Writing blog posts was once an effortful process for me but thanks to a 3 step process I’ve developed and refined, it has become effortless. In the past two years I’ve shared over 50 posts and have used this blog as a public journal, sharing from my own experience and reflecting often.
Earlier today, I published a new post on meditation and will use that as an example of the 3 step process that has helped make writing effortless for me. The requirement before starting to write is to have a specific topic that you feel passionate about and connected to.
Here are the 3 steps:
1. Brain dump.
Take a blank sheet of paper and a pen (important to do this by hand).
Write the topic in the centre.
Now brainstorm all of the related points, ideas and questions you have to share on the topic.
Quantity over quality. Put absolutely everything you can think of down.
This step is quick. If it takes longer than 5 minutes, you are thinking too much.
Take a short break.
Then read everything you wrote.
Start to build a narrative and flow for the points you wish to make.
Number the points in order. I usually end up with 5-10 points.
Here is a picture of the brain dump for the post I wrote today:
2. Draft Post.
Next, open a blank file (I use Google Docs) on your laptop.
Place the sheet of paper on top of the screen so you cannot see it (you can also reduce the brightness of your laptop so the screen is black or simply close your eyes).
Here is a picture of my laptop setup:
Now picture yourself in conversation with 1 person, a close friend who is a good listener.
Start typing, in order of the points you have your sheet, as if you were explaining it to them.
Do not use the delete/backspace button on your keyboard.
You can restart new sentences as many times as you need to.
Do no worry about spelling, grammar or making sense.
Your goal is to capture the conversation you would have on this topic you are passionate about. Here is a link to the Google Doc where you can see my draft post. It’s not pretty. It does not flow, has no attention to spelling or structure and often points are repeated. This is not a surprise given I did not see the screen once while composing the draft.
3. Edit and Publish
Now you can look at the screen.
Starting at the top, look at each point or paragraph and rewrite it.
You’ll most likely cut down the length significantly.
This is where you wordsmith each sentence, pay attention to spelling, grammar and structure.
Take a break.
Now reread the entire post, making changes and updates to help the flow.
It helps to read it out loud as you’re doing this final read through.
Now come up with the headline for the post.
Optional: send the post to a friend to proofread.
Now you can publish it (and feel a sense of accomplishment!).
To share your knowledge and perspectives with the world can be an incredible gift and impact others in ways that you are not aware of. If you have ever thought about writing, I encourage you to just do it. And if it happens to be on the topics of mindful leadership, technology culture or awareness & introspection, I’d love to have you contribute to this blog as a guest writer!