Everyone should know how to write that note.
How often have you wished you could write just that one page of anything confidently, without worrying how you would do it or if would turn out fine? What if you could once and for all have a simple method to start and complete writing a piece of something easily; maybe even enjoy doing it?
Everyone should know how to write that note.
You can’t escape some writing in today’s world. You may have to write an email explaining something or prepare a speech for a special occasion. Or maybe you need to write content for your website and marketing materials, submit a blog…
So here is an easy way to start and write a piece of information you always wanted to know how to do.
Before we start, you must know that this blog is not about teaching you to become a master copywriter or write super fantastic content that will get you a writer’s award. It is to help you do what millions of people just can’t seem to do, which is, “how to start writing a page of content and what to put in it.” Experience will make you improve over time. But for now, your need is something else — how to start and write a piece of content, easily and confidently.
In this blog, I will share with you the simple technique I use, after trying many different ideas over years. But technique is just one part of the solution. I believe the other, often overlooked part of writing is removing all the barriers that are preventing you from writing. When I found out the barriers preventing me and overcame them, the fear of writing suddenly stopped being a problem. The list of barriers I overcame are at the end of this blog. If you like, you can go to them first and then come back to the technique I use.
Let’s write your page
We are going to start with removing the first and biggest barrier of all — Procrastination or the art of just not starting with every reason in the world not to.
So why do people procrastinate about starting to write? Is it because there are lazy or don’t have the time? No, the reason why people often procrastinate with writing is that they don’t know how to start. So here is how to start.
Use the Wireframe Conversation Technique.
What is the Wireframe Conversation Technique? A wireframe is the basic structure of your page containing all the points you would like to include. To build it, simply imagine you were about to meet a potential customer who is coming over to know more about your products and services. Or you just needed to brief your children or colleagues about something.
Within seconds, your mind will begin to go over the points you must mention in your conversation. Just write those points down as they come to you into a computer or on a piece of paper. Don’t bother about the sequence of the points or grammar or anything like that. Just write. Never completely delete any point you wrote, as it may turn out useful later. At this time, all you need to do is a ‘transfer dump’ of your thoughts to paper, however random they may seem. That’s your wireframe being built up right there.
If you imagine you were talking (instead of writing), you will not have a problem writing these points down because it’s so much easier for you to talk than to write. Correct? So keep imagining you were talking, not writing. Once you are done, take a break if you like or do something else. (A picture of my original ‘wireframe transfer dump’ is at the end of this blog to give you an idea of how I started this article.)
When you get back to your list of points, you will automatically find yourself thinking of more points you can add to your “imagined conversation,” to make it more interesting and valuable. There is no limit to the number of points or how many words each point should have. Few, words, few sentences—just let them all come out of your mind. Don’t worry about having too many points. You can always cut them down later.
Now when you have your list of points, just do this: Ask yourself this question and write down whatever answer comes to you.
“Why am I writing this note? What will it help someone understand?”
(Example 1) “I want to tell Anita why she should enroll her daughter in this school and what she should know to help her decide.”
(Example 2) “I want to explain to David why he should buy our products and how we are going to give him a free trial subscription.”
(Example 3) “Many people don’t know how to start and write even the most basic piece of content for their business. I want to write a blog to show them how to do it. I will share the method I use and help them overcome the barriers that are preventing them from writing.”
Doing this will help you get more clarity about the end objective of your note or article. You can do this at any time before, during, or after making your wireframe. You may have been advised to write your objective before starting it. I don’t completely agree for what we are trying to achieve here. Before starting you already knew why you were doing this, which is how you started your wireframe. The human mind works like this. When people force themselves to write down and perfect their objective first, they get so caught up in wondering if it sounds right, they don’t proceed further.
How to finalize your wireframe: Place your objective on top then start to rearrange your points in a logical sequence. You can add or delete words and points to make things more clear to yourself. Just stay comfortable as if you were in a conversation.
An ideal logical flow is:
(a) background or problem
(b) methods & solutions
(c) the benefits or result
(d) the action you want people to take next, like, ‘call/mail us, go to…’
All done? Great, your wireframe is ready. You have overcome procrastination. Now, as explained in the next section, you only need to add the body content to complete your note. Congratulations. You no longer have the problem of how to start because you have already started, and you know what’s going into the note.
The Body Content on Wireframe Technique
The “body content” is the information you will add to each point of the wireframe. Or you might say, it’s the “meat” you will add on to a skeleton of bones.
To add the meat, think of what you can say about each point in a couple of sentences. There is no restriction on the number of words and don’t try to perfect anything here—just write. When you’re done, guess what? You already have your first draft ready and you can reward yourself with a break. When you resume with the draft, see if you feel the information is sufficient for the reader to adequately understand your point. If not, add some more. Remember, more is better because you can always trim down later.
