while writing, or constantly hitting backspace to delete what you’ve just written. However if you’re doing this, you’ll only become less productive.
It’s better to write continuously so that your thoughts flow all the time. The problem with deleting and revising is that your critic is blocking your creativity from producing words. You may be getting the words right, but at the expense of a slower progress.
I don’t know about you, but when I keep on revising paragraphs while on the first draft, it feels like it will take me forever to finish my writing. This in turn makes me anxious and bored to see that I’ve only made 500 words, so I procrastinate.
The solution? Just complete your draft first and then edit your post later so you can focus on getting things done.
3. Don’t Write in Proper Order
You’re free to write in any manner you want while you’re still in first draft. Just because you read from top to bottom doesn’t mean that you’ll do the same for writing as well. Ditch the introduction for now and start writing in the middle, in the part where you know a lot about.
You can also leave a blank in the middle of two ideas if somehow you forgot about it. Once you know, just head back to the gap and fill it up. Don’t spend a long time trying to remember an idea so that the flow of thoughts won’t stop.
The great thing about writing articles and books is that readers don’t go to the backstage to see what you’re doing. They don’t see all the spelling and grammatical errors you are making in the creation process. What matters to them is your output and nothing else.
4. Create an Outline or Mind Map
In order not to get lost, what you need is a structure for your content. Just as there are frames for buildings, trusses for roofs and bones for human beings, your articles rely on something we call outlines or mind maps.
Outlines are lists that indicate all the main topics and the corresponding subtopics under it. To grab some inspiration, just grab a book (much better a textbook) or a magazine and read its table of contents. There you will see ideas in a well-organized manner, with the main topic normally much larger in font and its details smaller and indented to the right.
Mind maps, on the other hand, are visual diagrams used to represent hierarchy of ideas starting from its very core (where the topic lies). From the center, it branches out to its main points, which further spread into its supporting details. If you want to try this tool, I recommend using Coggle for generating one.
While researching and writing your content, it helps to have a good look at your outline or mind map so that you know the scope and boundaries of your blog topic.
5. Acquire Plenty of Knowledge Before You Write
When you’re writing an article, your knowledge is what helps you generate words. The more you know and understand the subject, the better you are at explaining what it’s all about.
But take note, don’t confuse knowledge with understanding because one doesn’t necessarily mean the other. It’s easy to read 10 articles or watch a 1-hour video on how to start a blog, but it won’t guarantee that you can actually start one.
Understanding something means that you can apply the knowledge you’ve learned or at the very least, interpret it in your own words. And to do that, you need lots of research and studying beforehand.
Don’t worry. It’s easy to find the information you want by simply going to the Internet. And from that, you immerse yourself in the blog topic you’re writing. Learn so much to the point that you’re overflowing with knowledge and you’re just spilling it over to your first draft.
6. Forget Images, Videos and Other Forms of Media
I noticed that my productivity is low every time I have to deal with a post full of screenshots or stock photos. That’s when I realized that I should first remove them while still in my draft.
I’m not saying that you don’t include them at all, just save them up for later. If the media provides some concepts or important points about the subject, then study it first before starting your first draft.
Here’s the thing, your goal in your first draft is to “write” and nothing else. If you always get interrupted with your images (when your attention often goes to it), then you might forget what you’re going to write in the process and wonder off.
So write first, okay? You can just upload the files in WordPress or bookmark the video URL that has the embed code to grab it later.
7. Finish Your First Draft Using Momentum
Momentum is your friend. And in order to build it, you need lots of words on the page. Words are what your mind perceives as “progress” in writing, not quality. You can’t say to yourself that having 500 high-quality words is progress. In your mind, it’s just 500 words, period.
To build momentum, you need to focus on your blog. Forget the quality for a while and simply write what you want to write and do this for at least 30 minutes. Don’t let some email or Facebook message take your attention away from the document. Set a right time for checking those and first focus on being productive.
People are different, so I expect that your way of implementing focus in your work will be different from how I do it, and that’s perfectly fine. The important thing is simply getting your work finished.
Having a first draft that is 80% complete and then taking a break is dangerous. It made me feel complacent knowing that I’ve made lots of progress. This thinking pushed my posting schedule a few days later because the momentum I used to have is gone. So I repeat, make it a habit to finish your draft.
Want More Blogging Tips? I Have Some For You
I hope you’ve learned a lot in this article. Take one advice from here and apply it in your next blog post and see what happens. Ultimately, in order to avoid writer’s block, you need solutions every time it comes. As for writing first drafts, the key takeaway here is simply to write.
As a blogger, content writing is a core part of your business. Therefore, it’s a great investment to improve your craft. Even if you’re a writer and not blogging, you need these tips as well whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction.
That’s all for now. For more tips, you might want to check my other posts:
How do you write your first draft? Are you often struggling to write one? Let me know in the comments below.