As I get ready to teach this week’s From Ideas to Income tele-class, “I don’t know how to start,” I’m now considering the question – are writing structures our friend or our foe?
The answer? Quite simply, both!
On a call with a client this week, we came up with a simple test for when to use or stay away from a writing structure (such as a Top 10 list), and here it is:
If you’re bubbling over with ideas, then step away from the structure. Get your ideas out of your head and down on paper – with a pen or a keyboard, in words or pictures, into a voice recorder or to a “scribe” or ghostwriter – however feels best for you in that moment.
In this phase of the creative flow, structure is not your friend. It can stunt your creativity and force you into a box before you’ve gotten all of your ideas out.
However, when you’re facing those piles of ideas and it’s time to shape them, OR if you’re facing a blank page, writers block, procrastination, or a deadline, embrace the structure.
At this point you can rely on structure to call ideas out of you, to fill in any holes, to keep you motivated and to give you a template to work with, so that you can get it done!