Make an outline - Deepstash
Make an outline

Make an outline

Having a clear sense of structure in mind when you start writing is really helpful.

So make sure you generate an outline. Start by making a list of the various sections you think you’ll need in your writing project. You can reorder them later. After that, make a list of the more specific elements you need in each section.

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MORE IDEAS FROM Four steps that make writing less overwhelming

Just get something down

Don't get stuck in the process of trying to find the perfect words. Start by drafting something.

Write down a bunch of sentences that relate to the outline you constructed. Then, you can go back and edit, to get rid of everything that doesn’t fit.

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Write for five more minutes

When you feel the urge to quit writing, tell yourself that you’re going to write for five more minutes. 

You might even get a second wind and write for more than five minutes. And more importantly, you are training yourself on how to deal with the feeling of frustration that often makes you stop.

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Break it down

Big projects seem overwhelming. Usually, when we're faced with projects like that, we tend to push them to the side in favor of smaller tasks that are easier to tackle.

Turn a big project into a series of smaller tasks that are easier to complete and put them on your agenda, to make sure you’re getting something done.

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RELATED IDEA

What it takes to write a book

The hardest part of a writer's job is sitting down to do the work. Writing happens in three phases.

  1. Beginning: You have to decide what you're going to write and how you're going to write it.
  2. Staying motivated: You will face self-doubt and overwhelm. Planning ahead will ensure you won't quit when the obstacles come.
  3. Finishing: Nobody cares if you almost wrote a book. They want to read what you actually finished.

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The value of solid writing skills
  • Being a good writer helps you stand out from the crowd.
  • Repeated writing mistakes affect your reputation and credibility in the future.
  • Your writing is one of the primary mediums in which you will be judged throughout your life.
  • Your writing communicates your thoughts, and it’s important that those thoughts are conveyed in the clearest, most eloquent way possible.

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Writing is Thinking

What most people don’t realize is that it’s often not actually the writing that is difficult. It’s the thinking behind the writing.

“Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly. That's why it's so hard." - David McCullough

Writing is essentially a robust tool that enables us to clarify and communicate our thoughts. While writing, you are forcing yourself to think critically and exercise parts of your brain that are typically on auto-pilot.  As Einstein once said, “If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”

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