Are you like me and detest the idea of putting pen to paper? Do you worry that you won’t be able to come up with something that people will actually be interested in reading?
After completing my university thesis in 2001, I realised I was mentally drained from so many words. I made a decision that from that point on I would write everything down in bullet point form. Unfortunately, now that it’s time to write content for my business, I really struggle to put full sentences together and formulate some semblance of a story. I was scared to create blogs or other content because I worried that it wouldn’t be good enough to read.
Tackling my fear
When I decided that I wanted to tackle this fear, I wanted to make sure that it felt like a conversation – a chat amongst friends rather than an academic text. How could I achieve this when my natural instinct was to analyse every word? It didn't help that growing up, my siblings and I were continually pulled up on grammar and punctuation. Because of this, and my role in a previous life as a language teacher, I have a tendency to write down six words then analyse them and rework them for up to half an hour. This isn't particularly useful when you're trying to get a blog out regularly!
The keys to easier blog writing
I'm now on to my 10th blog with still a long way to go but I've found three things will help you considerably when it comes to getting blogs out:
Google Speech to Text.
This amazing tool has been my saviour. As I mentioned earlier, I wanted the blog to feel more like a conversation with a friend than a formalised textbook reading. Google Speech to Text means you can record your thoughts and get them down on screen before you can change them or lose your train of thought. Even better, it’s just started recognising Kiwi accents, so 75% of the text is correct and only needs minor grammatical changes. I have always been a firm believer that if your work is 80% there, it’s time to take it to market. If you wait until it’s 100%, you’ll often end up never finishing or waiting until after the momentum is lost – so I recommend applying that rule here too!
Write them in batches.
I’m a big procrastinator when it comes to writing blogs – sometimes I anguish about them for two weeks before I even start! What I've come to realise is that once you get started, the hardest part is over and you’ll often get into the flow. Writing your blogs in batches of three (or more!) is a great way to get them done. It just doesn't seem as hard and I find I can usually get them done in under an hour which I consider a real achievement! Book time in your calendar, come up with three ideas, and get writing.
Get an outside view.
I am confident that my ideas, hints, and tips will be of benefit and value to people who share my fears. But feeling confident about whether my blogs are any good is another thing! To put my mind at ease, I get a trusted friend (who also happens to be a great copywriter) to check and edit my work. Much to my surprise, she has informed me that I'm very good at them considering how hard I find them! Whether you have a copywriter on hand, or just a friend who can give you a second opinion, consider asking someone else to read your blog and give you feedback when you’re done. You’ll not only gain great insights to improve your writing, you’ll also feel secure in the knowledge that the blog will connect with other people.
The most important lesson here is simply to get started. Just this week a social media meme I read confirmed this – after all, everything you first start doing will be terrible. Your first text, your first drawing, your first photo, your first podcast, your first blog… Nothing will be perfect the first time you try it! But you can't try for the 50th time without trying for the first time so just get on with it – stop doubting yourself and give it a go. What's the worst that can happen?