General by Leon Hitchens on March 23, 2016
Writing isn’t easy. We may write tweets, texts, or Facebook statuses, however writing a blog post or something more substantial can be challenging and daunting. With the rise of Medium, Svbtle, or other long-form blogging platforms, writing a blog post with 500 or 1000 or 2000 words is commonplace. While I write on a daily basis, most folks on the internet don’t write more than 140 characters.
Starting a new blog can be daunting, but with a little creativity, writing can be expressive. Either way writing for a business blog, yourself, or for Medium doesn’t have to be daunting or something you put off until it’s too late.
If you want to be a writing ninja, take these tips and tricks from us to get the most out of your writing adventure.
Writing an outline of what you want to write is a necessity, especially if you are easily distracted or not motivated enough. We plan ahead for dinner, for family events, or vacations so planning ahead for writing a blog post will take less time, and likely fewer objections from others. What I’ve come to do is write a headline, intro paragraph, the first sentence of each paragraph, and a conclusion. Now I’m going to catch some slack for writing the headline first, but I think of the headline as the topic. It’s what I’m writing about, so I typically set a normal none click bait headline and as the blog post is written I change it. I’ve changed the headlines for some articles 4 or 5 times, and sometimes even after they’re published. What I’m trying to get at is even though I’m planning ahead, and setting myself up for success, I’m also flexible because you cannot plan for everything.
You have the outline done, and you’ve checked Facebook, Twitter, and checked Facebook one more time. Grab a drink, something for adults. You’re stressed out and looking for any excuse to get away from the computer and not write. Grab a beer, relax and get your mind off the blog post for a few minutes. Once you’ve gotten away for long enough go back and start writing the full post.
Don’t forget the drink, though! It’ll keep you refreshed and stress-free as you’re writing the post.
This is a major key. Google Docs is hands down the best document editor that I’ve found on the internet. I prefer Google Docs over Microsoft Office because the document is saved in the cloud; meaning I can go from my MacBook to my Windows PC to my iPhone and still have the ability to edit and view the document. Along with autosaving to the cloud, Google Docs lets anyone view, edit or comment on the what you’re writing in real time.
I have a preference for Google Docs because you can share, edit and save all within the browser. The editor is still powerful, making it easy to change the style or add tables and pictures. The text editor is a minimalist without too many bells and whistles to distract from writing.
Grammarly is a new tool I’ve started using to help correct spelling and advanced grammar errors. Unfortunately, Grammarly doesn’t work within Google Docs, which I hate and if anyone with Grammarly can fix I’d love them. The paid version of the tool catches advance errors with grammar and spelling. It’s especially nice if you’re writing and struggling with where to put a comma or a semicolon.
Even if you’re using Grammarly, I still recommend asking a friend, family member, or a coworker to read over and edit what you wrote. It’s always a good idea to get fresh eyes and have someone challenge or question your thought process. A different set of eyes will have will see the misspelled word, misplaced comma or the run on sentence.
It’s the best time to get honest feedback before the piece hits the internet, and everyone with a keyboard wants to comment their position.
While writing isn’t hard, it’s about getting started and staying on track. We live in a world of constant distractions from our phones or wearables, and if you’re trying to focus it can be almost impossible to drown out all the excess noise. Maybe you won’t write every day like I’m doing, but you’ll become a writing ninja when you want to pound out that much needed Medium article.
We love hearing from everyone on what they do to make their writing experience easier so drop us a comment below or tweet at us @ninjalitydesign.