It's not always easy to organize writing ideas. You either don't come up with a good concept or you over-brainstorm yourself and can't get it sorted quite right. If you are a blogger, a freelance writer or an email marketer, you might experience that kind of stress and frustrations from time to time.
When you're writing for your business, you know that time is money and, the more you delay, the less money you'll potentially make. So here are some ways to organize writing ideas and keep them going forward.
#1 Free Writing
Free writing is one of the solutions to overcome writer's block. You simply write any topic that you feel like writing continuously, without worrying about spelling or grammar, and make no corrections. You keep writing for a set period of time.
Free writing can help you free your mind, so you can either write about one subject that comes up in mind or several different subjects, whatever works for you. And what you've written doesn't even have to make sense, because the only point is to kickstart your brain, get the words out, and find some writing ideas naturally from the experience.
Also Read: Make Money by Writing a Blog
#2 Plan and Outline Your Research
They always say that you should gather as much of your research as possible before you start writing. But you know, it doesn't always work like that. Once you start writing, you often come up with questions - about contradictions in your findings or new related issues that you want to research.
If you start researching again at that point, it can be easy to lose track and your work may be delayed. If you decide to ignore the newly found issues and keep writing, you'll finish your work quickly for sure, but you may regret you didn't research thoroughly and the quality of your work may suffer because of it.
It sometimes helps you write better and faster if you outline your work first, by listing up the key elements with as many bullet points and even deciding a draft version of the conclusion of your article post before you do your research. It's very possible that the research findings will change the pre-decided key elements, and you might come up with a totally different conclusion, but at least you can stay on track, stick to the workflow throughout the writing process.
#3 Split Screen
Just like having a textbook on one side and a notebook on the other side in front of you - displaying two documents on your screen side by side will make your writing job easier.
If you have two monitor screens or a large screen, you can easily spread multiple workspaces such as Mission Control on Mac, but you can still have a split view on a small screen. The idea is to read one document while typing on the other document, also to make copying & pasting a sentence or paragraph easier.
You can display a web browser for researching on one side and have a word processor to take notes. You can have a draft version on one side and the final version (or a website editor) on the other side. It's particularly useful if you have scribbled down a lot of writing ideas, then you can compile them all from top to bottom in one document, then place them in order or start composing in the other document.
If you're better at "talking yourself out" rather than typing down to form your ideas then, you might want to consider getting a dictation software. For example, you come up with great quotes, killer phrases and sentences to write one after another in your head, but your typing speed can't keep up with it. The software allows you to speak into a microphone and turns it into text on your screen. Dragon Speech Recognition Solution is well known.
Dictation software need to get trained to properly understand your voice. and often mishear you in the beginning, making punctuation and grammar mistakes, so you might end up sparing a lot of time in editing. But at least all you've spoken about are listed out in front of you.
#5 Sync Documents Between Devices
Writing ideas can come up to your mind at any time. And it's good if you take a memo on your smartphone wherever you are. And if you do, there are many memo apps available but why not use a word processing app that can sync between the devices that you have? If your memo is for your writing work, it's easier to use the same document, such as Google Docs and Evernote. You can write on your phone/tablet while commuting, and when you get home you can start from where you left off on your desktop.
If you don't mind writing while on-the-go, that is!
#6 Choose A Different Subject To Write
If the time allows and your work environment allows, sometimes it helps if you allow yourself to step away from writing your usual subjects and switch to a different subject for a while before going back to the original one. It'll be an opportunity for you to get some inspirations from a different perspective, and the experience might allow you to come up with new writing ideas.
#7 Eliminate Distractions
Distractions are a huge problem for any writer. They can be offline communications (friends, family, pets to deal with), online communications such as social networks and emails, in-home noise from audio/visual equipment.
It's' all about organizing your work environment. Especially if you work from home full-time, things you can do to eliminate distractions are;
- Schedule your working hours and breaks wisely - choose your most focused hours when no one's around or family members are asleep.
- Make sure you have a quiet place when you write.
- Play white noise or good sound effect on your headphones (you can find on YouTube).
Not just the external environment that can directly distract you, but some internal factors can be distractors. Worrying about a plan over a busy schedule ahead or a delay in submitting your work, for instance. If these short-term problems bother you, you know there's not much you can do but to forget them and concentrate on your work. You can "organize" the problems by writing them down, and once written down, try dismissing them from your mind.