MEDIUM | WRITING

Here’s Why You Should Never Start With a Blank Page on Medium

I often did. But doing just the opposite is a game-changer.

Photo by Jodie Cook on Unsplash

When I was starting out on Medium, I almost always started with a blank page—a blank white, lifeless screen.

And I used to think that’s how it is. The process of writing every article is a war uphill. Only to later find out how it can’t be any further from the truth.

Let’s get into the topic and discuss in detail why you should not start with a blank page and how to make the writing process more fun.

Problem with starting with a blank page — #1

Most of the time when I type story.new into my browser, I don’t write paragraph after paragraph then and there.

Most of the time, I just add 3–5 bullet points and close the window. And that’s it.

And when I’m in the mood to complete any story, I simply pick one from the drafts section. I write, edit and post.

But it was not always like this.

I used to start with a blank page. I stared at it for minutes on end and then also my mind would have no clue on what to write about.

This is one of the biggest problems with starting with a blank page. You just don’t know what to write. The more you push yourself to write, the more blank your mind seems to get.

And frustrated, we give up. (And simply type Y in the search bar.)

Problem with starting with a blank page — #2

There is one more problem that I have faced when writing in this fashion. And that is a loss of details.

When we write whatever comes to our mind without having a clear objective or structure, we often lose essential details.

We lose a lot of ideas as we are completely focused on expanding only one idea/point at a time. We have absolutely no clue what will come after it.

What to do if you want to write and publish in one go?

We often have this urge to write, edit and publish an article in a single go, don’t we?

I have this desire a lot of times. I want it done in one go. So, how do I do it?

First of all, I jot down 3–5 bullet points and the title of the story. For example, this story that you are reading started like this:

Screenshot of Medium editor.

Yes, with no structure, a lot of typos and whatnot. But in the end, its goal is only to get the thoughts on paper (or screen, duh!).

We are currently on the second bullet, right?

After this, I start to write. Or in another sense, just expand one bullet point at a time.

I make a lot of changes along the way. But this way, it’s a lot easier to write because you have to worry less about the flow and more about the content itself.

Sometimes, I end up writing an article in a single go. But most of the time, it gets completed on another day. So, yes, it goes again into drafts.

Have many half-baked drafts

This was a game-changer for me. Have many incomplete drafts in your basket. Each in different phases of their life (their life? Okay, that makes sense, doesn't it?).

With having more than one article to work on comes the option to choose what you want to work on. Maybe you want to proofread or add a cover picture. You are in control.

Other benefits of having many half-baked drafts

Having many drafts is more than having more options. It also saves you from facing writer’s block.

No idea for a new piece? No problem.

You can edit or proofread or research a cool photo for your almost-complete article.

This way, writing feels more like a fun activity than a boring chore.

So, what do you think of this process?

How do you do this? Let’s see.

First, whenever you get the slightest hint that something can be turned into a published piece, just throw it into Medium Drafts. Trust me, it’s a game-changer.

Better yet, condense it into 3–5 bullet points.

You may not know if you’ll ever publish it. But once you write it down, our brain would perceive it as something worth giving a thought to.

Leave it for a day or until your next return.

Now you have a clear mind and a fresh outlook on the topic. Start writing. Complete your first draft.

And once it is done, take another short break. And after that, you know well what to do.

Add a picture if you haven’t already and edit and format.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Vritant Kumar

Vritant Kumar

I write about things I know, I don’t know and I’d have never known had I not written about them. 6x top writer and a 16-year-old bio.link/vritant