Writer Procrastination or Perfectionist Paralysis?

In Blog, Business Lessons, Content Writing by thewriteharleLeave a Comment

Writing – it’s scary. Nah – SHARING  writing is scary. It’s especially scary if you write for a living, write for clients, or write for any sort of audience such as a personal blog. One of the reasons it took me over a year to start my own company blog isn’t because I didn’t have the time – I’m an organized individual with impeccably managed time. Rather, it was because I was scared that my blog wouldn’t be perfect from the get-go.

We all want our work to be seen as AMAZING! But, sometimes the hardest step to being AMAZING is starting.  Writing – even marketing writing – makes you very vulnerable and open to critique. So, what can you do when you start talking yourself out of starting because you think it won’t be perfect from the very first word through to the last? Stop and realize:

1.    Procrastination isn’t about being lazy

…it’s often about being overwhelmed. Simply break your writing down into small bits rather than trying to tackle it as a huge project. Remember, there’s only one way to eat an elephant and that’s one bite at a time.

2.    Brain Dumps

As Ernest Hemingway once said, “The first draft of anything is shit.” You don’t need to worry about flow, grammar, spelling, organized thoughts, whether your target audience is being spoken to, whether you’re invoking the emotion you want from your readers, and so on. Just sit down, and write. Brain dump everything out of your head that you are trying to say – cohesive or not. This is not the time to be critical of yourself or your writing. It’s simply an emptying of your head. I can say with 100% honesty that the first draft I send through to clients labeled “Web Content – First Draft” is nowhere near what the true first draft looked like.

3.    Trust in your ideas and passion

I’m going to let you in on a secret…most of the content I develop for my clients’ websites are their own words, simply organized into a cohesive flow, highlighting what their key message is. People know what they want to say and how to say it in a way that connects with their audience, it’s just that something happens when they try to translate their thoughts onto a page. Trust your gut, trust your instincts; you know what you want to say so stop hindering yourself and get rid of the beliefs that you are not a “writer.”

4.    Revisions are awesome

Know that revisions of your content isn’t about you as a person. It’s exactly what it’s about – the content. You’ve done your brain dump, you’ve taken the first bite of the elephant (even though it may have been a bit chewy), now it’s time to revise. THIS IS THE EASY PART! Why? Because you are able to look at something other than a blank page and, no matter what the revision is, it will only be an enhancement of what you originally pulled from your brain.

The best thing about online content – websites, ads, blogs, tweets, Facebook statuses – is that it can all be revised, edited, tweaked. Online writing is a beautiful thing as it allows you to grow as a writer, receive completely unbiased feedback, and revamp to exactly what it is that your clients want to know! So, next time you find yourself frozen because you believe that your first draft isn’t going to be perfect, stop…and then just start!

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