5 Simple Tips To Kick-Start Your Writing
July 30, 2021
Never written an article before? Have you ever written a few drafts, and thrown them in the trash — thinking they’re not good enough?
Not long ago, I was in the exact same boat. I wanted to start writing, but I couldn’t find the oomph to get over the initial hump in the road — the starting hump.
In my last article, a lot of people left me feedback on what was holding them back from starting writing. Putting your own words out in front of the entire internet is a scary thing.
What if people don’t agree? What if it actually gets read by lots of people? And the list goes on.
So, if you’re sitting somewhere and trying to figure out how you can get started, these tips are for you.
1 — Forget the tools
Some people use writing apps, the right PC/tablet/phone, methodologies or processes and the list goes on.
If you’re looking to get started, to get your first few articles out the door, don’t focus too heavily on the tools. I took a great interest in having the right tools when I started.
However, what I found was I spent more time researching the tools than I did writing. I could’ve written a few articles over with the time I spent researching tools.
And, after all of that, I never landed on any new tools.
Use what you have around you, publish and learn from the experience. Once you’ve found your rhythm, then look for the tools.
2 — Set yourself a deadline
When you’re trying to write your first article, you don’t have any expectations. The temptation is to take things slow.
I spent three months “taking things slow”.
I stressed over the the article topic, changed it about 20 times, changed the points in my article another 40 times, procrastinated for about half of that time and so on.
I read through these drafts now, and they weren’t actually that bad. Sure, they weren’t perfect — but they didn’t warrant all the effort I put in changing them over and over.
That experience taught me to set a deadline.
Otherwise, you’ll keep exploring, writing, editing, changing, deleting, restarting and whatever else you do into oblivion. After I set myself a deadline, I actually started pressing Publish. I began to notice 2–3 articles a week making their way out into the world.
And, all I did was set a deadline — that I stuck with. Hard. Start writing, and make time to set a deadline.
3 — Accept it won’t be 100% perfect
This was the biggest piece of feedback I got from my last article. Overcoming perfection isn’t easy. This isn’t to say publish garbage.
Find the level between perfect and trash that you’re willing to live with.
For everyone, that level will be different. I let my level slip too low after my first few articles. I was too keen to get things out the door, and didn’t keep my level in mind as I wrote.
In the rush to press Publish, I let some of my quality control go. Not that they were train-wrecks, but a few weeks after I posted and read back what I wrote, I decided to delete those pieces and re-do them.
I knew I could do better than that.
Find that level, and own it. Work hard on crafting your piece to live up to what you want to be associated with.
4 — Remember that plenty of people have been in the exact same situation
You’re not alone — plenty of people find writing intimidating. Myself included. Writing doesn’t come naturally to me, but I love doing it.
I always had to remind myself that plenty of other people face these same dilemmas.
If you’re looking for inspiration or advice from others that you read a lot of, consider reaching out to them. See if they’re willing to give you more insights on how they started and what their journey has looked like.
That might just give you some firepower to get started.
5 — Find a place/time/surrounding that works best for you
I’ve tried writing everywhere, and found different environments had a different impact on my writing.
Bus. Train. Park. Backyard. Desk. Bed. Kitchen. In front of the TV. I struggle to write much away from my desk.
Writing on my phone or on the move means I’m trying to focus on too many things at once — moving, keeping an eye on my train stop, writing.
Find the place that allows you to write at your best, and that also helps you maintain your inspiration.
The environment around you has a bigger impact on your writing than you think.