This blogpost is an interlude to a bigger topic I’ve been wanting to reflect on – how you can start doing better work and avoid mistakes just by asking yourself the right questions on time.
The article is dedicated on writing and blogging but it I believe that it is little more than that. I will share with you the strategy I am using when I write my blogposts both for manchev.rocks and for Victus’s blog, but I’m sure that you’ll find that strategy applicable to other tasks too.
The storm in your brain
Throughout the years I’ve been writing for advertising, web, blogs and essays, but one thing I find in common, no matter the medium or the assignment is the moment when you face the blank page.
Arranging random thoughts in your head and transferring them in accessible format for an audience is an uneasy task, especially when you have no strategy. My old routine was the following: Open a blank Word document and start typing. Write everything that comes on top of your mind and then rearrange and edit the text until you assemble one whole piece of writing.
The problem with this type of routine is that it is slow – writing the first sentence was always a pain in the ass. And writing down random thoughts before you forget them is cool but it can be really confusing too, because you often become lost and miss important things.
At one point this routine became really painful for me and just beginning to write a post became a task I was procrastinating for days. Then I asked myself: “What shall I change about that, so that writing becomes easier?”
I found that answering three simple questions before you start writing can be a real game changer.
Why are you writing/doing this? “Why” is one of the most important and most useful questions one could ask in general – very often we don’t know why we do things at all.
Always start with “why”? Why am I writing this? Why do I want to share it with people? Why is this post a part of my long-run strategy for my blog or whatever medium?
Knowing why we do something will easily lead us to knowing what we shall do to achieve that why.
What am I actually writing/doing? Is it a short post? A list article? A photo post? Setting a format before you start writing will help you a lot with the actual content and the next question.
How? How am I going to write it? How am I going to structure the content? What comes after what? This question is about your content plan. When you set chapters your writing will become much easier – you will know exactly which chapter you are writing at the moment and when you think only about the chapter, you will be more focused too.
How I used it in my latest blogpost
Have you read my latest blogpost – the one about running? A massive 2005-words-text I wrote for almost three days. It included so much information, memories, links and photos, that had I started writing it the old way, it would have taken me double the time to write it and I’m sure it wouldn’t be that successful. See how I planned it using the cheat sheet:
See? When I wrote down the 5 chapters in my agenda, I knew hot to split my writing time and I was really focused while writing.
Since I created this strategy, I started planning each new post using these three questions. I even have my own doc template that I use for each new post. It is really simple and you can easily create your own or even better – download a copy of my blogpost template for free.
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