Many business owners find themselves drowning in content creation. We don’t just write: we have to come up with ideas on a regular basis.
Like anyone else, I’m always keeping an eye out for ways to be more productive. One suggestion that keeps coming up is, “Start with a big idea and break it up into pieces.”
For instance, I may have a concept of branding for storytelling mistakes. I’d start with an overview – maybe 7 common mistakes. Then you’d see an article on each of the mistakes. So far we’re up to 8 articles.
We could go even further, with a couple of stories to illustrate each mistake. 22 articles!
And so on.
That’s an excellent approach and many people use it successfully. If it’s new to you, definitely give it a try!
My problem is, I find myself staring at the blank page, trying to come up with ideas. Writing up the ideas feels like filling an order…a chore.
So over time, I’ve evolved the bottom-up strategy. I write articles on specific topics that seem interesting and timely. I particularly like writing articles that are generated by a question from a subscriber or a point that’s raised in a forum. (Yes, that’s a hint – please share your questions anytime.)
If you do this, you’ll probably notice themes in your own articles.
For instance, my next course (a work-in-progress), will be presented as a live 90-minute workshop: “Stellar Storytelling.”
If you’ve ever told a story – in writing or in front of a live audience – you know it’s not enough to have a good story. You have to know how to present the story to create an experience for your audience…even if you’re an introvert. (Coming soon – watch my emails!)
While pulling the course together, I began looking through past articles, blog posts, and podcast episodes. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle – taking pieces from my articles and assembling them into a bigger picture. That’s the payoff of a bottom-up approach: seeing new patterns from the scattered pieces.
One tip: When you post articles to your blog, use categories so you’ll easily collect ideas later, when you’re ready to write a book or create a course. Your post may have multiple topics. For instance, I might have a couple of paragraphs about story archetypes and other paragraphs about the qualities of a selling story. I’d use the categories “story archetypes” and “selling stories” if I wanted to recall them later.
Try both these methods – top down and bottom up. You’ll likely gravitate to one or the other as you continue writing.
Speaking of big projects…you may not know I can help you implement your Next Big Thing – a project you’d like to finish in the next 90 days. It might be a course, a website, a product launch, or even a book.
Calculate what you’re losing by not getting the project done (and done well) and then see if it makes sense to work with me. You’ll get no-fluff support with a “get it done” focus. Details here. Feel free to reply to this message with questions.