real/brilliant: How to Plan Your Writing

by Trish

In this year of 2009, content is king! You may be writing more than you used to. Many people have told me they are writing more important pieces than they used to. So how are you to get it all done? How do you organize your day and space to accomplish all the writing you desire to finish?

You get a plan.

1. Write down a week’s worth of writing. Four articles, five blog posts, a white paper, web site content, whatever. If you have a scheduling notebook, it’s even better. I use Moleskine’s weekly notebook. One page is my calendar and to-do list, the other page is my writing plan where I can scrawl notes and have everything I must write open in front of me.

2. Take five minutes to think strategy about each piece of writing. If you’re planning editorial content for a blog, you write down each day’s post (or what you hope to post or your topic) and then you brainstorm titles. I find that if I brainstorm titles, the content follows close behind. I suppose that’s why for longer projects, the theme is the thing. Eric Maisel in his book “The Art of the Book Proposal” has readers plan out ten things the reader should learn, and then brainstorm twenty-five titles, or twenty-five different possible themes. It works! I’ve pulled that technique over to my shorter pieces.

3. Give yourself options. Say you need to write a blog post by tomorrow. You write down the topic, think about it a bit, now what? I say you need two different posts to choose from. It’s a trick for your brain. If your mind starts to consider which post it prefers over the other, you’re already writing. It tricks you into writing before you’re even able to throw up all your barriers. Nice, eh?

If you outline ahead of time the writing you must accomplish each week, you’ll find your writing responsibilities are less hectic and you’ll have more creativity than ever (it will jumpstart your brain!).

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexis Grant June 18, 2009 at 8:48 am

Helpful post… I’m adding you to my RSS feed. Thanks!

admin June 18, 2009 at 8:51 am

Glad to hear it, Alexis. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. If you ever have a question or have specific needs, just let me know!

Jonã Machado June 18, 2009 at 9:40 am

Really helpful! Thanks Trish.

Perry September 10, 2009 at 10:42 pm

Trish,

I find when I write a good headline to an article, the outline comes together much faster and better. Then the writing goes a lot easier too.

I love the idea of the weekly writing plan. I usually don’t plan more than a day or two in advance. Gotta work on the longer term view.

Thanks.

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