Soon, before you know it, the one page you never thought you could write will be right in front of you, beautifully expressing everything you would have easily expressed in a conversation with someone.
Remember, your need has been: “How to start, what to write.” Your need was never: “How to write the perfect article so millions of people will come rushing to your doorstep because of some awesome content you wrote.” Never lose focus of what you really wanted to learn from this blog. If all the relevant points are covered and you have kept it simple, your basic objective will be met. Over time, your writing will improve with experience. You can always seek additional help to write great content if you wish.
Your draft is ready to be finalized.
Finishing your note
There are many ways you can polish and finalize your content. You must apply at least these three:
Title: After your page is ready, write a suitable title to summarize what your page is about. Your objective may already have defined most of it. You can write it in two sentences: Main and Subtitle. The subtitle will allow you to use a few more words to elaborate on the title.
Get an opinion: Share your note with a couple of people. You can tell them where you plan to use it but don’t tell them what it’s about or you will influence them. You may get some valuable feedback. It’s how people saw your communication to them. Use that feedback to tweak your note.
Typos: Check for spelling errors because they stand out and can be quite jarring sometimes. It’s also good to check for grammatical errors but don’t fret about it at this stage because people have different writing styles.
Remove the barriers that are preventing you from writing.
Earlier in this blog, I mentioned that half the reason why people get stuck on “how to start and what to write,” is because of a few barriers that prevent them from it. Remove these barriers and you will write without freely and without hesitation, better than you ever thought you could. If you speak fine, you can write fine as well.
This only happens to me
If you think that the fear you feel before you write that one piece of content is unique to you, remove that idea completely. You are not alone because there are many people who feel this way. Probably everyone, including great writers felt like this at some point. It is natural to feel this way because we are more comfortable speaking than writing. And don’t let anyone’s external calm fool you. They are probably just as scared as you and took forever to get down to their note.
This is the first point highlighted in this blog. Think through why you procrastinate to start. If you are lazy or have other priorities, you must figure out how to conquer that. But if the reason for your procrastination is that you don’t know how to start and what to include in your note, then you should no longer be having this problem. If you apply my recommended techniques, you may soon be enjoying putting a note together, because you are confident of doing it well, anytime.
Don’t try to perfect your writing in the process of writing. Don’t even expect to get it right the first time or even a couple of tries later. First let everything come out of your mind on paper. There is no law which says you cant make many drafts. With each draft, your note will shape out better. People keep evaluating their sentences at every stage and end up never making progress. You can make small tweaks along the way but it’s better to keep writing. Once you have a draft, you will have a top view of your work so it’s easier to make changes. For this blog, I went over my wireframe twice and did three drafts before finishing it. (By the way, I’m from the old school. I find it easier to edit from a printed draft than off a computer screen).
The comparison trap
Don’t compare your writing to anyone’s writing. When people write, they start comparing themselves to other articles they have read. They become their own biggest critic, creating all sorts of benchmarks in their heads. In the process, they don’t even start. The important thing is to put down what you want to convey in a simple, logical flow. Let your note be a simple, sincere expression of you. Don’t become conscious of your writing. Because you’re not confident of your own writing, you think that everything else out there is better that yours. The reality is that many people don’t write as well as you think. A lot of not so great writing gets covered up by nice design styling with pictures, colors, fonts etc.
If you get stuck on something, don’t hesitate to ask for help. But don’t get overwhelmed with all the advice available or else you will get confused and demotivated. Apply a few ideas one step at a time and don’t aim for perfection. Practice and experience will improve your writing over time.
You can definitely write easily and quickly. If you need help to improve the way you write interesting messages and deliver them in an impactful manner, go here
Wireframe – Easy method to start writing article / overcoming block.
People get stuck on how to start and what to write something. I want to show people and easy method to do this. Explain my wireframe approach, remove barriers.
Follow these steps and you will be fine.
Keep writing, thought dump
Later add logical flow
Add the meaty stuff – how / on wireframe
Remove the blocks. Examples…
– don’t expect to get it right the first or many times later
– don’t expect to make it perfect
– don’t worry about title yet
– don’t worry about formatting now
– don’t succumb to peer pressure or negative comparison
Do impulse work, especially at the ‘points’ (wireframe stage)
start early so deadline pressure doesn’t hit you.
Printing helps you notice typos
Group points and put back in logical flow
don’t stop adding points – now you’re thinking!
better to write more and then trim.
Create groups, logical flow
Short sentences/messages – use the media training approach
Try a question and answer approach.