At the writing of this post we have 200 drafted posts that need to be written. The draft is just basically a title that tells us the topic of the post and that’s it.
No other words.
That’s one way to get inspired to write, I suppose.
To be honest, I find the idea of 200 blank posts that need to be written a little overwhelming.
So I asked my boss this question:
“What emotion does 200 unwritten drafts evoke for you?”
So I got to writing and started with this post.
7 Tips For How to Get Inspired to Write
Let me just bring your attention back for one minute to the answer my boss gave me about how he feels about 200 unwritten posts.
Every post, email, title or description that you write is an opportunity to get someone to notice you.
Every time you get someone to notice you, it is an opportunity to get them to pay attention to you.
Once they are paying attention to you, your writing will help them to trust you.
Once they trust you they will begin to see you as their guide who will help them solve their problem.
Once that happens, you can begin to convert that trust into money.
That is how every business works.
So that’s the prelude to this list of tips on how to get inspired to write.
Believe that everything you write is an opportunity to move people through that system of business and then use one of these hacks if you still need to give yourself a kick in the pants.
Tip #1: Have a list of ideas
Instead of feeling overwhelmed at seeing the 200 topics in our drafts, I should have felt relief.
Sometimes the one thing that is stopping you from getting started writing is just not knowing what you want to write about.
You can cross that hurdle if you always have a list of ideas handy.
Keep them in an Excel spreadsheet or do like we do and add the title to your drafts in WordPress. Personally, I think putting them in WordPress is a good idea because they will be there everytime you open WordPress, begging you to write them.
But how do you build the list?
Start with Keyword research. Check out what your competitors are ranking for. We use SEMrush for this. A quick search there will give us a giant list of keywords that our competitors are ranking for that we can then write about.
Check out Pinterest if it suits your niche and see what people are posting there. Do a search for a topic and see what else Pinterest gives as suggestions.
Another trick I love to use when brainstorming ideas for posts is Google Alphabet Soup. Pick a big keyword, let’s say “Gardening” and type it into the Google search bar with an “A” after it:
Don’t hit enter! Just look at the suggested searches and start adding the ones that look like they could be a post to your list of ideas.
Then you move on to “Gardening B” and so on and so on.
And finally, a good old brainstorm just from your own thoughts is a good way to build your list of ideas.
Using a Mind Map is a great way to do this sort of brainstorming. We use XMind for mind maps.
The way I tackle this type of Brainstorming is to look at the categories we cover and then work on those individually so, for example, this is what a mind map on blogging topics might look like:
Tip #2: Tell a story
Now you have your list of ideas and you’re still stuck with where to start, are you?
My favorite thing to do in this instance is to tell a story about my topic.
You can see it’s how I started this post. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate story. It doesn’t have to be long. But it will do two things for you.
It will get your creativity sparked and it will be engaging for your reader when you finally finish the post and they get to read it.
Tip #3: Start with an outline
Sometimes even after I’ve told a quick story, I still have a hard time getting inspired to write the rest of the post.
It might be because I know it is going to be a particularly long and detailed post or it might be because I know I need to do some research on the topic and I just feel a little overwhelmed at getting started.
This is when I turn to the trusty outline.
It’s nothing fancy. I set up a simple list of what I already know I want to cover in the post. The outline for this post looked like this before I started writing:
Those are the things that immediately came to mind when I started to think about what I wanted to say about “how to get inspired to write”.
Then I started filling in the outline.
Suddenly I had a half written post and it’s only taken 25 minutes.
Which leads me to my next Tip.
Tip #4: Set a timer
Editing and researching are the enemy of inspiration.
Feeling inspired to write means that I am going to be able to write fast. Nothing slows down fast writing and interrupts your flow like stopping to edit and do some research.
The way I combat this annoying habit of editing and researching while I’m writing is to set a timer for myself.
I love the Tomato Timer that I can set for a 25 minute Pomodoro.
While the timer is ticking away, I’m only allowed to write. No editing, no researching, no creating links. Just writing.
This helps because it is a finite amount of time that you are expected to write for. If I’m feeling overwhelmed at the post I’m about to tackle, then knowing that I am only spending 25 minutes on it helps to make it feel more manageable.
When I do this, I leave little reminders to myself as I’m writing if I need to go back and add something like an image or a link. I’ll do something like this if I know I want to go back and add an image for instance:
That way I won’t miss it when I go back to do some editing after the 25 minutes are up.
Tip #5: Do a Little Research
This is one of my favorite ways to get inspired to write.
I’ll do a quick search on the topic that I’m going to write about and read what other people are saying about it.
Inevitably, I find that I disagree with something someone else has said.
This is not just about me being contrary. It helps me to understand what my viewpoints are when I can see clearly how they differ from others.
It’s how I wrote this post on Motivational Quotes for Entrepreneurs.
I looked at what other people were doing with the topic and I thought about how I would do it differently.
Then I sat and wrote.
Tip #6: Stop saying you have writer’s block.
I don’t believe in writer’s block, therefore I never have writer’s block.
It’s the worst self-fulfilling prophesy. I have writer’s block so I can’t write.
If you just sat and wrote, you would not have writer’s block.
I think that feeling of writer’s block is really just your brain trying to write the whole thing in your head before you start.
Let’s say you have an email to write. You’re staring at the blank screen. Nothing is coming to your mind.
I think it’s because you’re trying to figure out the entire thing, intro to conclusion, up in your head.
That’s not where you write. You write on the screen or you write on paper, but in your head, it’s almost impossible.
Start. Pick one of these tips. Set a timer, write an outline, pick a topic and start writing.
You don’t have to know the end, or even the middle. Start and see where you go with it.
If you start and it’s terrible, you can go back and fix it, but if you never start, there’s not even anything to fix.
Write the ending when it’s time to get to the ending. Don’t let your mind go wandering away trying to figure it out before it’s time to.
Tip #7: Set the mood.
Writing is creative. You don’t have to be writing the next great American novel for it to be creative.
I don’t care if you’re writing a 3,000 word blog post on how to grow tomatoes, sitting quietly in front of the glowing screen, tapping away, creating words which create sentences which create paragraphs.
It’s a creative process.
Trying to be creative in a space that is not conducive to creativity is a bad idea. I’m not saying you have to have a perfect office with an immaculate surface, but you do need to have a space that helps you create.
Tidy your desk if that helps, light a candle that you only light when you’re writing. Set the lights a little dimmer.
Turn OFF YOUR NOTIFICATIONS.
Nothing stops inspiration like incessant pop ups letting you know an email came in. Oh, and another one! One more! Text message!
A comfortable chair will also help. It’s hard to feel creative when your butt has fallen asleep.
Tip #8: Remember why you are doing this.
Sometimes not knowing how to get inspired to write is a symptom of a more general malaise that you might be feeling with your business.
Things aren’t going as well as you planned, maybe. You’re in one of those lulls that happen sometimes where it feels like nothing is going the way you planned
This is when you have to remind yourself why you are doing this in the first place.
You want to help people.
You want to build a business for yourself.
You want to have the freedom that comes with making money online.
Sit down and think about the reasons you started in the first place and see if you don’t get the inspiration you are looking for.
Are You Reading This?
Or were you so inspired by the tips on how to get inspired to write that you left before you got to the conclusion.
It’s ok, I’m not offended. I’m just glad you’re writing.