Crack Writer’s Block: Writing the First Draft
A lot of writing. That's what I do. In fact, a lot might be an understatement. Some people think that writer's block doesn't happen to me because I write so much, but that's not true. I often find it challenging to write.
In fact, it's often really challenging to write something that's, well, challenging. I'm talking about writing a sales letter. Writing a contest entry. Writing yet another article in a niche I feel like I've written an encyclopedia about already.
I have a lot of different solutions for writer's block, but today I'm going to talk about writing that you find hard because it intimdates you. For instance, I don't have trouble with article marketing articles in the same way I do a sales letter.
A sales letter is scary. This is a sale on the line. It could be the difference between getting my product into someone's hands who really needs it… and having them pass by a great product because my letter, er, sucked.
A guest post is scary. A contest entry is scary. All of these things get more scrutiny than an article marketing article – than even an article on your blog. The rejection stings a little more. Maybe it pinches your wallet a bit more. So they're harder.
Cracking the Block
Here's my secret. I tell myself I just need to write the first draft.
That's it. It doesn't really matter how much it sucks. I'm the only one that's going to see it!
I know that after I write that out, get that initial draft down on paper, I will be able to go back and make changes. I can craft it and hone it into something that I'm reasonably pleased with. The most intimidating part is getting that first draft down.
Then I have raw material to work with. Words are like a sculpture that can be finely honed into something you're proud of, something to show off.
But it starts at the beginning. Just sit down and write the first draft. Nobody else will ever see it. Then you have something to work with, something to work on.
Pound Those Keys
I tell myself, as I sit down to get that first draft out, that I need to just do it. Sometimes it literally feels like I have to pain-stakingly chisel out every word… they don't come easily. In those cases, I remind myself something I learned from Site Build It! when I created my very first website. Ken Evoy, author of the guide, related a scene from Finding Forrester, where the advice given is to “pound the keys.”
So in the words of Sean Connery's character and Dr. Ken… “pound those keys, dawg!”
Photo by matryosha