I created my first successful product in just 10 days. I realized the creation process is as valuable as the product itself and I want to share it. Welcome to the Making-of The Mini-Guide for Writing a Super Complete Post in 20 Minutes.
This post is part of the new series on my blog, the Making-of The Mini-Guide! (All the chapters are here).
The Blank Page: What’s the first thing to write when creating something.
Let’s start from the very beginning. The Blank Page syndrome. This syndrome happens when you just can’t start writing in the first page of your project. Whether it’s a book or you simply can’t take action on your new project, we have been here. I know I’ve been.
In my past projects, when I finally had everything set up to start writing and had the white page in front of me, a lot of questions came to my mind. Not existential questions but the type of questions you have no idea where to begin. Like what should I type first? Should I write the index, the introduction, the first chapter or my favorite chapter? Is it okay if I write the conclusion first, so I know where this book is heading? Or maybe I should research more because only when I read one more book I’ll be sure what to write in the first page?
The real problem with the blank page is not a blank mind, is actually a mind full of ideas and not knowing what to write first!
The real solution here is not “just sit and write” or “lowering the quality bar”. Because when you finish writing the first chapter, you’ll have the same problem with the second chapter. You want to write the most complete book, the encyclopedia of your topic. And you have to market it, too. There’s too much to do that you simply cannot finish anything.
What’s the catch, then?
The first thing to write when creating something has nothing to do with that something. You have to step back of that something and appreciate the full picture first. At least, that’s what I did this time.
Whenever I tried to write a new book in the past, I could write a few chapters and then leave it for good. Because I had the same questions at every chapter.
But this time, I wrote something else before jumping into writing the actual book. And even though this something was harder to write, it made the consequent process easier.
If you’re having troubles to start writing a book or just starting a project, the problem is not a blank mind, the problem is not a blank page, the actual problem is that you want to write a book for the sake of writing a book and not because is something meaningful to your life.
When something is meaningful, you prepare yourself, you don’t just do it.
What better example than cooking?
If you’re hungry, you might prepare an instant soup, you just take the cup and prepare it and it’s done.
But if you’re cooking for a special occasion, you prepare yourself, you know what to do, when to do it, where to buy the ingredients, what plate you’ll prepare, dessert and beverage, you plan everything and you know that this meal means something in your life and you’re doing it because you want a certain type of result. You’re not cooking for the sake of cooking or just because you’re hungry, you want this to be special.
So, what do you do to make this project special? Do you need to research more? Do you need to find the right tools? Or the index of the book? Actually, none of that, yet.
You need to write why you’re doing this and your goals. What do you expect to accomplish with this new project? What this project means to you?
The first page is not about the book, it’s about the purpose of this book in your life and your readers’ life.
This might be harder to write than deciding what the first chapter should be, but investing several time on this will help you to save a lot of more time producing the book.
There’s two misleading factors about writing the reasons and the goals in the first page.
- Thinking it’s a waste of time.
- Thinking it’s an easy task.
If I can say something for certain, writing the reasons and the goals is not a waste of time. When you’re honest with yourself and speak up the real reason why you want to start a project, it helps you a lot on vanishing the questions later. If I had a mistake about finishing projects before it was definitely because I didn’t know why I wanted to create them in the first place. All I wanted was to write and publish. I wanted to write for the sake of writing. And that was hurting my spirit more than it should. I was also wasting my time because I didn’t even finished those books. The real waste of time was never writing my reasons and goals before writing those chapters.
If I can say something for certain, writing the reasons and the goals is not an easy task. You have to have a deep and honest conversation with yourself to actually find these answers. Maybe you’ll think you have the answer because you’ve heard it from someone else, but if you wrote what you heard from others, you’re only hurting yourself. You have to ask yourself what’s the reason for this new project and what goal will achieve in your life before jumping into anything else. And what’s worst, you’ll have to answer with nothing but the truth in your hands.
This first page will be harder to write because we’re not used to be this honest with ourselves, we’re not that connected with our innerself, we’re not used to answer these kind of questions everyday.
So it will be hard, you’ll notice that writing 3 reasons and 2 goals took you an entire day.
But don’t give up, because those 5 sentences are truly the first things you need to write when creating something new.
This post is part of the new series on my blog, the Making-of The Mini-Guide where I share everything I know about writing books! (If you want to read all the past chapters go here).
The Mini-Guide for Writing a Super Complete Post in 20 Minutes was created under the Small Product Lab July 2015 hosted by Gumroad. I’m forever grateful with Gumroad and Small Product Lab for those 10 days.
If you want to read the next chapter of the Making-of The Mini-Guide when is ready, join here: http://kath.pw ❤