Does it happen with you, too?
A situation where you have the perfect sentence by sentence plotline for your next article in your mind while in the bathroom.
Then all of a sudden or even gradually you lose it all upon reaching your desk to pen it down.
First you can’t find the right words.
Then the story itself disappears and you’re left with nothing but a blank page and a blinking pointer.
Struck speechless, even wordless!
Well, you’re not alone.
So how do you tackle this problem anytime it shows up?
How do you pen down your thoughts in written words?
Writing is a creative exercise and like most creative habits and exercises, it’s a craft not a technique.
This means there’s no one hard beaten path to achieving it.
So what works for me may not work for you.
We’re all wired differently — we see differently, conceive differently and even perceive differently.
In respect to putting your thoughts to words, there are three different approaches I’ve found effective. Any one of these could be your favourite and help transform you into a prolific writer.
I’ve given these approaches a trial and here’s what I’ve found. These approaches are:
Here’s what each mean:
1. The Free Bird Approach:
Consider a bird darting in the sky. It flies at a seemingly free speed and direction. It is not constrained by where it would go or how it would reach. This is the essential premise of the Free Bird Approach to Writing. Here just like the bird you dart and dive, delving into any and every path you find.
First you write down your ideas, then your support points and revise afterwards. Sounds like a good plan right? Great! One great thing about this approach is that it helps you write from the heart. This gives your pieces a touch of humanity and connectivity. It essentially helps you communicate better.
2. The Builder’s Approach
If you give a builder a piece of land to build a house upon, you’re sure to be amazed what he’d do with it. Now consider your writing as you’d consider building a house. First you lay out your designs and develop a blueprint. Then you dig out the foundation and building has begun. Using this approach, you build your piece step by step. First you pick up an idea, next you conduct research and then you write your draft, finish it and ship. This is essentially the writing process I teach in this post.
3. The Carpenter’s Method
Its very possible that both the Free bird and the builder’s approaches don’t work for you. That you’re somewhere in between or somewhere beyond. This is group for which the carpenter’s approach suits best. In the same manner, consider a carpenter constructing a box. He doesn’t finish each side one after the other before putting them together. He first brings them together and then polishes it into the desired look. So also your piece, don’t worry about how it looks at the beginning. Write shitty first drafts. Then and only then can you rewrite them into better pieces.
There you have it, the three approaches to putting your thoughts into words —written words. The Free bird method is open to drifting and darting away from focus while the builder’s method focuses on defined steps. The carpenter is the blurry line in between the two.
Now, which method is the best?
Well, No perfect writing strategy exists.
So choose your favourite besides its normal to use a mix of these methods.