How To Write Extraordinary Blog Articles
Simple mental models to help you write your next blog post with ease.
Every writer or blogger knows the power of resistance. It’s the force inside each of us that keeps us from making extraordinary things happen and doing great work.
Writing (and creativity in general) is nothing but a daily struggle to beat that beast. Every day is ‘Day 1,’ and you wake up knowing that today is not going to be easier than it was yesterday.
And you’re OK with that because it’s simply a part of your job.
In my experience, resistance occurs when we approach our work with too much importance. When we think that we should be a certain way, fulfill our (or somebody else’s) expectations, and when we simply try too hard.
There are, however, simple tricks on how you can fight Resistance and write better, simpler, and be at ease. I’ll share with you the mental models that help me create my best content, and I hope it will make your writing more enjoyable.
After all, writing is an experience for the writer as much as it is for the reader. If you enjoy writing it, we’ll enjoy reading it.
Write Like You Talk
“I don’t think there’s such thing as a writer’s block.
I write like I talk and I have never-ever seen a person who would wake up and go, ‘hmmmmmmm’ — not being able to talk, having a ‘talker’s block.’”
My writing is at its worst when I try too hard. When I try coming up with fancy, Ivy League sounding phrases (and using too many semicolons) — that’s when I have my worst writing.
My best writing? I have it when I let go and just say what I want to say. Sometimes, the best way to phrase something is to ask yourself, ‘What am I actually trying to say here?’ and writing down the answer.
Write Poorly and Have Bad Ideas
Imagine that you walk into your local Starbucks and order a cappuccino. The barista greets you, takes your order, takes your money, and then stretches his arms wide and says, “Hey man, I don’t really feel like doing it…I have barista block.”
When people say they have writer’s block, what they’re really referring to is ‘writing perfectly block’. But when you’re just starting out, or you’re on your way to writing success — quantity is always the road to quality.
Can’t write well? OK, then write poorly. The trick is to write something because momentum is your best friend as a writer. Don’t have any good ideas? OK, but do you have any bad ideas? That’s the question.
At the end of the day, when you’re a writer, writing is your job. And if you refuse to do it, you’re like the barista at Starbucks with ‘barista block.’ Writing is your job, so do it, no matter how poorly.
Use the ‘Google Rule’
Why is Google is popular? It does two things:
- It’s not saying it’s smart. It’s actually pretty stupid. Google’s main job is to aggregate information created by other people and to point us toward it.
- It gives all the credit to other people. Either Wikipedia said something, or some blog, or some celebrity — but not Google.
When you write something insightful, it’s tempting to want to take all the credit for coming up with the original idea. But the realization I had when I started writing was that people don’t read me because I’m smart.
They read me because I’m passionate about something and because I package interesting ideas created by others — in a fun and beautiful way.
As a blogger or writer, you can learn from Google and use the ‘Google rule’ to your advantage. You’re not a scientist and knowing all the facts isn’t your job. Instead, writing is. Packaging ideas is. Resonating with readers is.
Bad blogging: ‘I know everything.’ Good blogging: ‘This guy is amazing, check him out.’ Don’t try to be or look smart. And give all the credit to others.
Write It Like an Email
There was an experiment a couple of decades back that teachers conducted. They gave their students two assignments:
a) Write a composition on paper
b) Write on the same topic in an email
They were surprised to find that almost everyone scored higher in writing the email. There was something about this medium of typed text that released the burden off of the kids’ chests and allowed them to be natural. They didn’t use too many fancy words, and they just said what they wanted to say in an organic, direct way.
I’ve found that a great way to start writing a new blog post is to tell yourself that you’re writing an email to an old friend after one or two glasses of wine.
The internet and the new platforms on it (Medium, Amazon, Wordpress, etc.) erased the middleman. There are no rules. You’re in charge of what you create and how you create it. And the best part about this change is that you can just be yourself. You can just say what you want to say — and you don’t have to say it a certain way.
Something Everyone Can Do
If you feel really stuck and need help jumpstarting your writing, there’s one thing everyone can do — with zero talent, experience, money, and success.
It’s being vulnerable.
At the end of the day, you can always be vulnerable. You can always share your story, your thoughts, and worries. And you can always connect to people in a way that only you can. Your vulnerability will give hope to people who are stuck in a similar situation. It might even save somebody.
No matter what happens, nobody can take that ability from you. It’s the ultimate antidote to resistance.