How to Write When Your Muse is on Vacation

from Annette 

It’s easy to believe writing is easy but if you’ve ever tried to create content on a consistent basis, you know sometimes that’s just not the case. Sometimes the words just don’t flow.

However, there’s a fairly easy way to get over just about any writing hurdle. Of course, you may not like it. The trick?

Outline.

Okay, so writing an outline isn’t the ideal for many people who feel the structure interrupts their creative flow but we??re talking about those times when the writing muse is on hiatus and she or he just isn’t helping. This is when an outline can be a writer’s favorite tool.

Now we’re not talking about a detailed or formal outline. We’re talking about a simple list of points or sentences you want to cover in your piece the goal is to find a point to your article and a direction for it to take.

For example, if you’re writing a report about how to host a successful garage sale and you just don’t know where to start, begin by listing the things you want to cover in your report. You may find you’ve come up with 19 tips and strategies. Now all of a sudden you have the title for your report. All you need to do is elaborate on each of the 19 points and create an introduction and conclusion and voila you’re on your way to a completed report.

So an outline does more than provide a workable structure for your content, it can actually step in and be your muse. It can inspire creativity and help you bust through those little bouts of writer’s block.

An outline also helps you stay on track. This is particularly important when you’re writing a longer piece. Articles and blog posts are generally concise and it’s fairly easy to stay on point. However when you’re writing a report or ebook maintaining your focus can be a trick. An outline will help you stay 100% on track. You can list each chapter topic and then list the points you want to cover under each topic and you’re good to go. Trying to write a larger content piece without one often means a lot of editing and restructuring.

Speaking of editing and restructuring, an outline saves you time and if you’re as busy as most internet marketers, your time is valuable. While writing a good outline may take ten to fifteen minutes but it will be time well-spent. By having a plan of attack, you’ll be able to whip through your content project quickly and easily and you won’t have to go back and do as much editing and restructuring.

Finally, having an outline will help you wrap it all up. Often beginning or ending a piece, whether it’s an article, report or book, are the most difficult portions to write. Your outline can help you easily summarize what you’ve covered in your material to form a comprehensive conclusion. Likewise it can help you, with a quick glance, identify the contents for your introduction.

While an outline may sound too structured or like redundant work, it is actually a very efficient and effective writing tool. Still not a believer? Next time you have a piece to write and your muse is in the Bahamas soaking up the sun without you, or even if she’s sitting on your shoulder, try creating a quick outline. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

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