When writing is stressful…

1915317_10208982143420569_4159845430178118208_nTaking the stress out of writing.

Rie’s Stress-free Writing System

Do you find writing stressful?

“I want to write a blog but when I sit down to do it, I can’t start.”

“Whenever I write something, I find myself going off the topic.”

“My first draft is so bad, I don’t even want to show anyone.”

So many problems with writing—but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Writing is like most things in life. You can jump in haphazardly, or you can work with a system. Once you have that system in place, you can achieve a much more satisfactory result.

You might think that, as writing is my job, I find writing easy. It isn’t. But it certainly would be much harder if I didn’t have a system in place.

Writing anything without any stress.

To make sure that writing is not stressful, I find that it’s necessary to have a plan.

  1. Prepare

I need to set aside time for writing, to make sure I won’t be interrupted. One hour on two successive days is usually enough. On the first day, I plan the blog so I am ready to write. On the second day I write the blog and check it over.

I used to write my blogs all on the same day, but I found I was mentally exhausted by the end of two intensive hours. Two separate hours is less tiring, and it’s easier to find time when I won’t get interrupted.

First Day:

  1. Plan

By this stage I know the general area that I will write about, and I give the blog post a working title.

I make a list of all the topics I want to cover, then I put them into the order that I want to cover them.

I look at each one and decide what points I want to make under each topic.

I write down a list of keywords and key phrases that people who might want to read the post could use in a search engine.

  1. Research

If there’s anything I’m not sure about, I research it at this stage so when I sit down to write the blog post, I’m ready with all the information I need.

Second Day:

  1. Write the first draft

I simply write whatever comes into my head when I think about each point. Recently, I’ve been using a dictation program more and more often. This way, the information gets put down on paper as quickly as possible, following my list. Then I write a conclusion, and lastly, an introduction.

  1. Write the second draft

This is similar to a major edit. I read over my first draft and make any changes I need to make. By the end of the second draft, the blog post is in pretty good shape. I check that I’ve covered all my points. I make sure that I’ve included the key words and phrases. Then I brainstorm names for the post and pick one that I think will be good.

  1. Edit and proofread

This is a very important step. If I make any errors, especially since I’m supposed to be a writing ‘guru’, I would look pretty silly. After that, I usually read the blog post aloud to see how it sounds, make any changes, then give it to my husband for a final proofread. It’s important to have someone else cast their eyes over it, because your brain is never
the best at picking up your own mistakes. Before I publish it, I read it through once more.

I put it on my website and send it in a link to my newsletter list. I then link to the post on facebook, twitter and Linked In.

That’s my system.

Remember that if any of these steps gives you any stress—outsource them! Let someone else have the stress of planning or researching or writing or rewriting or editing or even doing the whole thing!

Do you have any suggestions that could make it even more efficient?

 

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