For this instance I’m very much talking about my own frequent “block”, which just happens to be writer’s block. I know what I want to say and write, but the actual typing of it can sometimes escapes me, especially if it’s not here or over on the Blogmistress site – for those I can just write as I please, meander and waffle – no-one reads this anyway!
I’ve often recommended others to “just start”, to type away until it makes sense. Not in a “monkeys can type Shakespeare” way, but in that the actual exercise of writing leads to what you want to achieve – good writing.
This post is being written in exactly that way – sentences and points I want to share, writing them down until a readable, useful thread of content appears (well, good enough, anyway). And it will. Or won’t and I’ll publish anyway, cos this is my blog and I can do whatever I want on it 😉
When I started writing this very post back in September 2019 (good grief) I’d needed to work on some articles for WP&UP (now Big Orange Heart – it’s been a while!), for which I volunteer as content editor/wrangler and generally wherever I’m needed (usually with volunteers and fundraising – community stuff), which involves a good deal of bringing together of other content, but also some writing myself. And my impostor was strong just then – I did not feel good enough. Like more of us than we imagine, I often do not feel good enough.
For me, writing flows the more I do it, so allocating a whole day just to write should result in me moving past any block that I might put in my own way. Of course that full day is not always going to be possible – stuff happens, but even if half a day was achieved… what would that look like?
I often say to “just start”, but that is neither reasonable nor fair – there is no “just” about it. Perhaps we should feel more of a sense of empowerment and success from starting something, from taking that step to creating, making something happen. That first step can be a brave thing – and it is indeed a step towards what you want and away from where you were.
Working on articles for other people or companies is usually much harder than writing for ourselves. But how about if we look at the task as if we were guiding someone else through the process? What if I write down the steps I would recommend and then actually follow them myself?
- So to start with I need to understand any guidelines and topics the blog has and wants included. Write those down. Check that what I’ve written matches what the client wanted.
- Then have a good look at other blog posts there, get a feel for what seems to work, what is popular with their readership. Write down anything from that.
- And then what message do we want to include in the post? What news is relevant to the readership, what would interest them?
And there we have one outline for a guest article – something to start from.
I’m by no means a content expert, but I am a reader of others’ blogs and know what feels like it works well, and what might not. I know that I consider a wide range of people and abilities, beyond what might be normal. And I have a way with words – I know this and say it out loud, so must believe it 😉 (Blimey, Babs, steady on – I thought you had impostor syndrome 😉 )