Writing is a job for some, a passion for others, but both for the most fortunate. When many of you have asked about blogging and book writing, a common question seems to surface.
What do you write when you have nothing to say? The answer is simple—I don’t. But what if there’s a deadline for a post, article, or book installment?
I know there are different methods for managing this dilemma among my colleagues, and the one that works for me may not work for others.
I have never been comfortable arriving for a meeting late. I usually get to the airport two hours before my flight departs, and get to work a half hour before I’m due. So planning ahead is not out of the norm for me.
My method for dealing with writer’s block is the same—plan ahead, as far ahead as possible. Here are five tools I use to manage my writing.
1.Write in advance
- At times, I write for extended periods, barely able to type fast enough to keep up with my thoughts. This allows me to write well in advance, so if I have other writing to complete, such as an article, I have plenty of time to meet the deadline. In order to do this, I try to allot time in my schedule.
2. Be disciplined
- I do my best to use the days I have scheduled for writing to do just that—write. Sometimes that doesn’t work, especially when emergencies arise or I need to unexpectedly tweak an article or edit a book excerpt. I don’t derail—I re-plan and move on. The main thing to remember here is not to procrastinate.
3. Expect the unexpected
- Although I write in advance, I remain flexible in the event that something changes requiring me to blog on a particular issue, or answer a question. It’s easy to postpone a planned blog in favor of one that falls onto a more meaningful timeline. For example, due to some international events, this past Monday was just such an occasion.
4. Play in your own sandbox
- In my blog, Why You Should Play In Your Own Sandbox, I spoke of the need to work within your field of expertise. If you are tempted to step outside of your sandbox, you will be stepping into someone else’s—someone more qualified than you that may challenge your authority. If you are writing a book or blogging, you have a field of expertise. Staying within that field is wise. You have the opportunity to make a difference.
5. Don’t write if you don’t have something to say
- Although that appears to be a no-brainer, you can find an unlimited number of blogs and articles that don’t seem to go anywhere or say anything. The best way to avoid this is to avoid this. If you plan, you won’t end up in a position of needing to post a blog that is weak or without substance. When a blog of passion comes your way, you will have no problem writing at all.
Above all else, be true to your tribe. You have (or will have) faithful followers who want to hear what you have to say on the issues. Don’t disappoint them.
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